Redact, Extract, Optimize – 3 Solutions to Help You Achieve More with your PDFs

Redact, Extract, Optimize – 3 Solutions to Help You Achieve More with your PDFs

We all want our PDFs to work smarter and help us achieve our business goals. But in order to do that, it’s important to understand what solutions we’re able to tap into using PDF’s many capabilities. Redaction, extraction, and optimization are a few of the most important capabilities that can help us achieve an array of business solutions. Let’s take a look at how each of these can help us achieve more with our PDF documents.

Redaction

It has been a major topic in the news this year, and you’ve probably heard a lot about it lately. By definition, redaction is the process of removing sensitive or classified information (such as names, social security numbers, phones numbers, etc.) from a document prior to its publication. But did you know that the majority of redaction is done improperly, which can subject those documents to a number of security issues?

According to the nonprofit consumer organization Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a total of 227,052,199 individual records containing sensitive personal information were involved in security breaches in the United States between January 2005 and May 2008, due to improper redaction.

Improperly redacted documents can put you at risk for potential litigation, especially if the information in the document is subject to a security breach, which are becoming more and more common these days. Many tools that claim to redact information actually just put black bars over the text, which only hides the sensitive data, it does not remove it completely. To achieve true and correct redaction, the underlying data must be sanitized, or removed fully from the document.

Here’s an example of how a document was not fully or correctly redacted…the information is simply blocked out but not removed:

To ensure that your documents are redacted fully and properly, make sure you’re using an advanced and reliable PDF redaction tool. Such a tool can be found in our PDF Java Toolkit or in the Adobe PDF Library.

Extraction

PDFs, by nature, are designed to be viewed consistently across many different platforms and devices. That’s great, however, with over 73 million PDFs saved each day and 2.3 trillion PDFs created each year, there’s a whole lot of information within these PDF files that is not easily accessible in different formats. PDF data extraction allows you to transform the data within PDFs, such as tables and images, into XML and HTML formats so you’re able to access the information you need.

Elements such as varied table formats can be especially challenging for some extraction tools to process effectively. If your solution can’t achieve accurate data correlation from tables, it probably doesn’t offer full OCR integration. OCR offers unique dual processing of text and images and addresses them separately. This will ensure you maintain the text within PDFs as pure text output while also implementing image processing.

With data extraction, you should also keep in mind the need for multi-lingual support. PDF documents that contain multiple languages are a challenge for many tools to process, so it’s important that you choose an extraction tool like PDF Alchemist that can handle the complex capabilities to tackle documents with multiple languages.

Here’s an example of PDF data extraction into different formats:

Optimization

37% of B2B content created each year consists of eBooks, white papers, and case studies, where PDF is the ideal format to use. If it takes more than 4 seconds to load a PDF, people are not going to read it. If your documents are loading too slowly, it likely means they’re not optimized, and PDF optimization is very important if you expect users to consume your content. Unoptimized PDFs often result in slow processing speeds with PDF viewers and can have a really negative impact on your workflows.

There are a lot of PDF optimization tools out there, but not all of them are created equally. A bad tool can cause document corruption, mishandled color, and inaccurate outputs just to name a few. Make sure you choose a tool that can tackle the following: color variations, file size, overprint issues, transparency inconsistencies, indexed color space, and unsupported image types.

Our PDF Optimizer tool is a great solution that can handle every aspect of PDF optimization. See how it helped our customer MTW Solutions alleviate their PDF issues while streamlining their workflow in this success story.

Example of PDF Optimizer’s file size reduction capability:

 

These are just a few examples of why redaction, extraction, and optimization can be critical for getting the most out of your PDF documents and how our tools can help. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us or visit our product page, and keep an eye out for more information about the benefits of R-E-O from us in the future!

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