What is Flattened PDF and How to Achieve It?

Fri. 16 Oct. 20202715min

Whether you are familiar with PDF software or not, you may have seen the function “ Flatten PDF ” unintentionally, but because you don’t know it well, you often ignore it, and quickly stop wondering what it means and how to use it. Now, this long-standing question is about to be answered, and after reading this article, you will also acquire a new practical skill.

What is a flattened PDF?


To flatten a PDF is like driving a road roller on the ground, everything ends up in the same layer, so is your PDF. 


To be more specific, if you flatten an annotated PDF, all the annotations will be “integrated” into the original content. For flattened PDF forms, all the interactive elements such as text fields,check boxes, radio buttons, list boxes are no longer fillable or selectable.


Why should I flatten PDFs?


There are three reasons:


1. For security.

When you spend a lot of time annotating PDFs or filling out forms and need to forward the completed ones to others, you certainly don’t want your PDF to be edited. Even more serious is that if they are business forms, you absolutely would like to avoid this from happening. In this case, flattening is a safer way to protect your PDF documents to an extent.


2. For printing.

If you want to print the annotations you made to the PDF, you need to flatten the PDF first, otherwise, you may waste paper in vain and waste time dealing with this simple problem.


3. For sharing.

For the receiver, the flattened copy is easier to open and read because it is smaller in size and allows faster rendering. You may also leave a more considerate impression for others.


How to flatten a PDF with PDF Reader Pro?


Now that you understand what a flattened PDF is and why flatten PDFs, let’s take a look at how to do it with PDF Reader Pro across all platforms:



For Mac users:

1. Click File on the main menu and choose Save as Flattened PDF;


Flattened PDF 1.png


2. Save the file as flattened PDF;

3. Or click Share -> Flattened Copy, then you can share the flattened PDF via Mail, AirDrop and etc.


Flattened PDF 2.png



For iPhone/iPad users:

On the reading page, tap for more actions options and choose Share via -> Flattened Copy or Create a Flattened Copy.


Flattened PDF 3.png



For Windows users:

Click on the toolbar and select Save as Flattened Copy or  Share as Flattened Copy.


Flattened PDF 4.png



For Android users:

When viewing a file, tap for more editing options and you will see Save as Flattened Copy.


Flattened PDF 5.png



Now, you already know more about “Flattened PDF” than you were 5 minutes ago, so next time, don't forget to apply it for work with PDF Reader Pro on any of your Mac/iOS/Windows/Android devices. 


Besides, PDF Reader Pro is fully functional for you to read, annotate, edit, convert, create, OCR, fill forms and sign PDFS. Try now and you will like it !

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!