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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export Apps
I was never satisfied with results of "Reduce File Size" Quartz filter when trying to make some PDFs smaller before sending them by e-mail. It made them too small, and the graphics were fuzzy.

I eventually found where these filters are:

/System/Library/Filters

I was delighted to find out they're XML files easily editable with TextEdit (or any other text editor). I also found why this particular filter makes quite unusable PDFs, as these parameters were just too low:

Compression Quality 0.0
ImageSizeMax 512

So I copied this file to my Desktop, and then made two more copies of it, and called them Reduce File Size Good, Better and Best. Then I changed the parameters of each file to 0.25, 0.5 and 0.75 for Compression Quality, and used these three values for ImageSizeMax:

842 (that's A4 at 72dpi)
1684 (A4 at 144dpi)
3508 (A4 at 300dpi)

Finally, I changed the default string for the Name key at the end of each file to reflect the three settings, so they display the names I have given them in the menu.

Then I copied them to a /Library/Filters folder I created (for some reason, ~/Library/Filters doesn't work in Lion) and now when I open a picture or PDF in Preview, I have the option of four different qualities for reduced file sizes.

As an example, I have a JPEG of scanned A4 invoice at 300dpi and it's 1.6MB. When exporting to PDF in reduced size, the file is only 27 KB and it's quite unusable - very fuzzy and hard to read. The Good one is much easier to read, slightly fuzzy and still only 80 KB. Better is 420 KB and clear, and the Best is 600 KB and almost as good as the original even on a laser printer.

[kirkmc adds: Interesting hint. I see this as useful only for creating PDFs from files. If I'm scanning something, and I don't want the file to be too big, I'll either scan it at a lower resolution, or change the resolution in an image editor before making a PDF.]
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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export | 18 comments | Create New Account
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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: mmnw on Jul 05, '12 08:04:57AM

Thanks a lot!

I've been looking for a way to do this for a while. I scan quite a lot of documents for archival purposes, but when I have to E-Mail one of them, they are usually to large. The included reduce file size PDF option is just crap.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: sd on Jul 05, '12 08:52:25AM

interesting, but definitely not original, this topic is found a lot of times on the web
http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/33702/compress-pdf-with-adjustable-ratio



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easier way for $1.99
Authored by: dustin91 on Jul 05, '12 08:57:21AM

I scanned through the same topic last week myself, but defaulted to finding an app that does it way better than my ability to futz with libraries. Take a look at PDF Squeezer on the App Store – for $1.99, you cannot beat it. I know it may not be hacky enough, but as a basic user, this program rocks!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdf-squeezer/id504700302?mt=12



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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: broomdodger on Jul 05, '12 09:18:01AM

You can edit or add new filters using the GUI:

/Applications/Utilities/ColorSync Utility



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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: zpjet on Jul 06, '12 06:01:59AM

oh... what an overlook from my side!

best of all, it also puts them in user Library, good when upgrading.

Edited on Jul 06, '12 06:05:57AM by zpjet



[ Reply to This | # ]
Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: regulus on Jul 05, '12 09:32:51AM

I found that your settings as described didn't yield good results. None of them resulted in a clear pdf. As such I also adjusted the ImageScaleFactor setting in the quartz filter file. With these settings, the high quality filter was indistinguishable from the "no quartz filter" file.

For this test I used a 1.2 MB jpg file and exported it to pdf. Here's my filter settings and resulting file size:

PDF with no quartz filter file size: 4.4 MB

Name: Reduce File Size_Low Quality
Compression Quality: 0.5
ImageScaleFactor: 0.5
ImageSizeMax: 842
File Size: 250 KB

Name: Reduce File Size_Intermediate Quality
Compression Quality: 0.75
ImageScaleFactor: 0.6
ImageSizeMax: 1684
File Size: 442 KB

Name: Reduce File Size_High Quality
Compression Quality: 0.95
ImageScaleFactor: 0.75
ImageSizeMax: 3508
File Size: 774 KB

---
Hank
http://www.hamsoftengineering.com



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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: wallybear on Jul 05, '12 10:00:51AM

Cannot understand why you edited filters by hand when it's years that there is the ColorSync Utility app in your Mac that makes all this editing definitely easier.



