The flattener is NOT a tool for converting text to outline; Acrobat has no such tool (and many would say that the whole idea of outlining text is out of date, though not people who operate die cutters).
When the flattener actually HAS to flatten transparency, converting text to outline is one of the techniques it MIGHT use.
I don't think there is an API to it anyway.
Have you tried to open a PDF with fonts that you 1. Don't have and 2. Cost a fortune to buy? I don't need to edit the text, I need to import the PDF into Illustrator to make a minor change or add bleed without it ruining the fonts through substitution. Outlining the fonts is the easiest and fastest way to do it reliably, and the only way to do that in Acrobat without another expensive extension is to use the VERY USEFUL text outlining function in the flattener preview.
Clearly you're only a designer who doesn't have to work with someone else's files. I'm a printer who has to work with someone else's files every second job I run.
Seriously, if you can't answer the question I asked why go on the attack to make you feel valid?
You should recall that Adobe sell fonts, when you consider the features of Acrobat. Also, Adobe have to keep the other font manufacturers happy, since they may otherwise remove their font licenses that allow use in a PDF. This was a very real possibility a few years ago.
I didn't see my response as an attack, sorry if it seems that way. Simply a statement of facts. Many, many people have indeed been saying for years that font outlining is obsolete.
And, indeed, the transparency flattener will only sometimes, if you happen to be lucky, outline fonts. I have to point this out in case anyone who happens to read this thread thinks they have found a panacea.
If you want flattener to outline fonts 100% of the time you add a transparent watermark before doing it, as I mentioned earlier. I set it to 100% transparent, and the flattener works 100% of time time. It only works when there's transparency to work with. Took me a while plus half a dozen Google searches to figure that out.
Automating that watermark is the easy part. I'm looking for a way to include automating the flattener step as well, then with a click of a button the fonts are outlined and I can make the adjustments I need to in Illustrator.
Unless Adobe wants to fix the import process in Illustrator to give me the option to outline the fonts upon import?
Again, don't take this as an attack, but why would Adobe provide an option which could reduce their sales of fonts. The font makers have the upper hand here.
I don't deny a problem exists, especially in Japan, where popular font sets are not licensed for embedding in PDF at all.
You can easily automate the Flatten tool using Preflight to define a new Profile, which fires the obviously-named 'Flatten transparency' fixup. The Profile can then be applied to a set of files using an Action or a Droplet.