How to flatten your documents

PDF documents are more complex than they look. When you convert a document that had transparent objects such as images into PDF files, the transparent images are processed in many small fragments in the PDF. For example, converting a word document that may have contained a transparent GIF to PDF. This is not limited to transparent graphics but could also be a result of hidden texts, signatures, and other invisible layers. This processing can increase the file size of the PDF, which can cause printing problems. This issue is essentially not caused by Casedo but rather the process that went into creating the PDF before importing it to your bundle.

In most cases, the solution to this would be to ‘flatten’ your document. This process removes transparent texts and objects and converts them to a format that the printer can interpret.

We recommend that you do not use applications such as Acrobat or Microsoft Edge, as they somewhat result in the same outcome as with Casedo. You can use the following applications:

  • Mac – open the PDF in Preview and select File > Export as PDF.
  • Windows – download and install Expert PDF Reader – it is free and not to be confused with Expert PDF (though this may have the same functionality, I haven’t tested it). Open the PDF in the application and select File > Optimise PDF

In both cases above you will produce a marginally bigger PDF than the original which is searchable and can be used in Casedo without issue. However, the Mac solution removes any embedded bookmarks, whilst the Windows solution keeps them.

N.B. ‘Flattening’ a document cannot be undone. You may want to make a copy of your document before consulting to this procedure.

We understand this is a cumbersome process, and we are working very hard to include a pdf optimise function within Casedo itself in upcoming releases!

If you need further help with this, don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] or call us on +44 203 637 9270

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Article relevant to Casedo v1.6 and above

Page updated March 04, 2021