General Question

Ponderer983's avatar

How do you make a PDF file size smaller?

Asked by Ponderer983 (6411points) June 17th, 2012

I have requirements by potential employers to get my file size under 1MB, but mine are all over and I don’t know how to make it smaller. I tried changing the resolution, but it didn’t help.

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7 Answers

Ponderer983's avatar

Oh yeah – and I only have reader, not the actual program

funkdaddy's avatar

It would depend on a few things.

What are you using to make the PDFs? Are they mostly text or images?

For smaller file size you want to keep as much text as possible represented as text in the PDF (as opposed to as an image or outlined vectors).

For images you usually want to both optimize the format (saving as jpgs is best for photos, gifs or pngs for simpler art) and make sure you’re saving them close to the dimensions they’ll appear in the final document before putting them into the PDF.

An example might be taking an image directly from you camera, dropping into your document, then converting to a PDF. You should resize the image first so it’s closer to your final dimension and a smaller file.

There are also quality settings when making the PDF, but usually if you handle the source files right you don’t have to mess with those.

Ponderer983's avatar

@funkdaddy They come from different sources. One is a file that was created by someone else, so I’m not sure what it was created in. One of them was a scan from my printer into a PDF, then combined with a JPEG (2 page doc),and the third is scans from my printer combined into a 3 page doc. Is there a way to make them smaller without have to remake the PDFs?

funkdaddy's avatar

Lower the resolution used by your printer/scanner (there are usually options like 600dpi, 300dpi, 150dpi etc) and remake them that way. Your scanner is just making an image of whatever you’re scanning and making that into a PDF, so it’s just one huge image.

If you can’t do that, there are a couple of free “PDF optimizers” if you do a google search. I can’t speak for any of them personally, but the general idea is to go through the same types of steps I listed above.

There are other options, but those are probably the easiest.

Good look on the documents and the job.

jerv's avatar

Lowering the resolution of an image makes a HUGE difference. Going from 600 DPI to 300 DPI will not drop quality by any amount readily noticeable to the unaided human eye, but will cut the file size by 75%!

As for remaking a PDF, it really isn’t terribly hard. OpenOffice can do it, and things like CutePDF Writer can make a PDF from any program that is capable of printing.

prasad's avatar

There is a way to reduce image size. You need Microsoft Office Powerpoint. Open it, insert image (which you want reduced) in it, right click on the image and select save as picture. Select jpeg or the format you want, and save the file. You will notice it will significantly reduce the image size (like from mb to kb). Then, you can use these reduced size images to create pdf.

jerv's avatar

@prasad I favor XnView for image manipulation, partly for simplicity, mostly because it’s free.

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