scanned PDF files too large

Sgetraer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 4, 2012
3
1
I have an Epson all in one (bx610FW). I have tired to scan from two different macs (wired, before I try wireless). The size of the files is much too large. 4 pages B&W text take up 2.2 mb. I can't sem to find any settings to change so that the file size is more reasonable. In comparison I tried on an HP and the file size was about 400KB.

Any ideas, I am running out of patience...:confused:
 
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logana

macrumors 65816
Feb 4, 2006
1,386
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Scotland
Can you not scan as .jpg files - do you need them as pdf's ?

Jpg files are compressed and can be 25% of the size of .pdf's....
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
974
New England
Jpg files are compressed and can be 25% of the size of .pdf's....
Unlikely since scanned PDFs often use JPEG compression internally. (EDIT: There are other compressors supported by the PDF standard so it is possible that the two scanners are using different routines).

OP: Are they using the same resolution? (e.g. 300 dpi to 600 dpi would make this kind of difference).

B
 

Sgetraer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 4, 2012
3
1
Unlikely since scanned PDFs often use JPEG compression internally. (EDIT: There are other compressors supported by the PDF standard so it is possible that the two scanners are using different routines).

OP: Are they using the same resolution? (e.g. 300 dpi to 600 dpi would make this kind of difference).

B
They are the same resolution (100 or less)... I was really surprised at the difference. The size of the file makes it unusable for email

----------

Can you not scan as .jpg files - do you need them as pdf's ?

Jpg files are compressed and can be 25% of the size of .pdf's....

I need them as PDF's because they are emailed for work purposes. But even if not, it would not explain the difference between the HP and the Epson... thought it might be some configuration issue but can't find how to change it or what it might be
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
974
New England
Can you scan something small with the Epson (and HP if possible) and post it as an attachment?

Something about the size of a business card perhaps?

B
 

vermonter16

macrumors regular
Nov 19, 2008
185
1
What should I be scanning documents in at? The default on my Brother is 400dpi. Is that too much or necessary? Also - when I go to burn to a CD - does it make sense to separate documents into different files so that it isn't one giant 666mb file? I actually burned a 666mb file and after 5 minutes of trying to bring it back up from the CD I said forget it....and started breaking down the PDF file in 'Preview'. Would it be easier to do all of this on Windows? I'm a newbie when it comes to scanning documents, etc. and it all just seemed to be taking too long of a time. I have about 6 boxes full of papers that need scanning....at this rate, it will take me a year, lol! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Hope I'm not hijacking this thread....kind of think it's along the same lines. Thanks.
 

SmurfBoxMasta

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2005
1,351
0
I'm only really here at night.
Are the people you are sending these pdf's to just reading them on their computers, or do they usually need to print them ?

If they are ONLY reading them on screen, then by all means scanning them @200dpi will be more than sufficient.

But if they are to be printed, for text-only documents, scanning them @300dpi will be fine. If the document contains a mix of text, and photos, charts, or other visual elements, then 400-600dpi will produce much better results, albeit with larger file sizes, as you have seen already.

If your files contain pictures and/or visual elements ONLY, then & only then would scanning them at higher resolutions (600+) be necessary/appropriate to retain most of the quality of the original......
 

vermonter16

macrumors regular
Nov 19, 2008
185
1
Thanks for replying. The scans are of text and hand written documents, etc. Should I be saving them in some other than a JPG file?
 

r0k

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,612
73
Detroit
I have a network scanner that saves files to my Mac via ftp. I have used it to scan documents and email them. 2.2 MB is no problem for email so I don't know why the OP considers it a problem. I can see where 20 MB would be a problem, but 2 MB is fine.

I also use the scanner to save important papers and receipts in B&W and photos in color. I have created separate presets in the scanner for B&W and for color. I don't remember exactly but I probably used 200 dpi for B&W and 300 dpi for color (because it is a lot slower).

If you scan them as jpg, you can open them in preview and reduce the resolution to get smaller files. To resize an image, pick Tools->Adjust Size. Try going 50 percent and see if you can still read the text. Reducing a file by 50 percent results in 1/4 the number of pixels and can improve file size dramatically.

By googling, I also found an article on resizing images on a Mac.
 

vermonter16

macrumors regular
Nov 19, 2008
185
1
Wow, that really helps out. Thanks! I can't wait to get home and start working on this project! I'm on a mission to get these file boxes out of my house once and for all :)!
 

