How to combine PDF forms that use the same form field names - fastest? Adobe Acrobat Standard 2017

New Here ,
Aug 05, 2022 Aug 05, 2022

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Hello there,

 

I have about 40 files of the same PDF Form that are currently fillable PDFs - however, each file has individual data/information in fields. I want to combine all 40 files into a single appendix for a work report, and I do not want to create a portfolio. Does anyone know a fast way of optimizing or flattening the PDFs in one go, instead of doing it slowly with each file individually?? 

 

My problem is that when I combine the files, it becomes the same form repeated over and over because each form has the exact same field names.  My understanding is that when the 40 files are combined the field names end up merging to equal each other. Blah! How does Adobe not have an option to retain each forms unique data information when you combine them?? 

 

I did some research and found one article that says you can save each PDF as an "Optimized PDF" and then select "Flatten form fields" so that they are no longer fillable. Here's the article: https://alltamedia.com/2014/06/02/how-to-combine-pdf-forms-that-use-the-same-form-field-names/ 

However, in my version of Adobe (Acrobat Standard 2017) I do not see an option to "Optimize PDF."

 

I looked up flattening fields and found a different article that uses a Print method to flatten the PDF: https://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/caseinformationefiling/efiling_cm-ecf/technical-information/flatten-pdf... 

 

My issue is that both of these methods are relatively slow...is there a better way to do it? Or even a better version of Adobe where this isn't a problem? 

 

Thanks for your help!

Lacey

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Create PDFs , Edit and convert PDFs , How to , PDF forms

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 05, 2022 Aug 05, 2022

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In Acrobat Pro (not Standard) you can use the Action Wizard and the Optimizer.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 06, 2022 Aug 06, 2022

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"How does Adobe not have an option to retain each forms unique data information when you combine them?? " They do. This was one of the three reasons that portfolios were invented. A pity you don't want to use them.

 

Optmize PDF is a Pro feature (that is, it is in Acrobat Pro only). 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 06, 2022 Aug 06, 2022

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You don't need the Optimize PDF command to flatten a file. You can do it directly from the JS Console (or even from a menu item, but that will require installing a script on the local machine).

To do it from the Console press Ctrl+J to open it, then paste the following code into the window and press Ctrl+Enter:

this.flattenPages();

Then save the file under a new name, as this process is NOT reversible.

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