Every semester of my son's test week, I need to scan all his past worksheets into PDF files and find a way to delete all the answers that he wrote so he could redo them as his revision.

Normally I would scan them into PDF's, convert them to jpg and edit out the answers on a photo editing software. You can imagine thats extremely tedious.

Is there a better solution to this? I have tried PDF editing softwares but every one that I've tried could not cut out/delete sections of the page without going into OCR and making lots of distortions to the layout/text and rendering the file useless.

I have tried to insert the jpgs into Word and putting lots of white rectangles over the answers to cover them. This is a quick way to achieve what I want but the print-out would end up zoomed out, due to the margins that Word has. If I max out the margins (making them all zero), somehow I could not overlay the white rectangles on top of the jpg files without messing up the alignment.

Would desktop publishing software be a good idea? I have tried Scribus and it doesn't seem to help at all.


  • Welcome to Software Recommendations! We need some more details for good recommendations: What OS should it run on? What is your price margin?
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 9:18
  • Have you tried covering sections using the PDF editor instead of Word?
    – Natsfan
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 15:24
  • Scanning to PDF seems like an unnecessary step that only adds another needless layer. The PDF file only really contains the actual raster image you are after, which only adds complexity to the process. Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 3:10
  • Dumb idea. Scan them when you get em. No need to edit or scan a bunch of stuff at once. Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 6:09

1 Answer 1


If the handwriting is in a different colour to the rest of the text you could probably use ImageMagick to replace all occurrences of that colour, (within a specific margin of colours), with white. See https://www.imagemagick.org/discourse-server/viewtopic.php?t=18196 for some tips on getting started with this.

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