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Create super small PDF files Apps
Using Print » PDF » Save PDF as PostScript appears to result in substantially smaller files than using Print » PDF » Save as PDF, assuming you have Adobe Acrobat (or other similar tool; I used V7 of Acrobat) installed to convert the resultant PostScript file to a PDF. I reached this conclusion after testing a document of my own: a 29MB document in Pages, which was mostly text with some graphics and photos. My goal was a compact email-friendly version, less than 1MB.

Print » PDF » Save as PDF yielded a file 60MB in size, and after several lengthy operations, the best Acrobat could squeeze it down to was 3MB. Using Print » PDF » Save PDF as PostScript produced a 48MB PS file. From this, Preview generated a 75MB file, but Acrobat produced a file of just 1.2MB, before optimisation. Selecting File » Reduce File Size brought this down further to 900KB, with no discernible loss of quality in photos or graphics.

I'm sure this is common knowledge to those who do this kind of thing on a daily basis, but for those who don't, it may be useful. I really like using Pages to produce high quality documents, but the problem comes when sharing them with Windows users, and PDF is obviously ideal for this. It's just a shame Pages can't deliver a compact file itself.
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Create super small PDF files | 25 comments | Create New Account
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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: erdrd on Feb 01, '07 08:06:56AM
... or you could use PDFShrink, which allows much more control than Acrobat.

Not a free solution but works very well.

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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: Welles Goodrich on Feb 01, '07 08:34:44AM

Another vote for PDF Shrink. Choose print or screen and squeeze. Simple and the most effective solution I've found.



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: gdelfino on Feb 02, '07 05:26:00AM
I had had good results with PdfCompress

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The Hint condensed: Buy PDF software
Authored by: frank nospam on Feb 02, '07 10:47:29AM

That's really all that's being said here. OS X's built-in PDF implementation doesn't do much optimization, but (oddly enough) payware products specifically designed to generate PDFs do.

I was hoping to find "Create super small PDF files *with OS X*". Or freeware. Or even compilable open source code. Ah well.



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The Hint condensed: Buy PDF software
Authored by: frank nospam on Feb 02, '07 11:17:22AM

Upon further investigation, I can only say "SHEESH!" Acrobat costs $300 for v7 or $450 for v8. Even the Academic version is $150. It is not exactly something that most people just have carelessly lying around on their hard drive.

...or at least, most people who pay for their own software. I suppose this hint would be of use to pirates and the idle rich.



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: leamanc on Feb 01, '07 08:29:04AM

It would have been interesting to see the results of Print>>PDF>>Compress PDF.



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: adrianm on Feb 01, '07 08:40:38AM

In my experience, PDF compress option has little effect for most docs. All it seems to do is replace uncompressed images with JPGs -- doesn't seem to downsample them like Acrobat or PDFShrink does.

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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: frgough on Feb 01, '07 08:50:09AM

You can use the Colorsync utility to set your own filter that will downsample images when creating PDFs. Then just choose that filter from the print dialog prior to saving as PDF.



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: adrianm on Feb 01, '07 08:38:24AM
Nice hint, although did you know that Pages has an Export to PDF function too?

Eg, a 15.8MB Pages doc, prints to a 16.8MB PDF, but exports to a 248KB PDF.

File > Export... menu

PDF tab, choose "good" for quality.

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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: adrianm on Feb 01, '07 08:45:16AM

Postscript (no pun intended!) to this. Best = 15mb, better = 1mb.

Looks like 'best' just exports the images as-is, 'good' goes for screen resolution, and betterr is somewhere inbetween... prob not good enough for photo printing, but then you may not need that.

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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: derPlau on Feb 01, '07 09:05:05AM
I just use the following Automator workflow saved to the ~/Library/PDFServices folder; this can then be chosen from the "PDF" popup menu in the Print dialog. The workflow has two Actions in it:
  1. Apply Quartz Filter to PDF Documents (from the PDF library). Choose the "Reduce File Size" filter from the Action panel, or click the reveal arrow by "Advanced Options" to set the specific parameters. This Action then feeds into:
  2. Open Finder items (from the Finder library). I choose "Default Application" from the popup menu here, which for me causes the reduced-size PDF to be opened up in Preview, just as if I'd chosen Preview from the Print dialog. Presumably you could use Move Finder Items or Copy Finder items to save the PDF to a specific location without going through Preview.
It's free, it integrates directly into the standard Mac print workflow, and it's very very Mac-like.

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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: fotostuf on Feb 01, '07 10:29:45AM

I have saved as a pdf from Pages before, reducing a 173MB file to 105.2 after choosing Reduce File Size in Acrobat. This file has text, images, and movies.
I saved this same file, as you said, as a 23.6MB Postscript file, then opened it up in Acrobat 7, redid my movies (which never get saved), then saved as a 106.1MB PDF file. After choosing Reduce File Size, it only got reduced to 103.3MB.
Am I doing something wrong? 2MB is not much of any savings in size...



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: Jeb48 on Feb 01, '07 10:32:06AM

Your hint on accessing the ColorSync Filters via the Print dialog should be a top level hint. I have used ColorSync filters for years to make my PDFs smaller and never realized I could use the filters directly in the Print dialog.

