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Best Way to Flatten a PDF Offline and Online

What is a flattening PDF? Why do we need to flatten a PDF? Which is the best way to flatten PDF files? Questions like these and many others come to a person's mind when flattening their PDF. This article aims to answer all the emerging questions that pop inside your head and help you flatten PDF perfectly.

Part 1: What is Flatten? Why do You need to Flatten a PDF?

What is Flatten in PDF?

Do you know that there are layers in a PDF file? Each layer of the PDF file has elements; separating these elements and removing them makes a PDF flat. This process is called the flattening of PDF. The layers of PDF can include annotations, written text, and data in the form of elements and images. The PDF flattening tool merges these layers and flattens them into one.

The values and data you present cannot be changed in a flat PDF. Flattened PDFs have great use in business and other office presentations. Flat PDFs ease the work, and the PDF is more efficiently presentable. 

Reasons to Flatten a PDF File

  • A flattened PDF file is more secure than the usual PDF file you create because making changes in a flat PDF is not easy. It secures your PDF so that it is not easily editable.
  • It's easier to send a PDF file that is flat as it takes less storage than a normal PDF file. The receiver can readily open the file as it is smaller in size.
  • If you want to keep your annotations and elements safe from any changes while printing, it's better to flatten the PDF so that the PDF file is not affected when taking a print.
  • If you have added your banking detail in a PDF file, then it's better to flat your PDF to add a layer of protection; otherwise, anyone could use your details with their names.
  • PDF files that are used a lot start to crash or show signs of corruption. Flattening the PDF file is one way of keeping your PDF files intact and working.

Method 1: How Do I Flatten a PDF?

UPDF for Windows and Mac is an all-in-one solution for your PDF editing needs. This PDF editing app can efficiently edit PDF files, and you can add different elements, text, additional notes, and many other things to your PDF file. The text of the PDF file is easily editable in UPDF, and you can remove or add text anywhere you want. The text can also be styled in different font styles, colors, and sizes, and you can also bold, italicize, and underline the text of the PDF.

UPDF has many format options in which you can convert your PDF. This app also allows the editing of images and can manage PDF file pages with great efficiency. One of the most amazing features of UPDF is its flattening feature because it allows the flattening of PDF files from multiple layers to a single layer. If you want to flatten PDFs free of cost, then UPDF is the app for you. Let's take a quick look at how you can flatten PDF with UPDF:

Step 1: Upload PDF to UPDF

You have to open the UPDF app and click on the "Open File" button to add your PDF file to the app.

Step 2: Edit Your PDF (Optional)

To make your PDF editable, you have to click on ''Edit Text & Images" from the left toolbar of the UPDF. The PDF will become editable, and you can edit the file if you want to make any changes to it. You can also add comments and annotations to your PDF documents, and manage the pages of it. Learn more about how to edit a PDF with UPDF.

Step 3: Flatten the PDF File

Now click on the "Save as Other" icon on the right and select the "Save as Flatten…" option. Following this, you have to choose the location where you want to save your PDF file, and it will make your PDF flatten. 

pdf flatten layers

Following this, there are three options in the pop-up window, including "Flatten Annotations and Forms", "Flatten Watermarks", and "Flatten Cropped Pages." You can choose any of them and tap the "Save As" button to save the flattened file.

flatten pdf files

Video Tutorial on How to Flatten PDF

Method 2: How to Flatten a PDF Online

There are a few online tools to flatten PDF files. However, using online tools is not safe as you have to upload your file to their website. There are also many limitations for online tools, such as you can only process 1 file per day for free. Your PDF file can't exceed 5 MB. But if you still want to use online tools, let's see how you can flatten PDFs online.

Step 1: Flatten PDF Online

Open the website, click on "All Tools," and select "Flatten." Next, click on "Upload PDF Files" and add your PDF file to the website. Now choose the option of how you want to flatten the PDF and click on "Flatten PDF."

Step 2: Download the Flattened PDF

The system will inform you when your file is flattened, and you will see a download option. After that, click on "Download" to save your flattened PDF. 

Keep in mind that flattening a PDF file online is not the best option. The security issue is one of the main reasons one shouldn't opt for PDF flattening online. Moreover, internet availability is very a must-have for such tools. Although these seem to be free of cost, you have to subscribe to the paid version if you want to upload a large file or access more features. Why not use UPDF to help you flatten PDF files? It is more reliable and stable at a friendly price. It allows you to flatten the annotations, forms, and watermarks easily. Give it a try now:

FAQs on Flattening a PDF

1. How do you flatten an entire PDF?

If you want to flatten an entire PDF, then UPDF is the right app for you as it offers to flatten the entire PDF file.

2. Can I flatten a part of a PDF?

It's not possible to flatten just a portion of a PDF file. The whole document gets flattened when you choose it. However, if you want to flatten some pages of a PDF, you can extract pages from PDF as a separate PDF file and then flatten it.

3. What does it mean to flatten a PDF?

A normal PDF file has many layers of elements, annotations, texts, and the list goes on. These layers can be removed or separated from the PDF to become more secure and intact.

4. How do I flatten a PDF for free?

UPDF has proved to be very effective in flattening PDFs free of cost. Many people are using it every day for flattening PDF files because it gives effective results without any charges.

5. Can you flatten a PDF in Adobe Reader?

No. You can't flatten a PDF in Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader is a free version and you can only read and annotate PDFs with it. You have to use the premium version of Adobe Acrobat to flatten your PDF file.

Wrapping Up

Flattening PDF files has become an essential part of work. Many people flatten their research work before posting it so that it is not copied by anyone. Flattened PDF files are more secure and have more durability than normal PDF files.

Because of its many advantages, flattening is getting more and more popular every day. If you are also looking for an app to flatten PDF files efficiently, then you need to try UPDF. This app works like magic for PDF files.