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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab Apps
I was looking for a way to compress a PDF file, so I searched for software which can do this. Sadly, every single software I found was either demo or shareware. Then, I remembered I that had a freeware tool called PDFLab which allows me to split or join PDF files.

I opened it, dragged my PDF file onto its windowm and then clicked the button labeled Create PDF. Guess what? The generated PDF was much smaller. I've got no idea whether it is as effecient as other tools or not, but the result was great for my particular file: 1.69MB was reduced to 289KB.

Starting now, you can use PDFLab to shrink PDF files, freely.

[robg adds: You can also use the ColorSync Utility, in the Utilities folder, to do this.]
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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab | 17 comments | Create New Account
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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: adroitboy on May 11, '06 08:21:59AM

I believe you can also do this when saving your PDF without a trip to the colorsync utility. When in the print dialog box, before choosing "Print to PDF..." Click on Copies and Pages and select Colorsync instead. Then select the Reduce File Size option. Now "Print to PDF..." and you will have a much smaller file - especially when pictures/graphics are involved.



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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: friedmaj on May 11, '06 09:02:00AM

I just tried this by printing this very macosxhints page to a pdf, either the usual way or via the Colorsync -> Reduce file size option. The result:
Straight to pdf: 188K
Colorsync -> Reduce file size: 300K

I'm not exactly impressed with the "compression".



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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: morespace54 on May 11, '06 11:13:40AM

I know it sounds dumb but I just can't find that option in ColorSync...



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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: Swordfish on May 11, '06 03:04:43PM

you have to select "Reduce File Size" from the filter pop-up menu....



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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: benjaminooo on May 11, '06 08:25:04AM

yeaahhhh QUARTZZZZ



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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: murali1080 on May 11, '06 09:16:16AM

Use multivalent - from http://multivalent.sourceforge.net/ Unfortunately, it is command line only, but has a whole load of functionalities.



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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: dball on May 11, '06 09:26:54AM

These approaches do, indeed, make a much smaller file, but at the expense of image quality. If size is the only criteria, go for it.

If you want to maintain image quality, a product like PDFShrink ($35) will compress your file by a factor of 3-5.

DB



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Compress PDF files via Preview works well
Authored by: LeeH on May 11, '06 11:31:41AM

Actually, I have not lost much quality. When exporting from ID, some of the work has a lot of transparency in it. The best way I have found to get a true representation is to export out of ID using a custom setting for High Quality. I also have the compression set for typical print applications - i.e 300 dpi, etc.

Now, file is great to send to printer. However, usually large (multi Mb as would be expected) and want client to review.

I use preview and Save with the reduce file size option. Works like a charm. Colors are good, images are good and file size is very small.



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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: abadgersf on May 11, '06 09:39:13AM

I tested several methods using a 4.9MB Pages file with many graphics. The results for me were:
Original Pages doc: 4.9 MB
PDFLab: 2.4 MB
Print> Compress PDF option: 3.5 MB
Print> ColorSync Reduce File Size option: 1.3 MB
Adobe Acrobat Pro Reduce File Size: 956 KB

The images on the smallest file were very slightly blurred when printed on a color laser. Otherwise, there was virtually no difference between the prints.

---
iMac G5 / PowerBook G4 Ti



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Acrobat Pro has lots of options
Authored by: hamarkus on May 11, '06 10:59:42AM

In Acrobat Pro you can finetune pdf compression by going to Advanced -> PDF Optimizer. There are a great number of options, from image compression over font inclusion to the removal of transparency.



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ps2pdf
Authored by: wgscott on May 11, '06 01:08:12PM

ps2pdf will take a pdf (as well as ps) file and compress it



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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: Steff-X2 on May 11, '06 02:15:06PM

But does it keep vector graphics ?



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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: cayblood on May 12, '06 09:18:51AM
Another good tool for this is pdftk (PDF Toolkit)

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Better Yet, Use Vector Images
Authored by: Morgoth on May 13, '06 12:30:05PM

OmniGraffle and other diagramming tools let you build high quality graphics that are represented as vectors. These graphics tend to be much smaller than the raster graphics generated by tools like PhotoShop.

I find that vector graphics print much better than raster graphics too because they scale up and down with no loss of detail or sharpness.



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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: NW Forestcat on Nov 11, '07 09:45:33PM

Thanks for the helpful advice. I tried ColorSync as you mentioned and it was very easy to compress a 15.4 M pdf file to 1 M. The ColorSync Help isn't written correctly, but it's easy to figure out what to do: Open your file, choose "Reduce File Size" from the pull-down menu in your file's window and then Save.



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Filters don;t reduce size
Authored by: JustB on Nov 05, '09 03:34:07AM

Thanks for the tip, it sounds like a great solution.
however, i installed your filters and they do appear in Preview.
I tried them all but the file seize doesn;t change much. ( 6.0 mb to 6.5 mb)
even for the very low and very high options.
What could be wrong? It seems like it is not doing anything.

operating system: osx 10.4.11



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Compress PDF files freely with PDFLab
Authored by: nvidia20082008 on Aug 09, '11 12:53:28AM

I like the ColorSync Utility filter thingy, can someone edit the original entry to have more info on this, or link to the ColorSync Utility Reduce File Size tip? BTW works great on Lion, great tip about ColorSync Utility. Just what I needed to controllably compress by Keynote '09 slides exported to PDF (by duplicating the Reduce File Size filter and tweaking it)



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