Thanks

jeb



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: dmmorse on Feb 01, '07 12:08:04PM

Here, here! I would very much like to employ color sync filters in the manner described, but am unsure how to optimize a filter to obtain a smaller file size while still retaining legibility of the document (which includes text).

Please, please, please help out and include some more details in a top level hint.

Thanks!



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: rloney on Feb 02, '07 07:26:59AM
For more information on how to set up filters using the Colorsync utility to control reduction of PDF size, check out Jerry Stratton's web page:
"Quality reduced file size in Mac OS X Preview"
http://www.hoboes.com/Mimsy/?ART=360

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_________________________________
Robert K. Loney rloney@sympatico.ca
"In the end, only kindness matters."-- Jewel

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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: Crazor on Feb 01, '07 12:51:59PM

There seems to be some kind of general problem with PDF, PS and printing on Mac OS X.
At University, print jobs are limited to 90 MiB. I spent a hard time printing some document with about 150 pages text and formulas (created from a LaTeX source, so only PostScript and no images).
The PDF file is somewhere around 5 MiB, but the print job got blown up to a hundred something MiB.
One of the two tools "pdf2ps" and "pdftops" seems to be the problem, the other one creates some tens of MiB (don't remember which one is which, got several pdf* tools installed via fink right now).
On the university FreeBSD machines, the print jobs are small as usual...

Has anybody ever encountered that?



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Maybe trying a more rational approach would help
Authored by: hamarkus on Feb 01, '07 12:57:48PM

This hint, as several previous ones plus tons of comments amount to little more than anecdotal evidence. What I would like to see (as a hint maybe) is
1) A list of possible technical options to reduce file sizes:
- images (compression, downsampling)
- fonts (embed, do not embed)
- transparency (flatten,...)
- discarding objects
- other cleaning up
- pdf version (1.3, 1.4, 1.5, ...)
Which options are recommended for what purpose, how important and effective they are...
2) Which tools use which options (e.g. what does Export 'good' in Pages, ...)
3) And only after that any black magic that cannot be explained by 1 or 2

(If the list above reminds you of the PDF Optimizer in Acrobat, that's where it comes from. PDF Optimizer also has an Audit space usage button, maybe try that out next time if you discover some more black magic.)



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Feb 01, '07 01:47:15PM

One trick I use all the time with Acrobat 7 is to do a Save As, and save the PDF to a different location. You'd be surprised how much smaller they often get... sometimes dramatically smaller... sometimes not much at all. If that doesn't work I use the Reduce File Size command in Acrobat, but that often makes the images look crappy.

I work in prepress so I'm always working with high res CMYK PDF files.

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G4/Digital Audio/1GHz, 1 GB, Mac OS X 10.4.8 • www.david-schwab.com • www.myspace/davidschwab • www.imanicoppola.net



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: Stephen Macklin on Feb 01, '07 06:42:49PM

I frequently have to create PDFs from Adobe Illustrator files. I have good luck using the PDF printer. It basically runs the file through Distiller and uses whatever the most recent Distiller settings were. Unless I need it otherwise I always leave it set for "Smallest File Size" and get large (90mb or more) files under 1000K. Files in the 50mb range are well under 500k.

They are not print quality, but easily good enough and small enough to send to send to clients as a proof.



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Not for me
Authored by: chancer on Feb 01, '07 07:12:40PM

The opposite in the test I did just now. I "printed" this web page in 2 ways:

1. Save as PDF: 244 KB
2. Save PDF as PostScript: 3.6 MB

When I opened the PostScript file and saved as PDF, I got 1.1 MB.

It must depend on the content.



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: S Barman on Feb 01, '07 10:08:40PM

If you preview a file, you can save it as a PDF and in the Save As dialog, you can select "Reduce File Size" from the Quartz Filter drop down. Not only is it free, but you don't even have to figure out how to get an Automator script or Applescript to work.



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: vogunaescht on Feb 02, '07 11:03:29AM
If you want to reduce the filesize of PDFs without having to pay for Adobe Acrobat use this: http://multivalent.sourceforge.net/

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Create super small PDF files-Thanks!
Authored by: pheed on Feb 02, '07 11:59:53AM

I just used this hint to compress my resume...a lot. The last version I whipped up was about 600+ KB just for a single page. Using Preview I used the PDF dialog to save it as a postscript file. The file size dropped to about 350 KB. I then used the normal "save as PDF" command and the file size dropped to a staggering 48 KB...with NO discernible loss of quality and it opens and renders fast (unlike using the "compress pdf" option). Thanks once again!

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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: cpaulu on Feb 02, '07 07:23:26PM

To put a couple of these post-hint hints together, you can indeed use "Save As..." in Preview and select a Quartz Filter called "Reduce File Size". But not only that, you make alternate versions of said Filter with different compression settings, and experiment to your heart's content. Simply open the Colorsync Utility and click the Filters tab. Click the triangle to the right of "Reduce File Size" and you'll see an option to Duplicate the Filter from the contextual menu.
But wait, that's not all. You can open PDFs in Colorsync Utility and preview the effect of any Quartz Filter on any page in the PDF! This is great if your major concern is how it will appear on screen. Try it out.



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Create super small PDF files
Authored by: Mathis86 on Mar 22, '13 09:15:21AM
Also have a look at smallpdf.com. It's a nice simple tool that can compress you pdf very well! I had a 82% compression. Smallpdf.com - online pdf compressor

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