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Author Topic: Software to compress large pdf files  (Read 15049 times)

jdd

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Software to compress large pdf files
« on: March 18, 2007, 01:01:31 PM »
Does anyone know of a program that will compress (not archive) large .pdf files and significantly shrink their size.  I found a really good one called PdfCompressor 3.1 but it costs $300. :o

http://www.cvisionte...f_compressor_31.html

Darwin

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2007, 01:18:16 PM »
There's a utility by Ovis call pdf-DocPro, which is shareware ($47 - which I consider steep - $300 would have to come with absolute guarantees!) and PDF Compressor which is freeware. I used PDF Compressor and had some luck with it, but better luck with pdf-DocPro, though in my experience the amount of compressoin achievable has a lot to do with the options selected during pdf creation. This works for me because I am usually trying to create smaller pdfs, rather than compress pdfs that someone else has created.

I just googled and found this one, confusingly ALSO call PDF Compressor (scroll about half way down the page for "Free PDF Compressor v. 2.81). Haven't tried it, but it's free!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

jdd

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2007, 06:52:29 PM »
I downloaded a trial version of pdf-DocPro and it would not compress any of my test files by more than a few %.  I had already tried the free PDF Compressor without much luck.  This other program (PdfCompressor 3.1) will crush a 10 to 20 Meg + pdf file by well over 50% and the resulting quality is very impressive.  Too bad it's so damn expensive.

Darwin

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2007, 10:49:51 PM »
I haven't tried PDF Compressor 3.1 so can't comment (I'm tempted to try the trial, but why bother - way out of my price range) but sadly my experience with both pdf-DocPro and PDF Compressor (the bureausoft one) mirrors yours. As I said, I have to work hard to get pdf-DocPro to do much compresson at all. Did you try the "other" PDF Compressor (actually, I guess it's the THIRD one!)? I haven't but will download and install now to see how it does.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2007, 11:32:11 PM »
OK I've downloaded and tried the NicePDF PDF Compressor and it is a dud... I didn't successfully create a single compressed pdf on numerous tries. I generated a 28.8MB pdf from a powerpoint presentation using FinePrint and Scansoft PDF Converter 4 set to create a PDF 1.4 without any compression of the graphics. Using PDF Compressor, I often wound up with a 395KB damaged pdf file. The rest of the time the program simply stopped responding, leaving a damaged 985KB file.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: March 18, 2007, 11:35:06 PM by Darwin »

Darwin

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2007, 08:23:24 PM »
Bollocks! Ovis PDF-DocPro compresses my pdf's minimally (as in at most 2%). Surely there must be a reasonably priced (or free) app that will ACTUALLY does as it claims and compress large pdfs?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

patteo

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2007, 03:58:04 AM »
Well, if you want to convert a Powerpoint to PDF, I suggest you shrink the powerpoint files first with this tool.

I tried it (shrinking the Powerpoint I mean) and it works. I did it more out of curiosity although I still retain the original which the program does.

"Batch compressing PowerPoint presentations"

PowerPoint presentations can get huge. And the culprit is usually the graphics. If your ten slide presentation is several megabytes in size, emailing and downloading this presentation will be burdensome for your users. After receiving such a PPT myself, I opened it up to find that the graphics had been imported as bitmaps. PowerPoint is not smart enough to convert them to a more efficient storage format.

The newer versions of PowerPoint have a clumsy mechanism for compressing a presentation (Microsoft: put it in the save as dialog). I expect that 99% of users don't even know it exists.

So anyway, I wanted to explore in this article a script to batch compress all of the PowerPoints in a folder and its subfolders. This was pretty easiy to accomplish in a couple hours of programming. One thing that made it easy was the use of John Cassidy's folderwalker class. My processFile function iterates the slides and then shapes. Each shape which is a picture is saved as a JPG and then reimported to the original location and z-order.