SmurfBoxMasta

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2005
1,351
0
I'm only really here at night.
Thanks for replying. The scans are of text and hand written documents, etc. Should I be saving them in some other than a JPG file?
You can save them in a number of file types, but remember that jpg files are technically a compressed image file, so whoever you send them too would need to have some type of image viewer installed to view them (normally not a problem nowadays).

Other file types like pdf, tiff, rtf etc can also be used with different results & will open in other programs by default...... try some to see which works best for you :)
 

Hackfix21

macrumors member
Jun 1, 2011
69
0
Hi,

I'd like to follow up on this thread please. It seems to me that there's something wrong with how scanning under Mac works, ie the scan tool under System Preferences.

I have an HP printer/scanner with my Mac. In all cases I'm referring to scanning using fairly minimum settings (ie millions rather than billions of colours, 100dpi)

- If I scan at work using a PC, one page as pdf is about 100kB tops, typically much less;
- If I scan using my HP and Mac, one page as pdf is about 400kB, way bigger in any case
- This is where it gets interesting: if I scan the same page as jpg on my Mac, it ends up being about 100kB (which was suggested further up in this thread)
- but if I then open this jpg in Preview, and save it as a pdf, it stays at 100kB!

So:
- why is PC able to produce smaller size pdfs when scanning under similar quality settings than the Mac scan tool?
- AND: given that it's perfectly possible to end up with a similarly small-sized pdf under Mac by scanning it as a jpg first, surely this shows that something is wrong with how the Mac scans pdfs?

In other words: it's a big bother that in order to get reasonable size pdfs I first have to scan as jpg and then convert - does anyone know how to get the Mac scan tool to do it properly in the first place?

Thanks
 

dloreski

macrumors member
Feb 5, 2009
89
2
I just got a new color laser HP all in one machine. CM1415fnw.
I tried scanning a sheet of text in 300 mode pdf on 3 different settings.....

B&W = 1.2MB
Color = 920K
Text = 220K

I'm not sure exactly what the text mode is but it worked great for me.
I'm new to scanning with the Mac, but I get to it through System Preferences > Printing & Scanning and that opens my HP software.
 

Hackfix21

macrumors member
Jun 1, 2011
69
0
That's a really good tip, I had never noticed the "text" mode, but that does cut down on file size very significantly. Thanks.
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
Hi,

I'd like to follow up on this thread please. It seems to me that there's something wrong with how scanning under Mac works, ie the scan tool under System Preferences.

I have an HP printer/scanner with my Mac. In all cases I'm referring to scanning using fairly minimum settings (ie millions rather than billions of colours, 100dpi)

- If I scan at work using a PC, one page as pdf is about 100kB tops, typically much less;
- If I scan using my HP and Mac, one page as pdf is about 400kB, way bigger in any case
- This is where it gets interesting: if I scan the same page as jpg on my Mac, it ends up being about 100kB (which was suggested further up in this thread)
- but if I then open this jpg in Preview, and save it as a pdf, it stays at 100kB!

So:
- why is PC able to produce smaller size pdfs when scanning under similar quality settings than the Mac scan tool?
- AND: given that it's perfectly possible to end up with a similarly small-sized pdf under Mac by scanning it as a jpg first, surely this shows that something is wrong with how the Mac scans pdfs?

In other words: it's a big bother that in order to get reasonable size pdfs I first have to scan as jpg and then convert - does anyone know how to get the Mac scan tool to do it properly in the first place?

Thanks
Here is an experiment for you to try. Look at the two documents again, the one small PC version and then the bigger Mac version. This time zoom in and expand them to the max. Do they still look the same? My hypothesis is that the Mac version will still look crisp and sharp, but that the PC version will start to look jaggy. (I don't have a Windows system to test this myself.)

If my memory serves.... a 'true' PDF saves the document in a complex format (again, iirc - partly rasterized?) that allows you to blow a small document up to quite a large piece of paper and maintain the quality. What the PC PDF may be doing is converting the document to a bit map first (like TIF or JPG) and then creating the PDF from that. Which means you get a smaller file, but you can't expand it and keep the quality.

This is just a hypothesis, and I welcome being corrected by others who are more knowledgeable. But, if I'm right then the PC "feature" of creating smaller files would be a "bug" if you were needing full quality files instead.

