The white out method of editing typed documents has been with us since the 1950s. It has been used over the years for correcting errors on typed documents done on typewriters. Not electronically though, the “white out” procedure was performed with the use of a fluid. Because of its relevance, the evolution of computers has made developers adopt it as one of the essential writing editing functions in modern-day computers.

Major software and computer hardware companies have taken an interest to include this simple editing feature; for example, the birth of white out for acrobat PDF reader on Windows, Android, Mac OS, iPads, even on iPhone devices.

Why Do You Need to White Out PDFs? 

One of the most common reasons people choose to white out their PDF documents is that they need to do minor edits like correcting typographical errors, adding more texts, or updating other details.

Sometimes, you may need to hide some crucial parts of the document. Of course, there are several ways to secure a PDF; unlike encryption, whiting out is very easy while giving access to other parts of the document. 

In today's post, we'll discuss different ways you can white out pdf with a minimum of fuss.

You will learn how to:

  • White out PDF
  • White out PDF using Acrobat Acrobat: 1) White out the Whole Text Box; 2) White Out PDF from a Scanned Document
  • White Out PDF Documents with Microsoft Word
  • Redact in Nuance PDF
  • White Out PDF Online
  • White Out PDF on iPhone
  • White Out PDF on Mac Computers
  • Frequently Asked Questions.

How to White out PDF

We’ll discuss various methods of whiting out PDFs and on different platforms.

How to White out PDF using Acrobat Acrobat

To do this, you have to use the “Edit Text and Images” option, which allows you to edit, add, and replace texts contained in the PDF file. With this tool, you can also change the size or font of the entire paragraph. To get on with whiting out your PDF, follow the steps below:

  • Select the drop-down tool from the menu bar. Choose “Edit PDF” and select “Edit.”
  • The texts on the PDF document that you want to edit should be visible for you to see. Also, they are separated from each other so as not to interrupt the flow of other documents.
  • Click on the box containing the text you wish to white out, select all the text, and press “Backspace” on your keyboard. 
  • To replace the text, type in the new text you wish to replace the old one with on the same area as the old text.

How to White out the Whole Text Box:

  • Select the whole text and hit the Backspace button. 
  • From the “File” menu, select “Save As" to save the edited PDF again – but this time, as a fixed-layout PDF. That’s it, and you are done.

How to White Out PDF from a Scanned Document 

Usually, when we scan documents onto our PC, we would like to save them as PDF documents. With this method, suppose you want to white out some parts or maybe edit some details of the digital version of the document; it is quite simple. You can also do this using the white out Acrobat PDF feature. To do this:

  • Open the scanned PDF document, after which it is expected to run an “Optical Character Recognition”: its job is to convert your scanned document into an editable version.
  • At this time, make sure you switch on the “Recognize Text” option (which should be turned on by default). 


If this feature is turned on, every document opened with an Acrobat reader will automatically be converted to an editable document.

How to White Out PDF Documents with Microsoft Word

If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have access to Adobe Acrobat, we recommend using the Microsoft Word method. However, to achieve this “white out” procedure, you will need first to convert your PDF document to Microsoft Word. After you are done with the editing, convert it back to a PDF. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how:

  • Open Microsoft Word, click on “File” from the menu section, and click “Open.”
  • Select the PDF file you wish to open (and open it).
  • You will see a pop-up window seeking permission to convert your PDF into a Microsoft Word document.
  • Here, the program automatically makes a copy of your PDF to avoid tampering with the original PDF document. Then click OK. 
  • On the “Insert” tab, you’ll see “Shapes.” Select the rectangle.
  • Click and drag the shape on the area you want to white out and adjust appropriately.
  • The “Shape Format” tab should appear. Choose white color for the “Shape Fill” and “Shape outline” options.
  • It’s time to check your copy for any noticeable changes that may have occurred due to the copying process.
  • Go back to the file. Select “Save As,” choose PDF as the format of choice using the File Format selection box.
  • Click on ‘Export,’ and you are done – your newly reversed PDF is ready. 


According to Microsoft Word technical department, some of the pages or lines may end up broken at various locations as the copying process is going on. Hence, the need to check for apparent changes after the copying process is over.

