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Is it possible to use PDF-XChange Viewer and PDF-XChange Editor to convert annotations and comments into base document content?

Question:

Is it possible to use PDF-XChange Viewer and PDF-XChange Editor to convert annotations and comments into base document content? I have added annotations and comments to documents and I want to make them permanent so that subsequent users cannot modify them.

Answer:

Yes - the Flatten Comments (or in some cases the Rasterize pages) feature is used for this purpose. Please note:

  • This is a licensed feature. If unlicensed versions of the software are used to perform this operation then watermarks will appear on output pages.
  • If there are protected annotations in documents, such as digital signatures, then this option is not permitted.
  • Flattening comments also removes clickable hyperlinks and flattens fillable form fields into selectable text.
  • This operation cannot be reversed. If you want the option of editing comments/annotations then save a copy of the document before flattening comments.

Editor

Flatten comments

  1. Click Comments in the Ribbon Toolbar.
  2. Click Flatten Comments. The Flatten Annotations dialog box will open.
  3. Select the desired settings (detailed here) and click OK to flatten comments.

Rasterize pages

Note that this method will convert page content (comments, images, text, etc) into a single rasterized image per page. You will not be able to select the text or any individual items for editing after doing this, and it is not a reversible process once the document has been saved. This has the same effect as printing the document, and then scanning it back into PDF as a plain image, but can retain some specific content, like bookmarks and links.

  1. On the Convert tab of the Ribbon Toolbar, click Rasterize pages:
     
  2. Configure the Rasterize Pages settings to your liking, and click OK.

Viewer

  1. Click Comments in the Menu Toolbar.
  2. Click Flatten Comments. The Flatten Annotations dialog box will open.
  3. Select the desired settings and click OK to flatten comments.
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