Shrinking PDFs

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by turbobass, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. turbobass macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    I have tried posting and finding workarounds for this in several ways but to no avail, I am really just posting this again because after all I cannot believe I am not just missing something really easy and dumb.

    The purpose is to email a long PDF file as an attachment, which for gmail means 25mb.

    PDF Shrink is the best option I've found gets a 272 page, 90mb file down to 28.1mb and no farther -- the quartz filter and or going to PostScript and back makes *larger* files!
     
  2. csucollegian macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #2
    For that purpose, if I have to send a huge file... I usually just drag the file to my Dropbox public folder and send the link to the recipient. CloudApp is another option or you can try a website like senduit.com that also lets you share huge files up to 100MB.
     
  3. turbobass thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    Thank you for taking the time to answer! I am sure that this information would be very helpful to some (and let me add, YouSendIt.com is a service we use currently) however I am not talking about sending a link to download the file.

    As I said originally:
    So when I say I really, really can't figure out how to shrink these PDFs it's not that I want a workaround it's that I want to figure out how to shrink these PDFs.

    I don't mean to be rude of course, I'm just being a bit blunt as I am incredulous that I and no one else has the answer to this.:confused:
     
  4. josh1231 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    #4
    I do have the answer for you, buy the full version of Acrobat. You can save optimized, and specify resolution, compression, etc.
     
  5. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #5
    You could always just break the PDF into multiple pieces and send as multiple files.
     
  6. atlanticza macrumors 6502a

    atlanticza

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Cape Town
    #6
    Absolutely. Acrobat does a great job (but it is pricey).
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #7

    That's a large document. There is a practical limit that you're going to reach where compression will not take you any further without either removing content eg. pages, copy or images... or compressing images to such an extent that they're heavily compromised in quality.

    Is it an image-heavy document? Do you have the source file that the original PDF was produced from?
     
  8. turbobass thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    @Zortrium
    Going to be a bit of a forum brat here and stamp my feet and say "No, no, no!" (jk). For our purposes this just doesn't work, but thanks for the suggestion! ;)

    @josh1231 & @atlanticza
    I am more than happy to accept this as it at least makes SENSE even though I feel like I am going to get fleeced on this too and have it not work (just because this issue has been so stupidly hard to solve). My only questions is -- have you, in practiced it to shrink a file around 90mb, 272 pages, to something smaller than 20-25mb and still had it readable?

    @Blue Velvet
    Yes it is a big annoying file! It's just a book -- meaning, a novel-sized amount of text prose (we sometimes send around comic books though too so being able to deal with images is important too). I realize that there are practical limits to compression however I'm not even really getting that far ... it's more like the various shrinking programs I am using are stripping out a certain amount of meta-data to shrink the file but not actually re-sampling the PDF itself (or else not doing it extensively). Unfortunately the publisher did not include the source file, merely the PDF.
     
  9. blodwyn, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011

    blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #9
    There's a built in quartz filter designed to do just what you want. Here's how:

    Open the PDF in the Preview app
    Choose File>Save As from the menu
    Pick a file name, and in the "Quartz Filter" drop-down, choose "Reduce File Size"
    Click Save, and you're done

    This will drastically reduce the image quality of any JPEG images in the file, but also makes the file size much smaller.

    You can actually make your own quartz filter - I used the tips on this page to make my own, which works great. The Reduce 75% filter he provides as a download works pretty well for most purposes.
     
  10. turbobass thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    @blodwyn
    In my experience the Quartz Filter feature is much, much poorer than the PDF Shrink app. in my experience -- PDF shrink made a 90mb file 28.1 MB and then the re-sampling by Preview and the Quartz Filter when re-saving actually made the file much bigger!
     
  11. dirt farmer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    #11
    I see PDFCompress was just updated on MacUpdate today. How does that compare?
     
  12. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #12
    Haven't tried PDF Shrink, but I agree the standard quartz filter is pretty Draconian. In my case rolling my own filter using the info in the link I posted has given me results that are reasonable for my purpose. I'll check out PDF Shrink if my needs change, so thanks for the hint.
     
  13. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #13

    Well, there's your problem. Copy can not be 'resampled' as it's already compressed within the PDF. If zipping the file produces little change, then there's no further to go.
     
  14. turbobass thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    ...

    IDK what you mean here, I've already shrunk it once to 31% of it's original size
     
  15. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #15

    Depends on whether the text was compressed in the first place, in the sense of embedding a subset of the used character set. You've reached a point where you can go no further.

    Because you're not talking about images, all this stuff upthread about Quartz is irrelevant. Perhaps some tweaking in Acrobat Pro might do the trick or even printing some postscript and redistilling it, but it's doubtful. If zipping the file doesn't result in further compression, then you've reached the end of the line without tossing stuff away...

    Perhaps the last chapter isn't that good, anyway. ;)
     
  16. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #16
    OP - what is it about this pdf file that makes it so big?

    I regularly buy eBooks in PDF format. A 300 page book with line art can regularly be 10MB or less. 300 pages of raw text is less than 1MB.

    I suspect that you have a lot of bitmap data in your pdf (was it scanned from paper?). Compressing with Acrobat would only lower the resolution of that, to a point at which readability suffers (and it's still going to be big).

    Another avenue might be to OCR the pdf, and then export the raw text minus the bitmaps.
     
  17. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #17
    This. I've dealt with large PowerPoint and PDF files by understanding where the size is. Separate it into chapters/chunks/pages using Preview and figure out where the size driver is.
     
  18. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #18
    Good point. I always assume the PDF has been put together properly in the first place if it's from a decent source. It could even be greyscale or even worse, CMYK scans of copy... instead of bitmaps in the image processing sense of the word.

    You can OCR directly within Acrobat Pro and convert to text.

    Really, there are so many potential variables to this specific issue that without us seeing the PDF or even just a couple of sample pages to open up in Acrobat Pro, we're just throwing stuff out there to see what will stick.
     
  19. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    Loveland, CO
    #19
    Cheaters method for Acrobat Pro

    I had to do this once. I played with the other options people have mentioned and none were satisfactory. In the end, I set up a WinXP VM on fusion and loaded the trial version of Acrobat Pro for Windows. I then used it to shrink the PDF. Then, I deleted the VM. If you have a Windows VM available, it is probably the easiest solution if you only want to use it once. Or you are willing to go to through the pain of duplicating a Windows VM every time you need to do this.
     
  20. AndyfromTucson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    #20
    This isn't what you want to hear, but many times when I need to shrink a bloated PDF of a long text document I just (brace yourself) print out a hard copy and then rescan in B&W 300dpi using my Fujitsu ScanSnap. It rubs me the wrong way too (there should be a way to do the same thing in software) but it often gets the job done when someone has sent me a plain text document that was (unnecessarily) scanned in high res and full color.

    Do an experiment, split off a 10 page chunk of the PDF into a separate file, print it out and rescan it, and see which is smaller.
     
  21. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #21
    Yikes. Wouldn't it be easier to keep it electronic?

    If Preview and the built in "Save as PDF" won't do it, use Ghostscript to resample it. You can easily go from PDF to a bunch of 300 dpi PNGs and then back to PDF.

    B
     
  22. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #22
    At that point you may as well put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it and post it to the recipient.

    Limited email capacity problem = solved! :D
     
  23. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #23

    There is. It's called Acrobat Pro, one of my indispensable bread and butter apps for print design and production.

    Unfortunately, as gwerhart0800 has pointed out, Adobe are canny enough to not release a trial version for Mac for various reasons, including not giving out Distiller on a trial basis. They won't even release a version of Acrobat Standard for Mac which can also do what you want.
     

Share This Page