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Last post Author Topic: PDF's  (Read 9773 times)

Target

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PDF's
« on: November 01, 2009, 10:47:04 PM »
What do you guys do with these damn things?

PDF's are ubiquitous these days, and with care and consideration they are eminently practical.  Unfortunately the converse is also true, and without that care and consideration the resulting documents can be real PITA

To put this into some context I work with a lot of documents that are sent to us via email in this format.  As they are generally produced by our mutifunction printers there is little or no control over the output (even if the senders had the interest or the knowledge to make the effort).  Net result is that we routinely get high resolution colour documents and the file sizes reflect this, eg the latest example is a 40 page document containing text only (some in tables) that is 10.5M.

We have no requirement for high resolutions or colour, and given that they are almost purely text the final file sizes seem to defy logic.  Apart from Acrobat (not an option in a corporate environment), there seems to be a dearth of solutions that would enable us to tackle these monsters

Plain PDF compressors do not appear to be helpful in this case (often the output is larger than the original)

Likewise reprinting the document to new PDF (using one of the myriad of 'PDF printer drivers') at a lower resolution generally produces a document that is larger than the originals (sometimes significantly) which seems to defy logic (oftimes the output is missing large sections, and/or the some of the text is mangled).

I'm sure I'm not alone in this, so I'd be most interested to hear what others are doing in these circumstances

lanux128

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2009, 10:54:18 PM »
you can access the MFPs via a browser just like a router and make changes to reduce the dpi or some other settings.

Target

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2009, 10:58:52 PM »
you can access the MFPs via a browser just like a router and make changes to reduce the dpi or some other settings.

I'm aware of this, but I work in a large corporation so these things are profiled and locked down  >:(.

Even if they weren't, there are probably several hundred of these things all over the country and the files we're sent could pretty much come from any of them...

lanux128

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2009, 11:15:10 PM »
yes, i forgot to add that these settings are normally controlled and not within the end-users' reach. basically you can make a proposal to change the settings but other than that not much can be done on the users' side. re-printing will not do much help since from your description the original is not already not optimized or doesn't conform to the standard pdf specifications. that might explain the bloated size.

JavaJones

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2009, 11:19:10 PM »
PDF Creator does pretty well at recompressing PDFs. It can be done in batches, works as a "print driver" and stand-alone, lots of config options.
http://sourceforge.n...projects/pdfcreator/

- Oshyan

Target

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2009, 11:46:20 PM »
PDF Creator does pretty well at recompressing PDFs. It can be done in batches, works as a "print driver" and stand-alone, lots of config options.
http://sourceforge.n...projects/pdfcreator/

- Oshyan

I already use this app (have done for a few years), but sadly the results haven't been any better than any of the others  :-\

JavaJones

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2009, 02:12:47 AM »
I presume you've tried adjusting all the various compression settings - JPG, resample, etc?

- Oshyan

SKA

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2009, 03:16:01 AM »
Nuance's PDF Converter Pro 6 has a a feature to save as MRC pdf (compressed) which gives quite smaller pdf sizes. (on special price USd 69/- only in November 2009)
http://www.nuance.co.../relatedProducts.asp

Docutrack's PDFXchange Pro /Tools claims to create "smallest" pdf sizes:
http://www.docu-trac...ools/pdfxchange_pro/

Both are paid programs, I dont know of free programs that do this better than above two.

SKA

Curt

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2009, 05:01:35 AM »
....
Docutrack's PDFXchange Pro /Tools claims to create "smallest" pdf sizes:
http://www.docu-trac...ools/pdfxchange_pro/

Both are paid programs,

- but at least Xchange PRO is on Bits du Jour "TODAY" :-)

http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=20456.0
http://daily-deals.i...-xchange-viewer-pro/
http://www.bitsdujou...-xchange-viewer-pro/

SKA

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2009, 06:49:11 AM »
Sorry Curt

What's on BDJ today is the Viewer Pro @ USD 17.50 , not the full PDFXChange Pro(which includes the Tools) that was USD 44.40 on Oct-23,2009 only

But as you pointed out even ViewerPro is a good deal, tho I am not sure if it compresses pdfs like the full PDFXchange Pro/Tools editions .

SKA
« Last Edit: November 02, 2009, 06:54:02 AM by SKA »

Curt

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2009, 08:21:17 AM »
Sorry about the mis-info

the full packet was on Bits du Jour only a week ago, and I didn't notice?!  :wallbash:

Target

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2009, 05:38:22 PM »
a follow up which may be of benefit to others...

in sheer frustration I again went through the setup of PDF creator

Everything seemd to be where it should be, however in the printing preferences I made a small change which appears to have made all the difference

Under the Postscript options I changed from 'optimize for portability' (the default) to 'optimize for speed' - I have no idea what the difference is but my test files were about 60% smaller (AT LAST!!!)