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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: mchagers on Jul 05, '12 12:26:51PM

I have tried on several occasions to use Colorsync utility to create reduced file-size output settings like this. However every time I ended up frustrated by the sheer bugginess of the colorsync utility. Settings would revert to the defaults after saving the preset, etc.
I'm definitely going to try the approach outlined in this hint.

Having this facility is great when you are preparing a pdf file to send to a print shop and you want someone to proof-read your work without having to send them a 20 Mb+ file.



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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: wallybear on Jul 05, '12 01:56:50PM

"Having this facility is great when you are preparing a pdf file to send to a print shop and you want someone to proof-read your work without having to send them a 20 Mb+ file."

That's one of the reasons I use Colorsync Utility to create PDF filters. I made three different filters with three different compression results that I use according to the output needs: archiving, proofreading, send to print shop.

I made my filters with Colorsync Utility and I didn't occur in the problems you mentioned. It's real thet C.U. is quirky and you need to know its idiosyncrasies, but it gets its jobs done.



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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: manuelfp on Jul 05, '12 02:23:40PM

great post.
But does anyone know some way to merge different pdf in same file using export function and reduce size at the same time?

When I need to merge and reduce PDF file size I need to do too many steps.
open pdf 1
open pdf 2
move pages from pdf2 to pdf1
print as PDF (generate new PDF merged)
open PDF Merged
export > reduce file size

Some tip?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: kbundies on Jul 05, '12 04:14:11PM
1.) open pdf1 (make sure the the sidebar in Preview is visible) 2.) drag pdf2 into the sidebar (on top of the preview icon) 3.) press cmd-S (to save the file) 4.) export/compress the complete file as you like it Fast, I think.
Edited on Jul 05, '12 04:15:13PM by kbundies


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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: benwiggy on Jul 06, '12 01:06:29PM

There is a major bug in Lion (up to 10.7.4 so far) so that user Quartz Filters created in ColorSync Utility don't work.

So duplicating the system filters and editing in a text editor is your only choice for now.



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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: David Allen on Jul 07, '12 10:17:38AM

Is there a way to get these to show up in the Filter Dropdown menu with different names? Despite naming the files with Good, Better and Best in their name, they all have the same name; Reduce Fie Size. Is this file's name determined in the file's code?

---
Dah•veed |David Allen|
Monterrey, NL, Mexico



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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: RogerB on Jul 10, '12 07:50:46AM

Question: How do I calculate ImageSizeMax for US Standard 8.5" x 11" paper size? Great hint. Thank you!



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Helpful!
Authored by: Tonymanx on Jul 10, '12 11:07:15AM

"interesting, but definitely not original, this topic is found a lot of times on the web"

Yes there are other "versions" of this that can be found on the web but this is a helpful addition! This (PDF file size) can be a frustrating area.
I particularly like the way you can show the different file sizes in Preview -- that is very helpful.

Thank you for the help.

Tony



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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: azdawg on Jul 10, '12 01:10:46PM

Are these settings wiped out when updating the OS?



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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: VassilyDolgoruki on Dec 15, '13 11:36:50AM

Mavericks update: This hint works reasonably well in Mavericks, but all four settings have the same name in the drop down menu in the Export command from Preview.app. I used the names suggested, and of the four identical appearing names for Quartz filters, best is on top, and proceeds decrescendo (downwards) to the default filter.

Mavericks accepted /System/Library/Filters/ as a site for the new files. Reboot did not resolve. I've decided not to care, but if a remedy is proposed, I agree to notice.

---
VassilyDolgoruki



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Make your own Reduce File Size presets for PDF export
Authored by: genid on Dec 16, '13 08:47:31PM

Change the string near the end of the file to whatever you prefer:

<key>Name</key>
<string>Reduce File Size Best</string>



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