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flattening

n. ~ 1. A conservation treatment to remove curls, creases, or cockles from a document to return it to its original, flat condition. - 2. Computing ยท The process of removing information about the structure or formatting of a file, especially transforming hierarchical data into a linear sequence of elements.

Notes: 

Flattening1 generally involves relaxing the document by introducing moisture through humidification. Documents may be flatted under weights or using a suction table. - Flattening2 implies that the data is stored in plain (seven bit) ASCII without embedded formatting codes.