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What Is A Flatten PDF? Understanding Whats, Whens And Hows

PDF files are the most used format to keep documents safe and secure. You can quickly transfer and share your files in a PDF format without compromising the quality of your formatting. Moreover, the PDF format shows excellent compatibility with every operating system and device. Due to the numerous advantages of a PDF format, most professionals use this format.

In this article, we will address what is a flattened PDF in a detailed manner. Moreover, you can also learn how to flatten a PDF with the help of a powerful tool. First of all, please download this tool and try the flatten feature immediately.

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Part 1: What Does Flatten PDF Mean?

Have you ever thought about flattened PDF meaning? Once you have flattened the PDF, all the contents in your file will be merged into a single layer. By doing so, all the contents added to your PDF files, such as annotations, checkboxes, list boxes, and text fields, won't remain fillable. Moreover, the multiple existing layers in your PDF file, such as images, text, and other elements, become one layer.

Many people flatten their PDFs to enhance the security of their important files. Thus, flattening your confidential and official PDF documents can be a great idea to ensure their complete protection. To learn more about the importance of flattened PDF files, continue reading this article carefully.

Part 2: When Do I Need to Flatten a PDF?

Do you want to know the key advantages of flattened PDFs? Read this section to understand why you should flatten your PDFs to increase the security of your documents and important data.

1. To Enhance Security

If there is a business contract that consists of your electronic signature, watermark, or any other essential element, you would require to increase its security. It may be possible that once you have shared such an important file with anyone, they may extract your watermark or electronic signature from it to misuse your document. To prevent this from happening, you should flatten your PDF to merge all the layers into one.

By flattening your PDF, you can easily share your important business files or contracts without hesitation. Thus, no one would be able to extract any element, such as images, text, watermark, or electronic signature, from your flattened PDFs.

2. To Print Annotations

Do you want to print your annotations flawlessly? If you print an ordinary PDF file, you won't be able to print its annotations. Thus, it can waste your printing paper unnecessarily. However, once you have flattened your PDF, the annotation becomes native text. Therefore, flattening the PDF file is a great idea to easily print all the visual elements.

3. To Share Quickly and Easily

Do you know that flattening the PDF can reduce the file size? If you are sharing an important PDF file with your client or an employer, it may take excessive time to send and download a large PDF file. Thus, it can affect the overall productivity of your work. That's why flattening the PDF file can instantly reduce the file size of your PDFs.

4. Locks Fillable PDF Forms

It may be possible that you have a fillable PDF form that contains your banking details or such personal information. However, if this fillable form is received by the wrong hand, he may misuse it by editing the information. In the worst scenario, it may cause you a financial loss.

By flattening the PDF file, you can quickly lock your fillable PDF form without hassle. Hence, it can be a great initiative to protect the fillable PDF forms.

5. Increasing the Readability of Annotations

There are some PDF readers that do not show all sorts of annotations in a PDF file clearly. By flattening a PDF file, you can enhance the readability of annotations easily. By doing so, all kinds of PDF readers would be able to recognize and display PDF annotations clearly.

Part 3: How Can I Flatten a PDF?

UPDF editor is a popular PDF tool that allows you to perform multiple functions on PDFs flawlessly. You can edit the existing text in your PDF by selecting font, style, alignment, and size through this tool. Moreover, you can add images and annotations to your PDF file without facing any limitations. It also enables you to perform OCR on scanned PDFs to make them editable quickly. Most importantly, you can use UPDF to organize your PDF pages accordingly.

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Besides being an all-rounder PDF editor, UPDF can also be used as a compressing tool. Through this platform, you can proficiently decrease your file size without messing up its quality. Furthermore, you can use this tool to flatten your PDFs instantly. After knowing what does flatten PDF means, let's discuss how to flatten a PDF using this feature through UPDF. Here are the simple steps to flatten your PDF easily with this blazing-fast PDF editor:

  • Step 1: Import the PDF File. Open the tool UPDF and click on "Open File" from its main interface. Afterward, import your desired PDF file into this tool.
  • Step 2: Access the Flatten Option. Once you have opened your PDF file, navigate to the right column, and select the "Save as Other" option. Now click on "Save as Flatten" from the pop-up menu.  
  • Step 3: Choose Among the Flatten Options. Now you would be able to see three options: "Flatten Annotations and Figures," "Flatten Watermarks," and "Flatten Cropped Pages." Choose your desired option or options and tap on the "Save As" button.
  • Step 4: Save the Flattened PDF. From the window of the "Save As" option, select the location and name of your file. Once done, hit the "Save" button to flatten your PDF.

Video Tutorial on How to Flatten PDF

Also Read: Top 5 Efficient PDF Flatteners


Flattening PDF can immensely increase the security and privacy of your PDF files. By reading this article, you have discovered what is a flattened PDF in a detailed manner. Moreover, we have also mentioned a powerful tool called UPDF that can enable you to flatten PDF files without facing any inconvenience.

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