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How do you create a "flat" PDF file in Acrobat X for Mac?

Dec 30, 2011 1:38 PM

Tags: #problem #mac_os_x #printing #acrobat_pro #flat

I'm using Adobe Acrobat X on a Mac.


I have made some edits to a PDF by adding text  and lines.  I want to save the file as a flat file so that no one can delete/edit my edits.  In Windows, you can just print the PDF to PDF.  When I try to do this on a Mac, it says "Saving a PDF file when printing is not supported. Instead, choose File > Save."


When I just choose File > Save, it just saves the PDF in the same format that allows those edits to be changed.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 30, 2011 2:22 PM   in reply to AmandaLW2012

    Go to Tool menu > Print Production look for Flatner  Preview, see if you can flatten from there.

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  • George Johnson
    11,662 posts
    Aug 11, 2002
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 30, 2011 6:11 PM   in reply to AmandaLW2012

    Check out this nifty JavaScript-based utility that allows you to flatten pages, converting annotations to regular page contents:


    You can also flatten annotations with PDF Optimizer and Preflight, or the following JavaScript executed in the interactive JavaScript console:


    // Flatten all pages in the document


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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2013 12:10 PM   in reply to George Johnson

    This is a great utility---thanks for sharing it!  The Javascripts folder can be hard to find--here's what worked for me:


    For Macbook Pro users using Acrobat Pro X with OS X version 10 or greater,  you’ll want to copy the unzipped “UVSAR_selectiveFlatten.js”  file into the JavaScripts folder located in this path:


    /Applications/Adobe Acrobat X Pro/Adobe Acrobat


    *** IMPORTANT:  To be able to see the Contents folder, you must Right-Click (Ctrl-Click if you don't have a right button) on the filename "Adobe Acrobat", then select Show Package Contents from the pop-down menu.  The Contents folder will appear in a new window and you can navigate to  Contents/Resources/JavaScripts, and put the “UVSAR_selectiveFlatten.js” into the JavaScripts folder.


    Once you've done that, restart Acrobat Pro and you'll find the "Flatten" option in your Edit menu.  VERY handy!  Tip:  might want to save your original PDF file as a different version just to be safe---once you flatten the PDF, it can't be undone, so either just print and don't save, or save as different version if need be.

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