How to flatten pages in PDF

Foxit PDF editor

This article will tell you how to flatten PDF with Foxit PDF Editor.

The Flatten Pages feature can make annotations and form fields in the PDF file become part of objects of the PDF pages. This feature is often used when you want all the comments and form fields to be permanent so that the document receivers cannot modify them (unless they change them with editing tools), or when you want to lock the PDF document after completing the form fields to ensure that the document can be viewed consistently on all devices.

After flattening, many items in the document are changed:

·         Text Markup, Note comments, and Drawing markup comments: The markups and Note comment icons change into shape objects. However, the text in their pop-up notes is lost.

·         Typewriter, Callout, Text Box: the boxes or frames change into shape objects, while the text in the comment changes into text object.

·         File attachments: For a file attachment added with the File command under the Comment tab as a comment, only the icon 001.png remains (which also changes into a shape object), while the file is removed from the document and can no longer be opened. (Note: The file attachments added with the File Attachment command in the Edit tab are not changed after flattening.)

·         Stamps: The stamps in the stamp palette provided by Foxit change into shape objects and the dynamic information (if any) embedded in the stamps changes into text objects. The stamps that are created with images change into image objects; stamps created with a PDF page change into text/image/shape objects based on the content on that page.

·         Form fields: All form fields can no longer be filled or modified. Only the items that are visible with Hand command selected remain and change into shape objects.

·         Movies: The movies are no longer available. Only the items that are visible with Hand command selected remain and change into shape objects.

·         Redaction: For the redaction that has been applied, only the black (or other colors) rectangle that blocks out redacted content remains and changes into a shape object, while the redacted content (the underlying content) cannot be seen or searched. For the content that has been marked for redaction (the redaction has not been applied yet), flattening the file does not remove the content and the black rectangle changes into a shape object.

To flatten pages, do as the following:

1.         Open the PDF document where you want to flatten pages.

2.         Choose Organize > Flatten.

3.         In the Flatten Pages dialog box, specify the page range (current page, all pages, a range of pages), and click OK.

Note: The flattening operation cannot be undone. If you want to retain a copy of the original PDF, make sure that you save the new document using Save As rather than Save.

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