A Tiny Bit of Help for Mac Users Trying to Flatten a PDF File

This is just a tiny bit of help...because that is all I can offer you...... Last November I read the post by the 3AM Teacher, Michelle, on how to flatten and secure PDF files. I had heard the term "flatten" before, but just like I can't seem to flatten my stomach... I didn't understand HOW to do this. I am a Mac user and so some of Michelle's tips don't work for us....if you are a PC person - go to her site NOW - click her name above! For Mac users... also go to her site, because she has such great stuff....  plus she also found this great link that DID explain how to convert a Pages doc into a Jpeg.... which is great... but then I was like...now what?!

Let me back up a little bit - and explain the WHY of this whole thing! When you convert a document to PDF it does not secure the content in the file.... did you know that? When you are posting things on TpT or other sites you want to make sure your files are secure.... In fact, if you read the terms and conditions of some of the clip art you may be using you will notice that you are supposed to be doing this!

My favorite comment that Michelle wrote was about how some people on those Apple forums write things that make no sense... I was glad to read that a techy person like her found some entries to be frustrating.... because I often am searching for answers and read these forums that just confuse me more!  So I want to share my 2 cents, without being "one of those people" and causing more harm than good because I am NOT super talented in this area.

After you have created your fabulous files you should follow these steps:

Go to this link (found by 3AM Teacher, Michelle for us Mac people): How to Convert Mac Pages Into Jpegs!

Now you have a whole bunch of jpegs to work with.... time to convert these to a PDF.

Open the file where you saved them. Click Command A to select all the images:

Then open with Preview (which is probably your default):
Note: You won't have the option to open the jpegs IF you are still in iPhoto. You need to drag the pictures into another folder (as the directions at the wikihow link above explains)
I usually create a new folder for each unit I am working on and keep only the Jpegs in there (the original file in Pages and the PDFs we are about to make also have their own folder, but that is up to you.)

Once in Preview open the sidebar (small button on the top). Hit Command A again to select everything.
File and PRINT SELECTED IMAGES (not just Print)
That is the step I didn't know about. I was just hitting print and over and over and over (get the idea!) again my PDF would be only one page long even though I knew I had selected them all. I wanted to SCREAM!

The next road block was that my images sometimes would get turned landscape or portrait without me doing anything! Ahhh! (Maybe that problem shows you that I am not the most tech savvy person... but in case you are like me I am sharing)

From there I had PDF files that were flattened...YAY!!! One last tip: the PDFs may save in a different order than they were as Jpegs, but it is easy to drag them into any order you want when in Preview.

But Michelle at the 3AM teacher says that we haven't added security yet. From here you can follow her steps if you use Adobe..... check out Step 5! {Link Here}

Good luck! If you have any other tips please leave a comment! I'm sure I can learn from you!


  1. Hi,

    I am on a mac and I able to complete this us to where you have PRINT SELECTED IMAGES. I do not have that option. What am I to do if I don't have that option? Please email me and let me known: amomentinourworld@hotmail.com

  2. Hi Stacey, I am not really sure what you should do if you don't have that option! I don't know if you have an older version Mac or what! Make sure you are in Preview {not Adobe} and that you are doing Command A right before that so all images are highlighted. If I find a solution I will let you know. I just learned by googling what I didn't know. In this case I am just not sure I can help since I don't know how your system is different to mine. Good luck!