The PDF provided by the White House is not a simple image, but is comprised of multiple layers. The the background appears in one layer (plus some of the handwriting), Dr. Onaka’s stamp is another layer, and most of the text of the form and the balance of the handwriting is in a third layer. Others have reported more layers, and the layers I exported don’t cover all the information on the form — so there must be other layers that don’t export using the following procedure. What I did was simply open the PDF from the White House in Adobe Acrobat Standard 9.0 and export the images. I got these three images:
Does this mean that the image was faked? No!
I took a document (actually a printed copy of the long form) and used Adobe Acrobat Standard 9.0 to scan it into a new PDF document. Then I used the “Optimize Scanned PDF” feature. The result was layers a lot like what we see in the Obama long form.
The Obama long form was made with “Max OS X 10.6.7 Quartz PDFContext.”
Birthers have said things about “left on the clipboard” and identified specific areas they claim were altered. I don’t have the background to comment on those claims, and I don’t have a copy of Adobe Illustrator ($579 on Amazon.com) to try to replicate their steps. In any case, the layers we see appear to be standard PDF artifacts and not proof that the document has been tampered with at all.
Huge thanks to commenter James Moorer and others for the tips that helped me get the facts on this story.