Try this script out on some of your large PPTs. There is a script flag /r which if specified will run in replace mode. Without this flag, new PPT files will be created which will have the suffix "_c" (for compressed).

downloads: compressppt.zip (4K)"
http://www.activeint...com/b2004_11_22.html

Darwin

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2007, 07:11:28 AM »
Thanks patteo. This is interesting and I'm giving it a go now. My "workflow" for creating pdfs from ppts is to create a backup of my ppt and compress all of the graphics to webview (96dpi), print to FinePrint using 4-UP Landscape and then print to ScanSoft PDF Converter 4 Pro. The settings for Scansoft are usually set to webview as well. What's bizarre is that printing directly from Powerpoint to Scansoft using the handouts view (4 per sheet) will result in a significantly smaller pdf file than the source ppt file, printing from FinePrint results in a significantly larger pdf file than the source ppt file (I expect the FinePrint file to be larger than the powerpoint handout file, but not than the original ppt file!). Note, though, that there is no appreciable difference in terms of compression no matter what route I take to creating my pdf (i.e. if I simply create a pdf from my original, full sized ppt file resulting in the largest possible pdf I still see no more than 2% compression with PDF-DocPro). Anyway, I'm testing the script you linked to now.

On a related note, I wrote to the developer of PDF-DocPro, explaining that I have had no luck with their product compressing ANY PDF more than 2%, whether I've created the PDF at full compression, with none at all, or anything in between. They wrote back that the product will not compress a pdf file that is created by a PDF converter software that automatically compresses to a maximum level?!

This prompted me to download and run a trial of PdfCompressor 3.1 (the $300 Gorilla mentioned in jdds original post) and ran it on a PDF that was 9.72 MB in size. PDF-DocPro had compressed it 2% (to 9.42 MB) while PdfCompressor managed to squeeze it to 4.72 MB. Significant. However, it achieved this by compressing the graphics further, resulting in heavy pixelation... So, it *is* possible to further compress my PDF's, but I'm dealing with the law of diminishing returns here. Patteo's on the right track - the source file needs to be optimized.

The script is still running...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: March 22, 2007, 02:06:01 PM by Darwin »

urlwolf

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2007, 08:02:58 AM »
for large ppt, I'd covert them to flash movies with a program I got from GAOTD, and then try to get a pdf from the (usually tiny) flash movie. (Both are adobe products, there must be an easy way to get this going though I dunno how)

Darwin

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2007, 09:30:42 AM »
Hmmm... funny you mention that urlwolf. I've just finished using the same GAOTD flash conversion utility  :-* to generate a swf from my ppt. Right, I'm off to try to generate a pdf from it.

PS patteo's script was good - shaved 1.5MB off the normal ppt and 550 K off the ppt with compressed graphics - thanks patteo!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2007, 02:05:25 PM »
Well... Ovis PDF-DocPro does as it advertises (albeit with perhaps less user control over the process than I'd like). I used Clickbook PDF Printer to generate a 25 MB pdf from a ppt file that was 9.5 MB in size (graphics were converted to jpg but not optimized for web view) and then ran it through PDF-DocPro and it generated a file that is 3 MB in size. That's knocking on the developer's claim of 90% compression. The nice thing is that the result features nice, sharp graphics, unlike the file that I produced using PdfCompressor 3.1 (the pixelation rendered any text in the graphics unreadable). I am satisfied and rethinking how I generate pdf's for e-mail!

PS urlwolf - I didn't figure out how to generate a pdf from the flash file that I generated, but thanks for the suggestion anyway. The fact that a 10 MB ppt file can be converted to a 2 MB Flash file with almost no loss of quality in the graphics is IMPRESSIVE!

PPS Sorry I hijacked the thread...  :-[
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: March 22, 2007, 02:15:23 PM by Darwin »

jdd

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2007, 08:27:37 PM »
I am glad to see that my initial inquiry has generated some good discussion but it has confused the heck out of me.  I have a significant quantity of large pdf's that I keep as permanent reference on my laptop that are indexed and searchable.  Since I spend a great deal of time on the road, I am highly sensitive to bloating the hard drive.

Many of the pdf's I keep on disk have been sent to me (created by other people) or downloaded from the net so I have little control over the fact that someone else was inefficient in creating the original PDF.

What I find so distressing is that my software tests gave exactly the opposite result that Darwin found.  In other words, my limited testing indicated that PdfCompressor 3.1 kicked butt, while PDF-DocPro was completely ineffective.  I will do some additional testing and report back.

On a related note, while I was searching for a program to compress large PowerPoint files, I came across another (more affordable) gem called NXPowerLite http://www.nxpowerli...e.com/index.php?ld=n.  This program will dramatically shrink PowerPoint as well as Word documents.  What appeals to me most is that it retains the native file format (e.g. .ppt, .doc., .xls) so the file can be edited at a later date.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2007, 08:30:49 PM by jdd »

Darwin

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2007, 01:25:04 AM »
Hi jdd,

I'll have to try using PDF-DocPro to compress some pdfs that I didn't generate in the first place (though I know that the results will be mixed). nxpowerlite is an interesting find - one of the avenues that I explored in trying to reduce the size of the pdfs I generated from powerpoint files was to compress the ppt before converting to pdf. Nothing I tried worked that well, other than the script that patteo pointed out. Will have to give this a go.