Again... iirc, there is a "Quartz Filter" you can use to make smaller PDFs. I think what you need to do is to "Print", then look at the PDF options on the Print Dialogue panel. I think it's in there. You may also look for a PDF plugin/service that will attach itself to this PDF drop-down list. I've added a "make PDF booklet" service here. I would guess somebody has created a service to create small PDFs that would fit your needs.

Good Luck.
 

Hackfix21

macrumors member
Jun 1, 2011
69
0
Thanks, that makes sense, but more often than not when I make a pdf it's for emailing it, in which case reasonable file size is usually a bigger priority than perfect quality.

I found a "quartz filter -> reduce file size" option when you open a pdf with Preview and do "save as". Not very useful however, I tried it on a 1.8MB pdf which it turned into 90kB - not really legible anymore. The same option with a sliding scale would have been useful.

Anyway, for the moment the "scan as text" option seems to do the trick for me.
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
Thanks, that makes sense, but more often than not when I make a pdf it's for emailing it, in which case reasonable file size is usually a bigger priority than perfect quality.
Not arguing with you... just trying to explain perhaps for the next reader. The whole point of PDFs (at least initially) was to preserve the quality. It was created by Adobe so that people could send documents, across different platforms and different printing sub-systems, and the receiving party would be able to print the identical content and identical quality. So in that sense, the Apple PDF solution is working exactly as it is supposed to. It just doesn't work the way you need it to. Fair enough. You can set up an automator workflow that will convert your PDFs to, say, a TIF, reduce the file size to something manageable, then save it back to a PDF. Once it's automated you can then save the Automator Workflow as a Service. Then with it will be available from the contextual menu. It will take some time to create this the 1st time and debug it.... but once you have you will a) start to harness some of the power of the OS, and b) be able to reduce a PDF in seconds flat, easily.
I found a "quartz filter -> reduce file size" option when you open a pdf with Preview and do "save as". Not very useful however, I tried it on a 1.8MB pdf which it turned into 90kB - not really legible anymore. The same option with a sliding scale would have been useful.

Anyway, for the moment the "scan as text" option seems to do the trick for me.
 

morosina

macrumors newbie
Aug 30, 2012
1
0
Same problem: scanning in Lion creating oversized PDFs

I have an Epson all in one (bx610FW). I have tired to scan from two different macs (wired, before I try wireless). The size of the files is much too large. 4 pages B&W text take up 2.2 mb. I can't sem to find any settings to change so that the file size is more reasonable. In comparison I tried on an HP and the file size was about 400KB.

Any ideas, I am running out of patience...:confused:
I am having the same problem. I have tried scanning various book pages and/or chapters using two different scanners (Canon MG 6120 and Epson Perfection 3170) on two different Macs (MacBook Pro 15 in late 2008 and iMac 2001, both running Lion) and the resulting PDFs are huge, e.g. 33 MB for two pages, 400 MB for 45 pages. Granted, there are color images within these pages, but equivalent scans on a scanner at the nearby University Library using a PC with Adobe Acrobat Pro 8 yields PDFs that are fractions (90 percent) of those that I am creating. I would consider buying Adobe X Pro if I knew I could scan into Acrobat rather than into Image Capture, but I suspect there are compatibility issues, and Adobe tells me that for Lion I would have to scan using OCR, which is certain to increase the file size (and is unnecessary). I need to be able to scan and post art history texts in color at 300 dpi on an internal blackboard for a course I am teaching. This is commonly done in art history departments (under the Fair Use section of US copyright law). Any ideas? Thus far, Apple Support has been unable to help me at all. They suggested opening large PDFs in Preview and reducing file size through Quartz filter, but the resulting files were illegible. The reduction was too drastic.
 
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benmeg98

macrumors newbie
Feb 28, 2014
1
0
iMac scan to pdf large files black and white

I had the same problem with my first iMac purchase recently, took a week for me to figure out. I have to scan about 30 to 40 b&w work orders and email pdf back to my customer. Nobody, even apple support will tell you the right way to do it. In fact the main thing I dislike about apple is the crappy support. You have to figure everything out on your own.
Here it is: Simply go into your scanner settings and switch to the Text setting instead of black and white or color. Lower the dpi setting to 200. Thats it! Now I can send pdf file to my customer almost as good as my old windows vista computer.
People on these sites will tell you to use windows capture and all this other stuff. Don't listen to any of that. I was amazed at the quality of scan I get after having to lower the dpi but switching to text from black and white. I use an old HP Officejet scanner. I was going crazy getting hardly any sleep for the last week trying to figure this out.