I printed a recent credit card statement straight to PDF and used PDFEdit to black out (highlight in black) the information I'd prefer not to share with the party I need to send this to. Now I can't seem to find a way to save the document so that the text isn't there, hiding under the black bars.

I tried to flatten it, but that hasn't resolved the issue.

I tried printing to PDF, but the text information is all preserved. I tried opening it in OOo Writer and I get an error.

Is there a method available to me (in 10.04) to save the PDF as an image, functionally?

I thought "flattening" would achieve that but I'm obviously missing something.

3 Answers 3



Install the PDF Import Extension from Oracle into your Extension Manager for OpenOffice and you will be able to open and edit your PDF files inside of OpenOffice Draw. Which will create all the elements (text, lines, drawings, etc.) and you will be able to remove those that you don't wish. A screenshot is here:

enter image description here


If you prefer to handle your pdf pages as layers and edit'em as images, then you can right click the PDF file and choose "Open with GIMP Image Editor", the "Import from PDF" dialog will show after opening gimp and will allow you to choose which pages you wish to edit with several options as shown in the next screenshot.

enter image description here

After which you will also be able to edit those pages as shown in this screenshot:

enter image description here

Good luck!

  • Thanks. For whatever reason I get a "general I/O" error when I try to use the PDF Import extension.
    – Amanda
    Mar 29, 2011 at 17:35
  • Good to know that you found a solution for this issue, as shown in your auto-answer. I hope you find a solution for your "general I/O" error or drop a question about it. Good luck! Mar 29, 2011 at 18:02
  • Any PDF Import extension for libreoffice?
    – igi
    May 23, 2011 at 22:14
  • That is: LibreOffice, instead of OpenOffice from Oracle. - "Note that, in LibreOffice 3.3, many great extensions that were formerly separate downloads have now been included in the package as standard features..." PDF IMPORT TOO - here:libreoffice.org/features/extensions
    – user47206
    Jun 7, 2012 at 15:30

pdftoppm might be useful for you. You should find it in synaptic, maybe in a package with a different name, together with other utilities.

apropos pdftoppm
pdftoppm (1)         - Portable Document Format (PDF) to Portable Pixmap (PPM) converter (version 3.00)

Is thist a single page? Here are other converters:

  • pdf2dsc
  • pdf2ps
  • pdf2swf
  • pdftohtml
  • pdftoppm
  • pdftops
  • pdftosrc
  • pdftotext

there may be more. From ps, you may transform further:

  • ps2ascii
  • ps2eps
  • ps2epsi
  • ps2pdf
  • ps2pdf12
  • ps2pdf13
  • ps2pdf14
  • ps2pdfwr
  • ps2pk
  • ps2ps
  • pstopnm
  • pstops

What finally worked was opening it in GIMP, per Gepettevs D'Constanzo's suggestion and using print > print to file to print it as a PDF. So now it has no searchable, selectable text information. I decided I didn't need the second page, so this worked. Still frustrated that there's not a more transparent way to flatten a PDF (and frustrated that "flatten" isn't the right word.)

Elsewhere on the internets, someone pointed out that inkscape is also a good way to edit PDFs. Indeed using pdftk burst and Inkscape and then pdftk cat is infinitely more efficient than PDFedit.

  • 1
    If you are using highlighting to remove, cover up, or redact information you don't want to share, make sure that the highlighting color can't be changed by anybody to make what lies beneath readable.
    – tinker
    Mar 30, 2011 at 1:18
  • 1
    @tinker, if the text information is still in the document, it can be read. The only way to ensure it can't be read is to remove it from the document, either by editing it to remove the offending text or saving it as an image with no text information.
    – Amanda
    Mar 30, 2011 at 13:04

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