40hz

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2009, 07:00:54 PM »
If I recall correctly, "optimize for portability" embeds a lot of printer specific Postscript code into the PDF along with a routine to regularly check for the amount of available virtual memory in your printer.

Unless you're creating a PDF that you only plan on sending to a specific very high-resolution output device (e.g. digital press plate maker, etc.) there's no need to ever use the 'portability' optimization.




Target

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2009, 07:15:09 PM »
If I recall correctly, "optimize for portability" embeds a lot of printer specific Postscript code into the PDF along with a routine to regularly check for the amount of available virtual memory in your printer.

Unless you're creating a PDF that you only plan on sending to a specific very high-resolution output device (e.g. digital press plate maker, etc.) there's no need to ever use the 'portability' optimization.

good to know, thanks  :Thmbsup:

But if that's the case, why default to that setting?

jdd

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2009, 07:39:17 PM »
You may want to consider another option if you are working with huge MS Office documents such as Word or Powerpoint.

I use a program called NXPowerlite  :Thmbsup: which will compress Word documents with pictures and tables to a small fraction of the original file size and maintain pretty good resolution.  These can be saved as compressed Office files or converted into much smaller PDF's than would have occurred with the original file.

http://www.neuxpower.com/products/

Target

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2009, 07:48:53 PM »
cool
You may want to consider another option if you are working with huge MS Office documents such as Word or Powerpoint.

I use a program called NXPowerlite  :Thmbsup: which will compress Word documents with pictures and tables to a small fraction of the original file size and maintain pretty good resolution.  These can be saved as compressed Office files or converted into much smaller PDF's than would have occurred with the original file.

http://www.neuxpower.com/products/


cool, thanks!!

unfortunately in this case I'm an end user so it's beyond my control...

katykaty

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2009, 04:35:08 PM »
What problems do these bloated pdfs cause you?

Darwin

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2009, 04:40:07 PM »
What problems do these bloated pdfs cause you?


If you work with 1000's of them, they hog disc space. More frustratingly, though, if you need to e-mail them to others, you can quickly run into attachment size limits  >:(
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Target

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2009, 04:52:37 PM »
What problems do these bloated pdfs cause you?
If you work with 1000's of them, they hog disc space. More frustratingly, though, if you need to e-mail them to others, you can quickly run into attachment size limits  >:(

hit the nail on the head there, we have to distribute them to several different places via email, so size is an issue...

quite apart from that the bloat just is ridiculous - why should anyone have to work with a 10M version of a 2M word document

Curt

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2009, 05:14:55 PM »
I realize the thread is not about what desktop application one can use, but more about what application one can talk the company into purchasing a license for? In such case the target should more likely be a PROfessional bulk program like PdfCompressor, or such. But then he prices #begins# at $500 (for no more than a 1.000 files per month)! Additional PRO features include "creating a watched folder that PdfCompressor Professional (OCR) can monitor for new files to compress and OCR automatically." They have desktop versions for individual file handling, one at a time, without OCR for merely $200, and with OCR for $300, but they will not handle files over a 100 pages.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 05:23:21 PM by Curt »

Target

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2009, 05:43:52 PM »
I realize the thread is not about what desktop application one can use, but more about what application one can talk the company into purchasing a license for? In such case the target should more likely be a PROfessional bulk program like PdfCompressor, or such. But then he prices #begins# at $500 (for no more than a 1.000 files per month)! Additional PRO features include "creating a watched folder that PdfCompressor Professional (OCR) can monitor for new files to compress and OCR automatically." They have desktop versions for individual file handling, one at a time, without OCR for merely $200, and with OCR for $300, but they will not handle files over a 100 pages.

the problem here is that the files aren't produced by a desktop app at all, they are generated by our multifunction devices (ie scanned to PDF and sent via email).  If they were I'm sure we could probably do something about it...

Given that this is a corporate environment (and that they can't afford to have users fiddling with stuff  :eusa_naughty:) the settings are preconfigured and locked down so even if the users were interested AND knew what they needed to do, they can't, which means we end users get stuck with something that is badly bloated and unwieldy...

superboyac

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2009, 06:45:48 PM »
Sounds to me like the only plausible solutions would have to address the creation of the pdf's.  Since there's no way for the company to do that without fiddling with those settings, then I'm afraid there really isn't a solution to your problem.

