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Flattening a pdf

Explorer ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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In Adobe Acrobat DC, how do we flatten a pdf file? 

We often have stamps, signatures, highlighting, etc. added to a .pdf.   In Nuance Power PDF, we would just hit the "Flatten File" button, how do we go about flattening it in DC? 

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General troubleshooting

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Explorer , Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019
Adding a Digital Signature does protect the entire document from being edited by someone else. Thanks this has been very helpful!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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Create an Action that executes this JS code:

this.flattenPages();

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New Here ,
May 20, 2021 May 20, 2021

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I have been successfully flattening PDF documents with data fields into plain PDFs for the last 6 years Using version 11 and then DC 2015. Just today the plain PDF has grey highlighting everywhere the data fields (blue boxes) were. Is there any way I can get rid of the grey highlighting in the plain PDF?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 20, 2021 May 20, 2021

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Change the fill color of the fields from light gray to white or transparent before flattening the file.

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New Here ,
May 20, 2021 May 20, 2021

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Thank you, it worked perfectly!

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Explorer ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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Thank you.  Setting up and running the JavaScript in the Action Wizard does work; however, it's quite involved for the average user to set up and run.

It looks like one could go to File, Print, to Adobe DC print driver, works also.

It's too bad Adobe didn't create a Flatten File button for users.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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Using an Action is much easier (and better) then "re-frying" the file, in my opinion. Another option is to create a .js file that adds a menu (or toolbar) icon that does it, and then you would be able to access it with just one or two clicks.

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Explorer ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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Yes, I set that up on my pc, but most user's are not that saavy to mess with it. 

I noticed that this action doesn't flatten watermarks, Bates numbering, headers/footers, etc. 

I guess we are looking for a feature that will make a .pdf including stamps, watermarks, Bates, etc. when sent to another person, is unchangeable. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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Then flattening is not the way to go, as even a flattened file can be easily edited in Acrobat.

Your best option is a Digital Signature field. It will not prevent editing the file, but it will become invalidated when it happens, allowing you to prove that the file was modified.

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Explorer ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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Adding a Digital Signature does protect the entire document from being edited by someone else. Thanks this has been very helpful!

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New Here ,
Sep 22, 2021 Sep 22, 2021

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Very easy. Go to File, Print. Choose PDF995 printer, correct page size and press PRINT. The file will be a flatten file.

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