Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Mash Up Redacting of a PDF

Now and then someone asks the question, how do I redact sensitive information within a PDF on Chrome OS. While you can create a box or line blocking the text with +Notable PDF and Xodo the text is still accessible with copy and paste.

I guess the kids these days would call this a mash up. We will be using three Chrome Apps; Cloud Convert, Pixlr Editor, and Image to PDF. While there are several merging apps I wanted one that was offline so the PDF would not be uploaded to a third party server. Cloud Convert opened and saved my files directly to and from Google Drive. Image to PDF simply downloaded the file from the browser and did not upload it to its server.

I used Cloud Convert to convert a three page PDF into png files that were saved to an SD Card. I opened one of those png's in Pixlr Editor and using the box and fill tool redacted some text. I saved this file to the SD Card. Lastly I opened all three images into Image to PDF and created the merged PDF.

So if you are in a situation where you want a name, email address, or GPS location redacted, this could be a solution. It is easy to forget that an image editor like Gimp or Pixlr can be a valuable PDF Editor.