Flattening Adobe forms made in FormsCentral

I quite like FormsCentral. It’s a very easy way for me to keep track of the data I collect from the interactive PDF forms I’ve created. The problem arises if you want to send someone a flattened copy of the document without the submit button. Yes, you can go into FormsCentral and get it to create the document but this can (sometimes) cause fonts and font sizes to go … squiffy, shall we say.

So here’s an alternative using Adobe Acrobat XI. You can’t do this from Acrobat Reader. Sorry.

  1. Create an optimised copy of the document.
    File -> Save As Other…
    Choose Optimised PDF…
  2. A message pops up saying
    This document restricts some Acrobat features to allow for extended features in Adobe Reader. To create a copy of the document that is not restricted (and has no extended features in Adobe Reader), click Save a Copy”
  3. Click Save a Copy
    Save the file somewhere you can find it!
  4. Open the newly-created copy
  5. Repeat step 1
    This time, you won’t get the message and you’ll go to a menu.

    1. Make sure Fonts and Transparency are unchecked.
    2. For Discard Objects, make sure only Flatten form fields is checked
    3. For Discard User Data, make sure Discard hidden layer content and flatten visible layers is checked
  6. Save the file
    You can save over the current file.

Your created file will retain the fonts and font sizes, will not have a submit button and will be flattened.

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