2022-12-06 16:12:10 • Filed to:
PDF Software Comparisons
• Proven solutions
The Adobe Flatten PDF function is a feature in Adobe Acrobat DC and Pro DC that allows you to remove layering in a PDF document and render it as a printable file. The feature is extremely useful when you have interactive elements in a PDF but you don't want them to remain interactive when distributing the file to a larger audience, especially online. For instance, let's say you have an interactive form with specific data filled in and certain options selected in drop-downs, checklists, or radio buttons. How do you share that without the recipient being able to change the data? That's where the feature to flatten PDF in Acrobat DC comes in handy. This article shows you how to use Adobe to flatten PDF, as well as an Adobe alternative – Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor for the same purpose. The main reason for offering the alternative is that Adobe Acrobat DC and Pro DC are fairly expensive, while the alternative we're showcasing is a fraction of the price but with all the features you'd expect in a pro-level PDF editor.
There are a couple of ways to flatten PDFs in Adobe Acrobat, even old versions. The easiest way is to use the Print PDF module in Adobe to do this. In short, you're exporting the file to a printer and saving it again as a simple PDF with no layers. Technically, this is a shortcut because you can also use the PDF Optimizer feature in Acrobat to flatten the contents of a PDF. That method is a little more complex, so we're showing you the simple way.
The output PDF is a flat PDF with no interactive elements. This is useful in many situations, such as when you want to share a filled form but don't want the recipients to change anything on it. The Adobe flatten PDF function removes the layers of interactive elements and replaces them with a visual equivalent, to put it in simple terms. If you feel that Adobe Acrobat is too expensive, you can consider an affordable Adobe Acrobat alternative.
PDFelement is quickly becoming one of the top contenders for the best PDF editor spot. The flatten PDF feature is available right on the home page, making it much easier to figure out even if you've never used the software before. Here's what to do:
Open the file by clicking the "+" button on the welcome page.
Once inside, select the "Flatten" button under the "Tool" menu.
To maintain the original file, this software will generate a new file which named "XXX_Flatten". It is easy for you to know the difference. Don't forget to save the flattened PDF file.
And that's all there is to the PDF flattening process with PDFelement. The software is also a robust tool to manage all your PDF workflows, and offers the following capabilities:
One common positive feedback from users of PDFelement is that the software is highly intuitive. The developers constantly keep reimagining the UI to give users the best experience possible. This makes it easy to deploy in larger organizations with multiple offices in different countries and continents because the training time is minimal. Furthermore, the Windows version of the software bears a deliberate resemblance to many native Microsoft apps like Word, and the Mac version does the same for macOS users. There are also iOS and Android versions so you can work on the go or from anywhere, even do remote work from home without missing a beat.