Resources » Editing PDFs (How To's and Tutorials) » How to White Out a PDF

Using the Digital Whiteout Tool on PDF.Live 

Remember whiteout? It came in a small bottle or tape, which you brushed, rolled or sponged on paper to cover up errors. It could be messy and smelly, too! Today’s digital whiteout is much easier to use, and PDF.Live’s tutorial walks you through the white out application.

There are a number of reasons why you may want to white out or cover an object on a PDF. Perhaps you have a piece of content that you don’t want viewers of a PDF to see. Or maybe there is an error in a PDF that you want to cover up or obscure. No matter your reason, whiting out or covering objects is simple using PDF.Live’s editor. The PDF.Live editor functions entirely on your browser with no additional downloads required to start editing a PDF. 

It should be noted that whiting out a document is not the same as redaction, which is a technical process that physically removes text and objects from documents. Using a digital whiteout process to cover content in a PDF doesn’t securely redact the content. To truly remove content from a, use PDF.Live’s Edit text & image & shapes feature.

Steps for Using White-Out on PDFs

If you want to white out or otherwise edit a PDF, you’ll need to convert your PDF to editable PDF. Simply drag and drop your PDF in the field and select Edit PDF to start editing your PDF online. PDF.Live’s editor has a lot of functions and we encourage you to explore the many different ways you can edit a PDF. 

Removing Objects and Text with a Free Online PDF White Out Tool

While there isn’t a specific whiteout tool on the PDF.Live editor, you can achieve the effect by creating a shape over the area that you want to white out, erase, obscure or hide. You can then fill this shape with white, black, or another color, depending on how you want to cover the area of the PDF. 

To get started, go to the Edit tab and select Add shapes

For the best results, select the Rectangle shape. You will now be able to click and drag to draw a rectangle over the area of the PDF that you want to cover up. 

The rectangle will then appear over that section of the PDF. Right-click the rectangle while it’s selected (see screenshot below). If you’ve de-selected the rectangle, select Edit text & image & shapes to re-select the rectangle. 

Once you’ve selected the rectangle and right-clicked it, select Properties

In the properties tab, you will see the option to edit the appearance of the rectangle. You’ll have a few options, such as changing the thickness or border of the style. However, for this guide, we’ll focus on the Fill color and Color of the rectangle. 

If you want to white out the section of the PDF, click on Fill Color and select white. White will always be in the top left of the color spectrum. The color you’ve chosen will appear above the Ok button. Once you’re happy with the color, select Ok. 

As you can see, the rectangle now has a white fill color that obscures the text underneath. 

By changing the opacity, we can see that the text is still underneath the rectangle. 

If you’d like to also remove the black border around the rectangle, return to the Properties of the rectangle and change Thickness to 0 and Color to white. The border around the rectangle will now disappear. 

Rectangles such as this can be used to white out or black out any part of a PDF that you don’t want to be visible. You can also further adjust the fill color using the color spectrum to match the background of your PDF if you want the blocked-out part of your PDF to be seamless with the background.

This is just one of the many features available with the PDF Live editor. Consider exploring the many options available for editing, annotating, and viewing PDFs entirely in your browser with no additional downloads.