PDF Form Flattening
The acronym PDF definition (as related to Adobe Acrobat) is Portable Document Format. A PDF is a file format that makes it possible to display text and graphics in the same fixed layout on any computer screen.
PDF files might have interactive fields the user can edit. These fields include checkboxes, text boxes, radio buttons and lists. Users are able to click on these fields and make edits. For example, open ACORD form 36 in your agency management system. The Agent/Broker of Record Change form includes text fields and radio buttons. If you save the form, you can go back and re-open it and edit the fields.
The data for these forms (checkboxes, text boxes, radio buttons, etc.) is stored in a separate area from the text on the page. PDF Form Flattening is the process of marrying the text and the data. You might compare it to the data on one plane and the text of the form on another. PDF Form Flattening combines the two on one plane. The PDF will look the same but the user cannot make changes to the form once it has been flattened.
There are several advantages to this:
PDF Form Flattening is an added benefit to your E&O risk management. Your file documentation is secure and creates a culture where your staff understands their attention to detail and forms accuracy can prevent (or cause) the agency from being sued.
The new HTML5 version of our agency management system AccuAgency, AccuAgency5, offers a considerable number of new features including PDF Form Flattening. Once a user has completed the form, the PDF fields can be flattened converting the contents of the fields from the original into a permanent, read-only part of the client‘s information.
Vikki Thomas has been working in the insurance industry since 1995. Vikki has worked for several carriers in customer service, quality assurance, underwriting, product management and marketing. Vikki has worked at AccuAgency since 2008.