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To remove structural information, especially to filter something with an implicit tree structure into a simple sequence of leaves; also tends to imply mapping to flat ASCII. "This code flattens an expression with parentheses into an equivalent canonical form."
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)
flatten layersTo bring all levels of a multi-layered image down to one plane. High-end graphics programs provide a multi-layer file format, such as the Photoshop Document (PSD), which enables elements in each layer to be manipulated independently. In order to save the layered image in a single-layer graphics format such as TIFF or JPEG, the image is said to be "flattened."
An Adobe PDF file is also flattened to remove a transparency layer when the document is rendered in a printer or in an application that does not support the additional layer. See layers and PSD.
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