Flattened PDF

What is a flattened PDF?

A PDF document usually has multiple layers with different content or information in each layer. When flattening a PDF, previously separated contents of the document merge into one. In short, after the flattening process, multiple layers of text, images, page numbers, and header styles become one single layer. Interactive elements in PDF forms (checkboxes, text boxes, radio buttons, drop-down lists, etc.) are no longer fillable, and annotations become "native text".

Why flatten PDFs?

Flattening the PDF ensures that:

  • the information cannot be changed when someone else is viewing the PDF,
  • you will get all the visual elements in print (flattening a PDF removes transparency information and converts images to a format the printer can read),
  • the annotations are readable in all PDF readers,
  • the usability of a PDF is improved.

How to flatten a PDF?

Flatten the PDF in Adobe Acrobat, or use one of many web-based PDF editors, such as PDF2Go. After you have transformed the PDF into the image, you can convert it back to PDF using the JPG to PDF converter.