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I read a good book on DTP.

The author stated, that one should flatten layers on PDF export from them DTP program. Unfortunately the author doesn't explain this further.

I would like to ask, why flatten layers on PDF export? What is the problem?

  • Flatten which layers? The layers of the DTP program? Sounds crazy. What year is that book from? – Wolff Apr 13 at 9:16
  • No, flatten PDF layers on export. The layers in the DTP program stay untouched. But on export to PDF one can choose to flatten layers. So the PDF is flat. – Aardo Apr 13 at 9:24
  • Name the book please. – Lucian Apr 13 at 9:26
  • It's a Polish book written by a Polish print veteran. It's not translated into English. The author named one reason for layers flattening - smaller file size. But I was wondering if there are other more profound reasons. – Aardo Apr 13 at 9:31
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    In some cases, it does make sense to flatten PSD and TIF files to reduce file size, so.. are you sure he's referring to PDF files ? With PDF, there are other ways to reduce file size instead of flattening. If he's a veteran, the book could be old and DTP was different 10-15-20 years ago when internet was slow, unreliable and file size was indeed a problem. Better read recent books on technical subjects, or at least apply what you're reading to today's world. – Lucian Apr 13 at 9:38
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Not sure how good that book is really, and why we're being flooded with 'smart quotes' from this 'good book'.

You don't need to flatten anything in any PDF, ever. There is zero purpose for that.

Readers and printers work with layered PDFs.

Flat artwork is more common and sometimes more practical with raster (pixel-based) formats like TIF, JPG, PSD, PNG, etc. But for PDF, you can safely forget about this. It is useless, time consuming and probably bad advice.

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    Furthermore a layered PDF is easier to make last minute edits in. – Wolff Apr 13 at 9:26

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