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PDF flattening dialogue when printing PDFs that are coverted from powerpoints

New Here ,
Apr 13, 2012 Apr 13, 2012

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When trying to print certain PDFs that have been coverted from powerpoint to PDFs I am getting a flattening dialogue when printing. This dialogue takes forever and makes it nearly impossible to print. I only get this dialogue in Adobe Reader X and in other readers (like FoxIt for example) it doesn't happen. How do I fix this in Reader X so it doesn't happen?

The process used to convert these from powerpoints is to go to save and send, create handout (which opens in word) and then save from Word to PDF.

thanks in advance!

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General troubleshooting , Print

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

New Here , May 05, 2016 May 05, 2016

The problem is caused by transparent objects. The file must be flattened to print properly. Reader has no option for flattening and no ability to save the file to an image format that will ignore transparent areas, but it can print the file as an image. In the print dialog box click the advanced button and then select "print as image".  File will process without any additional lag time and will print as it appears on your screen.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 16, 2012 Apr 16, 2012

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Hi,

Could you please provide the following information:

1. Are you using the MS Offices PDF converted to create the PDF from Word? Or are you using Adobe Acrobat's PDF Maker to create the PDF from MS Word?

2. Would it be possible for you to share a screenshot of the dialog that you are getting while opening the PDF in Adobe Reader?

3. Which version of Adobe Reader is installed on your system. You can check the same by clicking on Help > About Adobe Reader.

4. Which OS are you working on?

Thanks

Ankit

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Guest
Apr 26, 2012 Apr 26, 2012

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I can confirm a similar problem where printing fails during the flattening stage.

The PDF was created by "Adobe PDF Library 9.0" (as reported by Reader under "PDF Producer), PDF version 1.5, from application Adobe InDesign CS4 (6.0.1). Find it here if you want the exact file.

My system is Windows XP SP3 (32-bit), running Adobe Reader X 10.1.3

I'm not going to bother with screenshots since they're just standard error messages. Behavior is as follows:

After clicking Print from the print dialog, a progress dialog appears and the status says "Flattening:" with a percentage. The progress moves very quickly to 44% (less than one second to get that far) and then basically stalls. It creeps along for the next 35 seconds, ending at 74%. The progress dialog closes and an error dialog opens stating, "The document could not be printed." Upon closing that error dialog, another shows with, "There were no pages selected to print."

Tim

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 26, 2012 Apr 26, 2012

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Hi Tim,

Can you please let me know which printer are you using to print the PDF?

From the look of things, (since you are talking about flattening the PDF), it seems that you are using Adobe PDF printer. If so, please mention which version of Adobe Acrobat are you using.

Thanks

Ankit

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Guest
Apr 27, 2012 Apr 27, 2012

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I'm trying to print to a Brother MFC-8480DN. I did not instruct Adobe Reader X to flatten the PDF; it seems to attempt a flattening process when I instruct Adobe Reader X to print (I am NOT using Acrobat). I can't give you any more detail about the document's origin; as stated above, the document properties (File -> Properties) show

Application: Adobe InDesign CS4 (6.0.1).

PDF Producer: Adobe PDF Library 9.0

PDF version: 1.5 (Acrobat 6.x)

Thank you,

Tim

Message was edited by: geitda - cleaned formatting

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New Here ,
Dec 01, 2012 Dec 01, 2012

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I would also like an answer to this question.  The document in questoin was proiduced by Adobe Acrobat 10.1.4 (according to the Properties) and is being read in Adobe Reader X, but this "flattening" process takes over 5 minutes per page, for a document that only has 4 pages and is only 1Mb in size. Printing to a Brother HL-2040, but when I tried printing to CutePDF, in the hopes that a reformed PDF would help, the flattening process took just as long, so the printer evidently doesn't seem to affect the flattening.

However, printing to CutePDF produced a new PDF file size of 20Mb, which still took a long time to "flatten".

It makes it useless to distribute because noone is going to wait 20 minutes for it to print. We have to find a solution to this. Thanks for any help.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 01, 2012 Dec 01, 2012

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Can you share this problem file?

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New Here ,
Dec 01, 2012 Dec 01, 2012

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Unfortunately not, due to copyright and non-disclosure agreement restrictions. But I'd like to understand what is it doing when it's "flattening" - it seems to be a process unique to PDF.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 01, 2012 Dec 01, 2012

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Flattening can mean several different things.

Most likely, it is transparency flattening, a process of mixing together all of the elements on the page. In Acrobat Pro's Preflight stuff is a transparency preview, which can be used to apply transparency. Once that is done (and applied) there should be no more transparency flattening.

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New Here ,
Mar 12, 2014 Mar 12, 2014

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Recently ran into this problem after converting a 130 slide presentation from PPT to PDF.  As a workaround, tried it again after removing the background in PPT, and no flattening was needed (i.e., printed immediately). 

Am assuming the the overlap between background and content constituted multiple layers of images that needed "flattening" for each slide, taking a long time and generating a file too large to print.

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New Here ,
May 05, 2016 May 05, 2016

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The problem is caused by transparent objects. The file must be flattened to print properly. Reader has no option for flattening and no ability to save the file to an image format that will ignore transparent areas, but it can print the file as an image. In the print dialog box click the advanced button and then select "print as image".  File will process without any additional lag time and will print as it appears on your screen.

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New Here ,
Aug 12, 2022 Aug 12, 2022

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This worked perfectly!  Thank you!

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New Here ,
Dec 01, 2023 Dec 01, 2023

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I am having the same problem. It use to take several seconds, now it is taking 45 minutes! I am creating a 36" x 48" map as a pdf from ArcGIS Pro and sending it to print on a HP T2300 plotter.

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