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How to Flatten PDF Documents

NOTICE: When using a PDF fillable form, the user must lock or "flatten" the PDF document after completing the form fields to ensure the document can be viewed on all devices and to prevent other users from manipulating or editing the information. The document filed and stored in CM/ECF cannot be altered once it has been filed; however, flattening the form will prevent any user from saving the document and editing the form fields. Follow the steps below to "flatten" a completed PDF fillable form:

  1. Open fillable form.
  2. Add appropriate data.
  3. Select File.
  4. Select Print.
  5. Select the PDF printer. (The Adobe PDF printer is installed automatically with Adobe Acrobat Numerous free PDF printer drivers are available for download from the Internet)
  6. Select OK
  7. Specify location to save the printed, "flattened" version of the form.
  8. Select Save.
  9. File the "flattened" form in CM/ECF.