Regarding PDF Compressor 3.1 - I was impressed by this app. As noted above, a file that was generated from a ppt file with compressed graphics using medium compression in the pdf creation process was compressed less than 2% by PDF-DocPro but about 45% by PDF Compressor. It works, and it works well, it's just that my needs are different - I'm trying to create small pdfs to distribute by e-mail and am less worried about compressing those that I have gotten from other people.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: March 24, 2007, 01:27:21 AM by Darwin »

skrommel

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2007, 04:52:29 PM »
 :) Use IrfanView with the Postscript and ImPDF plugins from http://www.irfanview.com to decrease the colors, reduce the quality, or whatever you have to do to shrink those PDF files.

And it's free!

I use this command line to make black and white PDFs:
i_view32.exe "in.pdf" /bpp=1 /convert="out.pdf"

Skrommel
Please stop by my site at  1 Hour Software by skrommel  for downloads and more info.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 05:02:26 PM by skrommel »

garek007

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2007, 06:18:27 PM »
Does anyone know how I can change the quality of the script?  The script compresses the files just a little too much for my bosses, so I wanted to edit the code to change the quality to be slightly better.  Can someone tell me how to do it?

Thanks in advance.


tomos

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2009, 06:43:06 AM »
Over a year on - anyone currently using PDF compressing software ?

I'm looking for something that will compress a PDF where the fonts are embedded (full font embedded which increases size a good bit) - there's no "bitmap" (jpeg etc) images included - vector art and text only.

I installed the trial of JAWs which made very impressively small quality PDF's but also seemed to mess up some file associations (I'm not sure there, so I'm going to give it another go and do it more scientifically)

Preferably free for the moment but I am considering purchasing some PDF creator anyway
Will have a look at IrfanView while I'm here ;)
Tom

Darwin

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2009, 07:45:37 AM »
Hi Tom - I was using an Ovis application called PDF-DocPro. which works "OK", but since moving to Vista I have bothered installing it. Instead, I rely on Nuance's PDF Converter Professional 5, which has a powerful "Optimize" feature that compresess pdfs for me...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

tomos

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2009, 08:43:32 AM »
Hi Tom - I was using an Ovis application called PDF-DocPro. which works "OK", but since moving to Vista I have bothered installing it. Instead, I rely on Nuance's PDF Converter Professional 5, which has a powerful "Optimize" feature that compresess pdfs for me...
thanks Mike,
I thought you'd be able to give me a pointer ;)
PDF-DocPro = OK @ 73$ doesnt sound so good. Will read up on PDF Converter Pro
Tom

Darwin

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2009, 12:35:57 PM »
Wow! Is that the price of DocPro these days?! I bought it at $29 years ago and it's autoupgraded for free ever since, so I'd not noticed the price creeping up.

PDF Professional is good, and is frequently on sale now. It's also available in stores, usually cheaper than online, if that helps.

BTW Ovis is a German company, so you might find boxed versions in stores as well...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

bianca never7

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2013, 04:20:04 AM »
:) Use IrfanView with the Postscript and ImPDF plugins from http://www.irfanview.com to decrease the colors, reduce the quality, or whatever you have to do to shrink those PDF files.

And it's free!

 :Thmbsup:

I use this command line to make black and white PDFs:
i_view32.exe "in.pdf" /bpp=1 /convert="out.pdf"

Skrommel

Darwin

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Re: Software to compress large pdf files
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2013, 08:30:04 AM »
I might as well update this as well - I'm now on Windows 8 Pro 64-bit and using Office 2013 with Adobe Acrobat X1 Professional. Heaven...

PS I bought an Academic license for Acrobat X Pro and have upgraded it to X1. Still not cheap but manageable. FWIW PDF Converter Professional 8 is VERY solid (I purchased and used it for a day before deciding to upgrade Acrobat instead. Took advantage of Nuance's 30 day return) for the price - I paid $79.99. Staples now has the boxed version for $49.95 where I am.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 08:41:40 AM by Darwin, Reason: Typos and added postscript »