cutting down pdf size?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by benmadrid, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. benmadrid macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Madrid
    #1
    Hi,

    i use word to produce pdf worksheets for a language website I run. Until now I used a PC, with an open source app call PDF creator, that let me produce pdf's from office apps. This turned 8 page word docs into a 50k pdf. Now using the pdf function in Word on the Mac, which is fantastic, I am getting 150k pdfs from the same original doc. Obviously the compression is different. The problem is that since these are later sold and delivered on line, my bandwidth is going to suffer with the increased file sizes. Does anyone know if I can change the compression algorithm used by the pdf function built into osX, or of another app I can use to make the pdf conversion and get the file size down?

    Thanks.
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Not so obviously, at all. PDF is a pure ASCII proper subset of PostScript. For the most part, compression is only an issue if your PDF files include embedded raster images. Without seeing your worksheets in the flesh, I surmise that they are primarily text. If this is the case, then the greatest determinant of file size is whether or not your PDFs include embedded fonts. If you use only the Microsoft default font set, then disable font-embedding. This will minimize your file size.

    If you are creating interactive forms-based worksheets, then your ability to reduce your file size is severely limited. Each such document includes embedded scripts which respond to user input. There is a script for each interactive element of your worksheet. The number of such elements grows rapidly as you develop a worksheet. With them, the number of scripts also grows rapidly resulting in exploding filesizes.

    Quite frankly, I am at a loss why you have chosen PDF for your task. This format is great for such things as brochures and user manuals. As a web-based data acquisition medium, it seems ill-suited.
     
  3. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #3
    Try PDFshrink. You can manipulate many settings used for getting a PDF down to a determined size. It's worked wonders for me
     
  4. benmadrid thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Madrid
    #4
    Thanks guys, I will try pdf shrink, and I will try turning off font embedding - how do I do that?
     
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #5
    If you're using the print-to-PDF feature built into OSX, then you can't and personally I would not even if I could (font embedding being one of the most valuable features of PDF).

    Second, you don't need a $35 application to reduce PDF file sizes. This can be done for free in the Colorsync Utility by creating a filter which can be used when you print to a PDF.
     
  6. benmadrid thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Madrid
    #6
    OK, I tried pdf shrink and it didn't work, once the pdf's were shrunk the quality of the images suffered too much - I tried a lot of options.

    So the colorsync filter sounds like a good idea but I have no idea how to set it up and then use it when printing the pdf from Word. Any help on that would be really appreciated.
     
  7. beefy23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    #7
    Have a look at this hint and see if it makes any difference
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #8
    Open the ColorSync Utility. Click on "Filters" in the menu bar. Then click on the little plus sign on the lower left-hand corner of the window. This will create a new filter called "untitled" (which you will want to rename to something meaningful). Now click and hold on the down-arrow widget at the end of that row. A menu will pop up. From this menu, select "Add Image Effects Component" and "Image Compression." You can now set the mode to JPEG and the quality level. Lower quality is more image compression. If you like, you can also add image sampling to this filter. When you're done, close the ColorSync Utility.

    Now, when you go to print your document, select ColorSync from the pop-up menu of the print dialog box, and the filter you just created from the Quartz Filter menu, which will appear. Save to PDF.

    You'll probably want to try a number of different compression and sampling settings for your filter until you get the desired results, or create a number of filters with a variety of compression and sampling settings.

    Good luck, and let me know how it works. ;)
     
  9. benmadrid thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Madrid
    #9
    Many thanks, I shall try that in the next couple of days.
     
  10. benmadrid thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Madrid
    #10
    Just tried now... no real reduction but many thanks for your time. I may try using Acrobat, or may live with the slightly higher size.

    thanks again.
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #11
    I suggest you try a variety of different settings before you give up on this method. I've been able to reduce my file sizes substantially. Of course this assumes that your documents include images. This is where compression makes a big difference.
     
  12. MacVault macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2002
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #12
    JBIG2 & PDF Compressor

    Yea, I wish Mac OS X had more advanced PDF tools built in. Look into JBIG2 and PDF Compressor. It's Windows-only, but it workd in Parallels/VMware. It is GREAT at OCR and compressing with JBIG2. Free 30 day trial.
     

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