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Flatten PDF Mac - A How-To, Testing Guide & FAQs (macOS 14 Compatible)

Flattening a PDF refers to the process of combining all the layers of a PDF into a single layer. These layers in a PDF indicate the edits made to original files, such as adding a reference image or links or highlighting an important factor. By flattening a PDF, all of the interactive layers of a PDF incorporate into one page.

Now you must be thinking about how to flatten PDF on Mac as most of the software and tools are only available for Windows. However, this article will explore certain methods and tools for flattening PDFs on macOS.

Part 1. How to Flatten a PDF on Mac with UPDF

UPDF for Mac is a comprehensive solution for your PDF files. From reading to editing, converting, and organizing, UPDF got you covered for the complete management of your PDF files, especially for the ease of professionals, SMBs, and enterprises. With its practical tools and accessible interface, users of all ages can conveniently operate the software. Before the steps, please download UPDF on your device first.

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Steps to Flatten PDF on Mac

UPDF eliminate the risk of errors while flattening PDF file on Mac. It provides accurate and quick results without corrupting or damaging a PDF file. Following is a simple three steps process to flatten PDF Mac:

Step 1: Open PDF File in UPDF

After launching UPDF on your Mac, tap on the "Open File" button displayed in the center of the interface to browse and upload a PDF file. After opening your PDF, you can make the required edits, such as annotations or alternations in text or images.

Step 2: Save PDF as Flatten

After opening your PDF, click on the "Save as Other" icon on the right, and then click on the option of "Save as Flatten."

flatten pdf on mac

Step 3. Choose Flatten Options

Now, in the pop-up window, you can choose "Flatten Annotations and Forms", "Flatten Watermarks", or "Flatten Cropped Pages." Finally, tap on the "Save As" button and select a location to save the flattened file.

flatton pdf on mac with updf
Key Features of UPDF - PDF Editor

Discussed below are some of the intuitive key features of UPDF software that distinguish it from other PDF management software available in the market.

  • 1. Add Bookmark in PDF - UPDF allows you to add bookmarks in your PDF so that you can later resume reading your book from where you left it, or you can start working on a project from the page where you added a bookmark.
  • 2. Secure PDF Files - UPDF grants extra security layers to your PDF files by password-protecting your PDF files so that your file doesn't end up in the hands of an unauthorized person. You can also add a "Permission Password" on your PDF file so that no one can tamper with your important data, as it restricts users from copying, editing, and printing a PDF file unless you enter the password required to edit the file.
  • 3. Edit Text and Images on PDF - With UPDF, you can also edit the text, ranging from the size of the text to the fonts and format of a file. Users can also edit images such as they can alter their size and position, as well as they can replace an image with the new one.
  • 4. Flatten a PDF File - You can accurately flatten your PDF files for secure sharing and viewable printing of a PDF file. Also, flattened fillable forms prevent users from further editing the data in forms and other important PDF files.
  • 5. AI-Enhanced - Its recently release AI features allow users to summarize, explain, and translate PDF documents easily. It beats many competitors as it generates the best results.

After introducing the whole instructions of using UPDF to flatten PDF on Mac, you may want to download this tool now. Simply click the button below and you can have it installed instantly.

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Video Tutorial on How to Flatten PDF on Mac with UPDF

Part 2. How to Flatten a PDF on Mac with Preview

Along with other distinctive software specially designed for Mac computers, it has a built-in app for editing PDF files called "Preview." It means that there is no need to install a third-party application to edit, annotate or flatten a PDF file on Mac.

Preview is an all-in-one solution for Mac users as it allows text editing, inserting sticky notes, highlighting important text, and adding bookmarks on important pages. Previews also allow users to password-protect their PDF files so that no one can alter the data. Furthermore, it allows its user to flatten PDF Preview to secure the elements on file by following the below instructions:

Step 1: Open PDF File in Preview

To upload a PDF on Preview, double-click the PDF file thumbnail on your Mac computer. From the Preview header, tap on "File" and select "Print" from the menu.

Next, choose the option of "Save as PDF" from the new window.

Step 2: Save the Mac Flatten PDF

Tap on the "Save" option, and your file will be saved as a flattened PDF file on the selected location of the Mac computer.

flatten pdf preview

Part 3. Comparing the Two PDF Flatten Tools for Mac: UPDF vs. Preview

Flatten all elements
Choose to flatten the annotations and forms only
Choose to flatten the watermarks only
Choose to flatten the cropped pages only
Add Annotations to PDF
Edit PDF on Mac
OCR PDF on Mac

After comparing UPDF and Preview, you will notice that UPDF has more customizable options for flattening PDF on Mac and it also has more advanced features for you to deal with all kinds of PDF problems.

On the other hand, Preview is a simple PDF viewer and you can rely on it for complicated tasks. As we do our research, we find that in the Apple community, some users gave feedback that the flatten feature in Preview can't work well recently.

So many users tend to switch to using UPDF instead. Its price is very reasonable and you can purchase one account to use across 4 systems: Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. One premium account is allowed to use on 4 devices, including 2 desktops and 2 mobiles. Upgrade to UPDF Pro now and enjoy all the benefits!

flatten pdf on mac with preview

Part 4. How can you know if a PDF is flattened or not?

Before differentiating between a flattened and non-flattened PDF, it is important to understand the term flattened PDF. Flattening a PDF file refers to merging all the interactive layers of a file into one single non-interactive document. It secures the data on the PDF file as it becomes non-editable and makes it sharable across the internet with a wider audience.

How to Differentiate Between Flattened and Non-Flattened PDFs?

To check whether the PDF file is flattened or not, use the highlighting tool of the PDF reader. The highlighting feature of the editor or PDF reader will not highlight the text on the PDF file if the PDF is flattened. You can also verify the flattening of a PDF by editing the text. If you are unable to edit the text, it means that the PDF has been flattened.

Part 5. FAQs on Flatten PDF on Mac

1. Can you flatten PDF in Preview?

Yes, you can flatten a PDF in Preview on Mac. As discussed in the article, open the Preview application and tap on "File," and from the menu, select "Print." Following this, tap on the "Save as PDF" option, and your selected file will be saved as a flattened PDF. However, Preview can only do simply flattened PDF, not like UPDF could flatten watermarks, annotations, and cropped pages any want you can imagine.

2. How do I flatten a PDF on Mac?

To flatten a PDF on Mac, you can adopt any of the methods mentioned above as you can go with "UPDF." UPDF is a simple and user-friendly tool to flatten PDF Mac files safely.

3. Why do I flatten a PDF on Mac?

Flattening a PDF makes it shareable and secure. After flattening a PDF, you can merge all the PDF layers as one, making it feasible and viewable for the receiver. Also, flattening makes the elements on the file non-interactive. It lessens the risk of tampering with the PDF's original content, making it a reliable format to share with a wider audience.

Final Thoughts:

This article explored the two methods to flatten a PDF on Mac. One of the methods is to flatten PDF using Preview, an in-built tool in Mac that features all the basic tools to read, flatten and annotate the PDF file. However, there are some limitations when it comes to flattening a file in Preview, as the users cannot flatten the notes or additional comments in the PDF file.

On the contrary, UPDF for Mac is a one-stop solution to managing your PDF file in a go. Flattening PDFs on Mac with the UPDF user-friendly and easy-to-use tool to save and send your flattened PDF without thought or worry. Download UPDF now and try out all the features for free!

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