Portable Document Format or PDF are sort of container files which can contain text with layout using Postscripts and Rich Contents which includes Photos, Videos and even MP3 files. Even when it comes to pictures, it supports both vector graphics such as drawn charts and raster graphics such as full color photos.

Pure text based PDF files tend to be quite small in file size but when multimedia contents are added, the file size can balloon up substantially.

On the Mac, we are blessed with Preview which can export PDF files using the Quartz Filter. Just load up your PDF file in Preview, do a File > Export then change the Format to PDF and select “Reduce File Size” under Quartz Filter. This should reduce your PDF file size using the built-in compression engine.

The method provided in Preview offers an easy to use method to compress your PDF files but it lacks two key elements

  • Batch Processing Support – Preview works great if you are working with a small number of PDF files as you will have to load and export one file at a time.
  • Flexibility – Apple provides easy to use applications but much of the fine-tuning ability is taken away from the user thus removing the flexibility to change certain saving parameters.

Preview’s Quartz Filter compression works great for text based documents with vector graphics.

But of what our customers do is created PDF documents which includes photos and scanned documents. Our PDF tool could only go so far as to compress the PDF files down. We had to find a way to reduce the file size without degrading the quality of the document. As with our other tools, batch processing and flexibility are keys to defining our applications.

This got us rethinking by deconstructing the PDF documents, rearranging the components and seeing how and what we can drop or optimize. That brought about the birth of our CM PDF Compress app which chief purpose was to reduce the size of the existing PDF documents and yet offering the flexibility to fine-tune how the compression would be performed.

Much of the heavy lifting is done within the app but it offers the ability to work with PDF Password Protected Documents, work in batch processing mode so you can do all your documents in one go and let the app do all the work in the background. It offers the options to set the different compression filters for Color, Grayscale and Black and White contents. You can even adjust the JPEG and JPEG 2000 Compression when JPEG or JPEG 2000 is used as the compression filter.

With the tweaks, you can see that some documents’ file size dropped to 1/3 of their original size, losing about 66% of their original file size. The results would vary depending on the contents. We tested our documents on Preview and the best results it achieved was about 1/2 of the original size.

There are certain online PDF Compressors out there and we are sure that some sites have the best of intentions however uploading your confidential documents online might not be the prudent thing to do as the files can and may be intercepted.

PDF Compression can also be found in our flagship Batch TIFF & PDF Converter.

Using the PDF Compression is relatively easy. All you need to do is first Load the file of PDFs you want to compress. Use the Select Folder to set where you want to save the compressed PDF files too. It is always a good idea to use a different folder as the original so that you can go back and change the compression if you want to tinkle a little more. Next would be to set the compression filters and click Start. Sit back and relax and the files would be compressed before your very eyes. The app would show both the original and the compressed file size. You can tinkle with the settings if you want to further reduce the file sizes.

We offer 14 Days Free Trials to both CM PDF Compress and Batch TIFF & PDF Converter on our website. You can download and try them out.

CM PDF Compress is available for sale on our website for US$6.99

Batch TIFF & PDF Converter is available on our website for US$25.60 and on the Mac App Store for US$25.99