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I have large techical drawing in PDF format with a lot of layers. But I only need three of these to be opened in Adobe Illustrator.

How do I delete layers from Layers panel in Acrobat Pro XI?

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4 Answers 4

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  • Show your Layers control (on a mac: View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes > Layers).
  • Turn off the layers you don't want, then hit the Options drop down list above the Layers list, and choose Flatten Layers.
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Alternatively, there's a few entries in PDF fixups (Production/Preflight) to Remove Layers; the best for your question is this:

View > Tools > Print Production (Open) Hit Preflight Under the Profiles tab (top left), hit the little spanner/wrench icon in the top row. Double click [Remove layer with specified name] You'll be prompted for the name of the layer you wish to delete, and then a location to save your new PDF.

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  • Welcome Matt! You can click the edit link under any answer to change, correct, or add to an answer. There's no need to post multiple answers. :) That's why there's a warning popup when you start to post more than one answer.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 13:36
  • Matt - Fondu worked perfectly. Just a slight difference in the latest version of Acrobat Pro. Preflight can be found under Edit now. Edit > Preflight > > ...then Profiles tab (top left), hit the little spanner/wrench icon in the top row. Double click [Remove layer with specified name] You'll be prompted for the name of the layer you wish to delete, and then a location to save your new PDF. Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 14:53
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There is a really simple trick.

Hide the layer you want to delete

Use the Merge / Flatten menu from the "Options" button.

Then select two layers, one with visibility and the hidden one (which you want to delete)

Select the visible as the result and violà!

You will only have the visible layer and since the other one has hidden the content will be destroyed.

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In Adobe Acrobat XI Pro:

Go to "File > Save as Other > Optimized PDF > Discard User Data.

Then, on the RHS, find the check mark next to words: "Discard hidden layer content and flatten visible layers".

For me, it was the last one

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  • It was a bit hard to find, maybe why it was down voted, but this was the answer I was looking for, and it worked for me Commented Jun 11, 2022 at 11:38

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