How to Flatten PDF Documents

Here are three methods for flattening PDF documents.

1. Install the free PDF Flattening script from This works great (thank you).

2. Here's an article posted on Jonathan Bowman's Blog on September 13, 2007 06:05 PM that explains how to flatten PDF documents:

Flatten Comments in a PDF

I recently attended the Acrobat Users Group meeting in Dallas.  This month our guest speaker was Lori DeFurio who is the Customer and Field Enablement Evangelist for Adobe primarily focused on Acrobat.  Lori has probably forgotten more about Acrobat than I will ever know.  It was a great presentation and she showed a bunch of tips and tricks to be used with Acrobat.  One of the tips was how to flatten all comments, forms, and digital signatures on a pdf so they could no longer be edited, moved, deleted and so forth.  In this blog entry I will show you how.

In the AEC/EPC industry we go through very strict review and commenting processes that lead up to versions or revisions of a document.  Where this feature is useful is at the end of a review you can simply flatten all the comments, form fields, or digital signatures in the pdf.  This way they can longer be edited, moved or deleted.  Very important – there is no “undo” that I have found after you save the file.  In most cases I would keep the original so that you have the history of what took place.  Also when you use this feature, it is going to minimize all pop-ups.  You have been warned; and in other words test before you use.

How do you do it?  Let’s say that I have completed the review on the document below:


There is not a menu command that you can execute to flatten all the comments.  So the trick is you have to use a Javascript!  Okay, before I lose you since I mentioned a “javascript”, just note that I am a novice when it comes to programming.  In fact, I have not done any programming since my Fortran days in college.  I am going to give you the code you just have to cut and past it into the Java Script debugger.

Step 1:  Hit Ctrl-J on your keyboard.  This brings up the JavaScript debugger as seen below.


Delete all the text that is listed in the Console Screen.  Then simply type the following command in the blank window.



 I must warn you again before you execute this script.  If you "save" the file after you execute the script there is no “undo” and the pop-ups will be collapsed!

To execute this JavaScript all you have to do is hit Ctrl-Enter on your keyboard.  The cursor must be on the same line or you can highlight the text.

You will now notice that you cannot edit, move, delete or change any of the comments, form fields or digital signatures that where originally placed on the document.

There is a second option, and that is to download a free plug-in from our friends at Wind Jack Solutions.  Then you just simply drag the javascript file provided into the JavaScript folder under the Acrobat install on your computer.  On my computer it is c://programfiles/adobe/acrobat 8/acrobat/javascript.  After you drag and drop the code into the folder and launch Acrobat the button will look like this. (Flatten Pages icon below)


Thom Parker who is the president of Wind Jack, also has a blog on and manages the JavaScript Corner as well.  If you want more JavaScript tips and trick check out the links above.  Also, for even more development resources, be sure and check out Joel Geraci’s developer blog.  It has a lot of great content as well.

Have Fun,


Click here for the JavaScript file from WindJack Solutions referenced above.

3. This is what I did before I found the scripts above, it worked for me in the past. Flatten PDFs using Microsoft Office Document Imaging (MODI) - a component of Microsoft Office 2003:

In Adobe Acrobat: File, Print - select the printer "Microsoft Office Document Image Writer" - set Page Scaling to "None". (If the MODI Writer printer is not available, look here.) By default, this will create a file with the same root name as the PDF, but with an mdi extension.

The document should now open in MODI. In MODI, File, Print - select the printer "Adobe PDF" - set Print Options to "Actual Size" and click on Properties. In the Adobe PDF Properties tab, for Default Settings, select "Smallest File Size"; uncheck "Do not send fonts to Adobe PDF". In the Paper/Quality tab, select "Black & White". Click OK, then Click OK. Change the filename before you save to avoid overwriting the original PDF. (If you see strange characters, you forgot to uncheck the box "Do not send fonts to Adobe PDF".) The resulting file is flattened (and for some reason, smaller than using the WindJack Solutions JavaScript method).

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Brother Drum Reset MFC8680DN
Open front cover where toner is
Press Clear/Back on front panel
say yes

Brother Toner Reset MFC8680DN
Open front cover where toner is
Press Clear/Back on front panel
enter *00 (see 'Accepted' on screen)


Brother Toner Reset Sequence
HL-5370DW Model

1.With Printer off open the front door
2.Hold the Go button as you turn the printer on.
3.All lights will turn on. Keep holding until status goes off.
4.Press the GO button 2 times.
5.The Paper, Drum & Toner light will come on
6.Press GO 7 times
7.Status light will turn red
8.Close the front.

Brother Factory Reset Sequence
HL-5370DW Model

1.Turn Printer off
2.Hold Go button as you turn the printer on.
3.All lights will turn on. Keep holding until status light goes off.
4.Press GO button 10 times
5.Printer will reset.