How to Lock Fillable PDF Files? Free Methods

Flatten Fillable PDF Files

The user should flatten or lock Fillable PDF Files once the form fields have been filled out to ensure the document can be accessed on all devices and to prevent unauthorized users from making changes to the data.

What exactly does it mean to Flatten Fillable PDF Files? If you’ve ever questioned what happens to a PDF file when you choose to export it using the “Flattened PDF” option, you’re not the only one.

In point of fact, if you search Google with the question “What is flattening a PDF?” you would get over 20 million hits. Flattening a document is explained here.

What are Flatten Fillable PDF Files?

When you flatten a PDF, you are combining parts of your document that were previously isolated into a single whole. When you flatten a PDF, you get the following benefits:

  • No longer able to be filled out by the user are interactive components of PDF forms like checkboxes, text boxes, radio buttons, and drop-down lists.
  • The annotations are regarded as “native text” to lock Fillable PDF Files.
  • One single layer is created out of multiple text layers, image layers, page number layers, and header style layers.

Reasons to lock Fillable PDF Files

If you frequently work with PDFs, you should be aware of when it is necessary to flatten your documents before you share them.

Here are some examples of their application:

  • As a security measure, fillable forms can be “flattened,” rendering them unusable for any further editing. Since the document’s nature is always the same, there’s no way for it to be compromised in an online fraud or phishing scheme.
  • Locking the contents of a document is vital for its creators to prevent printing errors and other issues that may arise during the printing process. In this method, the formatting of the text, including the font, colour, and style, will not change or be altered in any way. When printing, documents with multiple layers may not appear correctly, so it’s best to “flatten” them first.
  • Flattening a document simplifies it thereafter and reduces its size without sacrificing quality, both of which improve loading times. As a result, mobile devices, computers, and laptops can now open the rendered content more quickly. Display PDF readers is another benefit of this.

New users of Adobe Acrobat PRO are eligible for a free trial period that lasts for seven days; however, once the trial period is over, you will be forced to pay a charge to subscribe to Adobe Acrobat PRO in order to continue using its built-in capabilities.

Manual methods to lock Fillable PDF Files

Here I will show you two safest and free solutions with some limitations to Flatten Fillable PDF Files.

Method 1: Lock Fillable PDF Files

  1. Open PDF file in Browser.
  2. And then, click on the “Print” icon.
  3. Now, a window will appear and choose the destination “Save as PDF” format.
  4. Next, click on the “save” button and browse the location to save the file.

Method 2: Flatten Fillable PDF Files using adobe acrobat

  1. Save multiple copies of your PDFs in case any of them need to be revised.
  2. If you want to open a PDF in Adobe, select File > Open. Finally, to print from Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, press “Ctrl + P.”
  3. In the new box, under Page Sizing and Handling, choose Custom Scale and turn on Auto for orientation to lock Fillable PDF Files.
  4. By selecting Advanced, you’ll be able to choose between high and low resolutions. Edit the “Transparency Flattener Preset,” and tweak the “Raster/Vector balance,” among other things.
  5. When you’re ready to save the merged PDF, go to File > Save As > Printer. To use Adobe PDF, open the drop-down menu and click it. Get everything squared away by hitting the “Print” button. Once the PDF box opens, you can choose a location to save it and give it a new name before clicking “OK.”

Adobe acrobat is a very costly tool, which is not pocket friendly for all users.

The safest solution to Lock Fillable PDF Files

BitRecover PDF Manager Software is regarded as one of the most effective tools to lock Fillable PDF Files. The software contains a number of advanced capabilities that can flatten fillable PDF files. Such as the ability for users to lock several PDF files at the same time. In addition, the software’s user interface is straightforward and intuitive, making it suitable for both technical and non-technical users.

Additionally, the software is compatible with all versions of the Windows operating system, including Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and all earlier versions. Take a look at the many stages in which the instrument is put to use.

How to lock Fillable PDF Files using the tool?

  1. Start the BitRecover PDF Buddy Wizard on your computer and read the included instructions before getting started.
  2. Use the Select Files or Select Folders options in the software’s user interface (UI) to upload Adobe PDF documents.
  3. Select the necessary PDF files from the software window, then push the Next button.
  4. The next step is to navigate to the location where the file will be saved and select the “Flatten Fillable PDF Files” option from the list.
  5. To lock Fillable PDF Files, you must, as a final step, click the “Start” button.

What happens when locked Fillable PDF Files?

In order to prevent unauthorized changes to a sent document, it might be “flattened” into a more secure PDF.

Flattened PDF files make it impossible to make modifications to the original document, unlike ordinary PDF files or scanned documents.

Standard PDF documents provide form fields such as checkboxes, text boxes, radio buttons, and drop-down menus. And long boxes for altering values, but the fillable PDF expands on this by allowing users to interact with it across numerous devices.

This is what occurs when you “flatten” a PDF:

  • The document’s dynamic components (layers) are now locked and cannot be edited.
  • Transparency issues are fixed by converting annotations to their native texts.
  • The file size can be decreased by merging multiple layers, or additional items, such as words, photos, and header styles, into a single layer.

Time to say goodbye

lock Fillable PDF Files process, as you can plainly see. And you can accomplish it with the help of the excellent BitRecover PDF manager application.

Today, data collectors in professional and corporate settings make use of PDFs that have been flattened in order to perform surveys and evaluations.

You should be able to use the safest tool covered after going through the step-by-step instructions that have been provided above. To flatten or convert your documents from fillable documents to flattened files.

You could find that a flattened file is a useful everyday office tool for you. Because it helps you keep your papers safe and gets the job done when it comes to printing.

Also Read: Which Office 365 Backup tool is best for Restore Office 365 Mailboxes from backup?

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