Smaller PDF files?

Subject: Smaller PDF files?
From: "Geoff Hart" <geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999 09:27:56 -0500

Christeen Cox asked for help compressing a pdf file: <<Two
of our manuals are currently around the 6 - 9 Mb file size
which a few of our customers feel is too large.>>

There are some obvious questions to ask: First, have you
optimized your graphics for their intended destination? If the
PDF will be used only online, you can get away with much
lower graphical resolutions and color depths; if they'll be
printed, you might still be using too many colors or a higher
resolution than your customers can benefit from on their
office printers. Second, have you embedded fonts? If you've
used several complex fonts, that can really bulk up a PDF.
Solutions include using the built-in Acrobat fonts rather than
the specific Postscript fonts you used to create the job (often a
very satisfactory solution for body text and headings) and
embedding only subsets of the fonts (e.g., if you use only 10
letters of a custom font to reproduce a logo). In the latter case,
you might even benefit from including the logo as a graphic
rather than embedding the entire font.

If the customers are complaining because the files download
too slowly, you have additional options. First, you might be
able to persuade your service provider to support "page at a
time" (something like that) downloading, a new feature that
Acrobat supports, so they can start reading one page while
they wait for the rest of a large document to download.
Second, you could split one large file into several smaller
files (e.g., one per chapter). Third, you could try compressing
the file with WinZip or Stuffit; that doesn't usually work very
well, but it's remotely possible you might end up with a
slightly smaller file.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca (Pointe-Claire, Quebec)
"If you can't explain it to an 8-year-old, you don't understand it"--Albert Einstein

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