How to Flatten PDF Forms

flatten pdf online
how to flatten pdf online

You may need to “flatten” or lock a PDF file after filling out forms. This is to ensure that the document can be viewed on all devices. It also prevents other users from editing it.

Flatten Pages can transform annotations and form fields from your PDF file into objects on the PDF pages. This feature can be used to make comments and form fields permanent so document recipients cannot change them. It is also useful when you want to lock the PDF file after you have completed the form fields in order to ensure the document is accessible on all devices.

Many items may be changed after flattening:

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

* Callout, Typewriter, and Text Box: The boxes or frames transform into shape objects while the text in the comments changes into text objects.

* File attachments: The icon is what remains for a file attachment that was added as a comment with the File command under the Comment tab. This changes into a shape object and the file is then removed from the document. Note: File attachments that were added using the File Attachment command under the Edit tab do not get changed after flattening.

* Stamps: Stamps from the Foxit stamp palette change into shape objects, and dynamic information embedded in them changes into text objects. Stamps with images transform into image objects. Stamps made with PDF pages change to text/image/shape object based on the content.

* All form fields are closed for modification or filling. Only items that are visible with Hand command selected remain and change into shape objects.

To flatten your PDF forms online, follow these steps:

1. Download the PDF form.

2. Choose Organize > Flatten.

3. Specify the page range and click OK.

Notice: Flattening cannot be reversed. You can keep a copy of the original PDF by saving the document with Save As instead of Save.

2 thoughts on “How to Flatten PDF Forms

  1. MathijsMathijs

    Can the form be flattend vai a button action in the form itself (to finanlize the form when it has been filled out ?

    1. KarolinKarolin

      Hi Mathijs,
      Yes, you can flatten a form using a button action within the form itself to finalize it after it has been filled out. Here’s how you can do it using Foxit PDF Editor:

      1. Open the PDF form in Foxit PDF Editor.
      2. Go to the “Form” tab in the top menu.
      3. Click on the “Button Field” button in the “Form Fields” group. This will allow you to add a button field to the form.
      4. Click on the area of the form where you want to add the button field.
      5. In the “Button Properties” dialog box that appears, go to the “Actions” tab.
      6. Click on the “Add” button to add a new action for the button.
      7. In the “Select Action” dialog box, choose the “Run a JavaScript” action.
      8. In the “JavaScript Editor” dialog box, enter the following JavaScript code to flatten the form:


      9. Click “OK” to close the JavaScript Editor dialog box.
      10. Click “OK” to close the Button Properties dialog box.

      Now, when the user clicks on the button in the form, the JavaScript action will be triggered, and the form will be flattened, finalizing it. The form fields will be converted to static content, and the user will no longer be able to edit the form fields.

      Remember to save the PDF document after adding the button field and the JavaScript action.

      Please note that the availability and functionality of JavaScript actions may depend on the version of Foxit PDF Editor you are using.


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