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How to Flatten PDFs

Flatten, merge, and combine layers in a PDF.

PDFs are digital files that contain various sorts of data. Often they include images and text, along with interactive forms. Sometimes it is useful to flatten all these elements into a single image layer. This makes the PDF more difficult to edit and prevents form data from being easily changed.

To flatten PDFs simply go to SuperTool’s PDF Flatten tool, upload your pdf, preview the results, and download. The magic that happens in the background includes rendering all fonts and visual elements as a raster image. This means that vector lines and drawings are turned into pixels. The same goes for interactive features like forms. If you had typed in your name, then the letters in your name would turn from editable characters to pixels. Only rather sophisticated graphic editing software can change the pixels.

Reasons Not to Flatten a PDF

Without flattening, a PDF can be easily searched and interactive features can be copied and extracted. Moreover, a flattened PDF is more difficult to edit than an un-flattened PDF.

This process is somewhat different than the Adobe Acrobat layer flattener. In the paid Adobe tool, for example, layers can be preserved as vector images (and therefore remain more readily editable).

To secure a PDF even more, using digital signatures and passwords may be required.

So, start flattening a pdf to make it uneditable using this online tool.