Our company here has tried solutions like Bluebeam's network printer where users drop files into a folder and then they get automatically converted to pdf's and spit out into another folder.  but most people still went straight to the copy machine/scanner for most of their needs.  So, in the end, it doesn't matter.  If you scan, you get an image, and it's going to be a bigger file than it needs to be.  In my opinion, we're still a good 5-10 years away from moving away from heavily relying upon copy machines for large corporations.

yksyks

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2009, 03:11:27 AM »
I probably missed something, but why Adobe Acrobat Pro can't be a solution? In the case of converting scanned documents I'm regularly using the ClearScan option, which can reduce file size dramatically, and at the same time you have documents with relatively reliable OCR'd text that can be searched and indexed.

If somebody is interested, I can elaborate on this, just recently I managed to convert 260 MB scanned color pages to 13 MB PDF file with text, but I admit this is an extreme case--the document cosisted of small pictures with captions on white background, usually the compression is 1/3 of the original size.

katykaty

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2009, 12:29:50 PM »
O
What problems do these bloated pdfs cause you?
If you work with 1000's of them, they hog disc space. More frustratingly, though, if you need to e-mail them to others, you can quickly run into attachment size limits  >:(

hit the nail on the head there, we have to distribute them to several different places via email, so size is an issue...

quite apart from that the bloat just is ridiculous - why should anyone have to work with a 10M version of a 2M word document
I'm not being deliberately stupid here, honestly  ;)   But again, so what is the problem exactly? Is it that you have to spend x minutes longer than necessary sending the mail in several parts, is it that the emails take y minutes longer to reach their destinations waiting for the security team to release the oversized attachment, is it that you have to pay $/£/€/ z more in internet bandwidth? You say that these are causing you PITA - just how does that P manifest itself?

The reason for asking is that it seems clear that you need other people in your company to take action. And to get those people on board you're going to have to justify what real benefit the company will get by solving the problem.

These bloated pdfs are costing us £ a year! People listen.
These bloated pdfs are stopping me from working on the Widget project! People listen.
These bloated pdfs are bigger than they could otherwise be! No one cares.

I'd say there are two solutions to your problem. Technological and psychological.

The technological solution means persuading the person who can make the decision that rolling out the necessary changes to the mfp settings.

The psychological solution is to make it in people's interests to send you efficiently sized pdfs. How much control do you have over what you do? Can you politely reject any pdf that comes in above a certain size - with a link to a quick guide on how to scan pdfs efficiently? Can you bump anything less than 2Mb to the top of the queue?

Target

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Re: PDF's
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2009, 06:34:55 PM »
I'm not being deliberately stupid here, honestly  ;)   But again, so what is the problem exactly? Is it that you have to spend x minutes longer than necessary sending the mail in several parts, is it that the emails take y minutes longer to reach their destinations waiting for the security team to release the oversized attachment, is it that you have to pay $/£/€/ z more in internet bandwidth? You say that these are causing you PITA - just how does that P manifest itself?

The reason for asking is that it seems clear that you need other people in your company to take action. And to get those people on board you're going to have to justify what real benefit the company will get by solving the problem.

These bloated pdfs are costing us £ a year! People listen.
These bloated pdfs are stopping me from working on the Widget project! People listen.
These bloated pdfs are bigger than they could otherwise be! No one cares.

I'd say there are two solutions to your problem. Technological and psychological.

The technological solution means persuading the person who can make the decision that rolling out the necessary changes to the mfp settings.

The psychological solution is to make it in people's interests to send you efficiently sized pdfs. How much control do you have over what you do? Can you politely reject any pdf that comes in above a certain size - with a link to a quick guide on how to scan pdfs efficiently? Can you bump anything less than 2Mb to the top of the queue?

the problem here is that I have a tolerate/hate relationship with PDF's.

I understand what it's for and why it can be 'a good thing'

What I don't like is that there are a lot of people that don't understand or don't consider their end users when producing the damn things which results in wildly bloated documents that are a pain to deal with if you are in a situation where you then have to redistribute said documents (there are limits to what we can send through our internal email system).

I've stated elsewhere that I am operating inside a corporate environment, and that the sources for these documents are manifold. 

It is inconcievalbe that the company would spring for anything like the requisite Acrobat licenses, things like this aren't even a blip on their radar and the lieklyhood of them making even small changes like this are remote (I am a very very small cog here so my level of influence is pretty close to zero... hell, this is a corporate environment, so even the people that should be, aren't...)

having said all that I'm a little concerned that this thread might be veering a little off topic - my original request was a request for some means of dealing with oversized documents (eg a 40 page file containing text only that was over 10M).  I have experimented with various tools over the years but with little success, however per my above post I've just discovered a PDF printer setting which appears to have given me the result I was looking for (hopefully this will be of benefit to others)