effective way of blanking out text for photocopying

[to legal & diy newsgroups]
I'm looking for some advice please.
I have a few hundred pages to photocopy and I need to anonymise the text by blanking out names. I thought I would do it like this:
(1) photocopy the document (2) use a black marker pen on chosen parts of text (3) photocopy the marked page
Unfortunately, unless the marker ink is the same type of "black" and is very opaque then the photocopy can sometimes pick up slivers of lines which formed letters in the original text. This could depend on which copier is used and if it needs a service. So it's not really good enough.
One idea I had was to use a narrow black tape maybe 5 or 6 mm wide over the text.
If I needed to get such tape then where could I get it? Ideally it would be easy to tear so I could work through these documents quickly. Maybe a paper tape rather than vinyl plastic.
Are there other effective but quick ways you have come across?
--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would either scan the pages using an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program & save them to a drive/disc, or pay a printshop to do it if that was more cost effective.Then delete or substitute the text (using your PC) to anonymise it & then print out the modified pages or go back to the printshop & pay them to do it for you.
--
Joe Lee


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just don't do what the FIA did when there was the McLaren spy scandal - issue a redacted pdf of the proceedings with some text highlighted black to anonymise some names. When they published the pdf, all you had to do was to highlight the blacked out words and you could read the inverse!!
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

was
printshop
Just don't do what the FIA did when there was the McLaren spy scandal - issue a redacted pdf of the proceedings with some text highlighted black to anonymise some names. When they published the pdf, all you had to do was to highlight the blacked out words and you could read the inverse!!
Matt
Or electronically sending as a suposedly redacted Word document , has been done.
For printed redacting this was a fun excercise in deciphering http://www.legalbanter.co.uk/uk-legal-legal-issues-uk/448-marcel-berlins-puz zle-guardian-today.html unfortunately the scanned version is no longer there, or on wayback, so paper archives only
ps What they aren't telling you about DNA profiles and what Special Branch don't want you to know. http://www.nutteing.chat.ru/dnapr.htm or nutteingd in a search engine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
from "Paul Nutteing (valid email address in post script )"

Hmm ............ should have printed it graphically to pdf and it would have been OK.
Amazing how people are making a meal out of this. I do it all the time.
The quick and dirty way is, as has been pointed out, Copy each page once. Use a correction roler to blank out the offending text on the copies, Proceed to copy for your final version.
OR
Scan the pages. Even very simple scanning software usually has simple editing facitilies which can remove selected areas. If not, save to a format which a "paint" program can edit and use that to paint out the offending words.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

AIUI some authorities check for fake documents which may have been created using a very high quality photocopier. It seems the copied version would have very tiny specks of ink.
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6400834.html
Couldn't a third party look at the blank space with a powerful lens and perhaps recreate alphabetic characters by joining the locations of the microdots?
It could just take a single name for the anonymity of everyone to be exposed. For example, in this case if the consultant doctor's name, which was being kept hidden, got revealed then his clinic and his hospital can easily be looked up. After that most of the other blanked out names could be worked out without looking at any more blank spaces.

In this case scanning and using an image editing tool would take too long.
In the past I've had to create a PDF of the full document and also another PDF in which the names were removed or totally mangled beyond legibility. I found that the new PDF was many times bigger than the one I started with! This became a problem because I had many pages of documents and even a few of this enlarged PDFs were too big to email nor would the whole collection fit on a CD.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No. You have misunderstood the information you scanned.
If the names have been blanked with correction tape and the photocopier set to "line art" (i.e. no greyscale), then there will be no dots or any other marks in the spaces that the correction tape has covered.
--
Cynic


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you don't mind it appearing blank rather than blacked out[1] then use a correction roller (aka eraser mouse) e.g. like those at http://www.staples.co.uk/ENG/Catalog/cat_class.asp?CatIds !412,21737,21739&name=UK_CL_Correction+Rollers Where I work we use them on a couple of hundred documents a week.
[1]And if you do want to show it black to say you've redacted something, go over the document again with a black marker over the correction tape.
--
Pedt

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(remove 4 of the 5 dots) Ignore any other apparent em address used to post this message - it is defunct due to spam.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Paul Nutteing (valid email address in post script ) coughed up some electrons that declared:

Personally I think the only surefire way is to copy the original, cut out the words then copy again.
Anything that attempts to blank over the original leaves the chance that image enhancement software might just be able to highlight the original print. Black PVC tape (electrical) is probably pretty safe but if you physically remove the redacted words, then no amount of clever post processing will get them back.
Call me paranoid...
Cheers
Tim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It used to be possible to buy a black tape for direct masking of printed circuit boards when etching them. It came in rolls of various widths, some quite wide enough to mask text. It is a long time since I made PCBs that way, I changed to photo etching many years ago, but electronics supplies may well still sell the tape. I used to buy it from RS Components.
Colin Bignell
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Why does it have to be BLACK tape? Regular white typing erasing tape 'should' cover up word items to be not published. And the gaps in the text will show that just as well as if it was 'blacked' out! Or have I missed something?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 01 Dec 2008 04:15:07 +0000, Sandi wrote:

========================================If you're prepared to photocopy several hundred pages *twice* you might find it easier and less time-consuming to scan the pages into a word processor using OCR (Optical character recognition) software. You would then be able to use standard 'search and replace' to replace any names with any other random set of characters or even hide the text with white highlighting. You would also have a permanent record of your documents.
Cic.
--
==========================================
Using Ubuntu Linux
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 01 Dec 2008 04:15:07 +0000, Sandi wrote:

What happened to tippex? Doesn't anyone use it anymore?
--
___ _______ ___ ___ ___ __ ____
/ _ \/ __/ _ | / _ \ / _ \/ _ |/ / / / /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Elfin safety. They made it water based so (a) it doesn't work very well and (b) there's no fun in sniffing it. Sales plummeted
--
Bob Mannix
(anti-spam is as easy as 1-2-3 - not
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yellow Post-It notes (cut to size, as necessary).
--
Ian

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

A solvent version of Tippex is still available, as well as the crap water based version.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Postit thingies?
--
*Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you want narrow black pvc tape, then an easy source are car accessory shops. They keep tape of various widths that is used for putting lines and stripes on cars.
As regards cropping out using software on a pc, I cannot think of any scanning/priniting utility offhand where that is very easy and quick to do.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I use the Kodak Imaging for Windows package that came with one of my scanners. Use it to scan each page either as a multi-page TIFF file or separately. To redact, you simply use the "block select and fill with black" tool to mark the bits you want hidden. Anything inside your selected block is completely blacked out.
Of course scanners are a lot slower than photocopiers, but the above process might not be as tedious as fiddling with little bits of electrician's tape on paper.
--
Les
"If just one child is saved, then we'll have created a police state for the
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.