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Export a flattened PDF (without layers) from InDesign?

Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016

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My printer has requested a flattened PDF for printing so there is no layer confusion.  They explained to me that I will need to open each page and flatten it in Adobe Acrobat.  Is there a way I can just export it from InDesign with these settings?  As far as I can see the PDF gives you layers options, but it doesn't give you an option to flatten layers.

Thank you for any help.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016
Yes. Uncheck Create Acrobat Layers on export.

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Valorous Hero ,
Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016

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I don't believe any of the PDF/X type of PDFs allow Layers and are therefore flattened as regards Layers. They also may mean transparency gets flattened and at that point, PDF/X-4 is out if you have any transparency in the file or a linked file.

Mike

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016

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I do have transparency in my layers, so I am not sure this will be the solution for my process.  That is valuable information to know however.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016

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Yes. Uncheck Create Acrobat Layers on export.

InDesign CCss_005.png

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016

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Does the "Compatibility" have to be "Acrobat 6 (PDF 1.5)" for this to work?  I ask because with I have it toggled to Acrobat 5, the option for create Acrobat Layers is greyed out.  I have never had this option checked previously; however I was exporting with the Acrobat 5 compatibility, not the Acrobat 6.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016

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Layer support began at 6. Acrobat 5 didn't support layers, so the option is always unchecked, and not an issue.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016

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cdschlenker wrote:

I was exporting with the Acrobat 5 compatibility, not the Acrobat 6.

And so, as Barb's post above mentioned, layers were not supported in version 5, so if you've been handing the "printer" version 5 files, they were already without layers, and the vague instructions must be referring to flattening transparency, not layers.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016

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Yes, this is true. So supposedly I have been exporting without layers because I have been using Acrobat 5 compatibility; however my printer is saying there are layers? It is strange because when I uploaded one of my PDFs to the printer's FTP server, it showed some layers out of order.  Their solution was then to flatten all of my PDF pages in Acrobat.  This just requires an extra step in my process to open them in Acrobat and flatten them, which is why I was hoping to export from InDesign this way.

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Guru ,
Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016

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Ask your printer folks what settings exactly they want when export to pdf?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016

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Ask your printer folks what settings exactly they want when export to pdf?

Best advice, ever. When it doubt, ask them to clarify. They want to print your job without issues, and they will explain things to you to get there.

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New Here ,
Aug 06, 2021 Aug 06, 2021

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Please help. I have tried absolutely everything to get a flattened, no transparency, no layers PDF uploaded to Amazon KDP and I have literally been doing it for two weeks. Was on the phone with KDP in India as he walked me through the process. Thought we got it, finally, but no - still error. What in the world can I do? The document is huge, 306.1 mb, and has pictures on each page. I've spoken with Adobe tech support and did what they suggested: Open the file in Chrome browser and print to pdf. That will flatten the heck out of any layers or transparency. KDP still says there are layers. Help.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 06, 2021 Aug 06, 2021

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Use PDF/X1-a

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LEGEND ,
Aug 06, 2021 Aug 06, 2021

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What bizarre advice from tech support. There will be no layers in PDF 1.3 or PDF/X-1 or PDF/X-3.

What's the EXACT message from KDP, in full?

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