How to White Out (Redact) in Nuance PDF

Nuance Power PDF (formerly called) is a powerful tool designed to manipulate PDF files (or documents). It comes with an extensive array of functionalities, e.g., you can edit, view, create, and convert documents in different formats using this tool. You can also edit, convert and view various interactive media documents like images, videos, etc. But since this is about redacting, this section will strictly focus on that. Below is how it is done. 

  • Open your document using Nuance PDF (preferably the advanced version), click on the security ribbon. Then click on “Mark Reduction.”
  • Look for the text(s) you wish to redact. Highlight, then click and drag those areas you want to cover.
  • After you have covered the necessary areas, select the “Apply Reduction” feature. 
  • Now, save the redacted file (documents).
Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By submitting this form, I confirm that I have read and understood Inkit's Privacy Policy.
Get Started Today
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By submitting this form, I confirm that I have read and understood Inkit's Privacy Policy.

 How to White Out PDF Online 

There are quite a reasonable number of online third-party white out PDF tools out there. All you need to do is to choose the ones that work well for you. Here, we will be using the online SmallPDF to white out PDF. Read on!

  • Drag your chosen PDF file and drop it into the white out editor section. You can as well use the “Choose File” option.
  • Select “Add Shape" and click the square icon. 
  • Proceed to adjust the fill and border color (it is most recommended you change it to white).
  • Now, adjust or expand the square shape until it has completely white-out the whole content.
  • Click the ‘Finish’ button and proceed to download the edited PDF document. 

How to White Out PDF on iPhone

Most of the software we see today has made its way into mobile phones. In its meticulous way of staying afloat with innovations, Apple Inc. gave room for its mobile devices to accommodate the white out PDF feature. Below is how you can white out your PDF document using your iPhone. 

  • Open your PDF document.
  • Select “Edit PDF” located at the top of the toolbar. 
White Out PDF
Photo Source: PDF Expert

  • Tap-hold the Redact button for 2 secs.
Photo Source: PDF Expert
  • Choose between the Erase or the Blackout option. 
  • And finally, select the texts you wish to redact.


There is no way you can restore an already redacted text after you have saved the document. You can as well check out the video illustration here for a visual explanation. 

How to White Out PDF on Mac Computers

You can white out your PDF on Mac computers using the Preview app. This preview app on mac helps users open PDF documents and images, edit them, and convert them into different formats. The interface is really user-friendly and pretty intuitive. Below is a step-by-step process to white out your PDF document on Mac using the preview app.

  • Open the PDF document in the Preview app 
pdf document
Photo Source: Ease US


  • From the menu bar, click the ‘View’ option. Choose the "Show Markup Toolbar" to enable you to draw a white rectangle over the texts.
view option
Photo Source: Ease US

  • Keep adjusting the rectangle shape over the texts you wish to white out until it covers it. You will also have to select the color with which you want to fill the shape. We’d recommend you go for white.
rectangular shape
Photo Source: Ease US

  • Lastly, save the PDF document. Click the ‘File’ button, followed by the "Export as PDF" option. With this, you will save the document with the whited out area(s).
save PDF document
      Photo Source: Ease US



Can I be charged for this service on other third-party platforms?

The white out function is free on the most popular online and offline platforms. It even comes as a default feature on most computers, especially mac. 

How hard is it to white out your PDF on your iPhone?

It’s easy; all you need to do is to follow the steps listed above.

Does Nuance PDF come as a default feature on Mac Computers?

Nuance PDF is a third-party PDF white out software you can use on both Mac and Windows platforms. 

Why should I use white out for Acrobat instead of the Corel Draw app?

White out for acrobat is relatively straightforward and easier than most. It is unlike Corel Draw, which needs some level of technical skill to pull off.

It is crucial that we mention that apart from white out for acrobat, several third-party online and offline white out PDF apps are out there. We picked the ones mentioned in today’s article based on a popular review. 

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
By submitting this form, I confirm that I have read and understood Inkit's Privacy Policy.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Up Next

Get Started With Inkit Today

Startups can now receive up to one year of complimentary access to Inkit.
Your work email address...
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.