[thelist] Squashing PDFs. 3700 files, 40% smaller?

Andrew Gianni andrew at newkenmore.com
Thu Mar 21 18:22:01 CST 2002

A few thoughts:

- If there's a sensible way to do it, you could combine a number of the
documents into one to save on the fonts being embedded into a number of
different files. Font embeding takes up a bunch of space. You could then set
up bookmarks to each of the documents in each uber-document to allow quick
access to any document through the bookmark navigator.

- compressing already compressed images can be messy, especially if they
contain a lot of straight edges or text. I believe PDFs use lossy
compression (like jpegs) which can get especially messy, but would be worth
looking at

- as far as I can tell there isn't really any difference in size between the
files created by Acrobat 3, 4 or 5. If anything, 5 generates bigger stuff by
default because it includes lotsa XML gunk, which is useful if you need it,
but if you don't it can triple the size of your document easily.

- how about just putting it on two CDs?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Moe Rubenzahl" <moe at maxim-ic.com>
To: <thelist at lists.evolt.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 3:39 PM
Subject: [thelist] Squashing PDFs. 3700 files, 40% smaller?

> I have 860 MB of PDF files I need to fit on a CD-ROM. There are 3700
> files. There is other content for the CD, so I need to get them down
> to 520 MB (a net reduction of 40%). Willing to lose some quality to
> do this.
> A few thoughts and questions come to mind.
> - First thought is to reduce the graphic compression levels. These
> PDFs were generated over a period of years by different people and I
> am sure the compression settings vary. I am thinking some minimal
> level of compression applied to the whole batch might get me there --
> which probably includes downsampling and change of compression level.
> Is there an easy way to do this in batch? Can Distiller, for
> instance, munch on a bunch of PDF files and re-distill them? Or is
> there another tool that can?
> - All the files have fonts included but they are all the same fonts.
> I don't suppose there is a way to capitalize on this redundancy.
> - Some of the PDFs are of old data sheets and are full-page scans.
> Any thoughts on ways that can improve that aspect?
> - The files are a mix of Acrobat 3 and 4; would making them all 4 (or 5?)
> - Any other tricks or ideas?
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