PdfCompress greatly reduces Mac OS X Quartz-generated PDF files

PdfCompress is a Mac OS X utility for reducing the size of PDF files. The PDF files produced by Mac OS X’s Quartz rendering system are beautiful, but huge, and therefore often not usable for posting on the web or sending via e-mail. The reason for these gargantuan file-sizes is that Quartz uses a generic compression method (zip) for all data in the PDF files it generates and takes a very safe approach to including possibly redundant data. Although this approach is laudable for safety in pre-press environments, and closely matches the PDF/X1 and PDF/X3 standards for pre-press data interchange, it leads to files that are larger than absolutely necessary for many common usage scenarios.

PdfCompress optimizes such PDF files by applying specialized image compression methods to the images stored in the file, and removing other elements that aren’t strictly necessary. Photographic image are reduced by up to a factor of 10 without visible degradation using JPEG compression, bi-level images are typically reduced by 20-30% using lossless CCIT Group 4 (Fax) encoding. Pure text PDFs produced with Word X or TextEdit can be reduced to 20KB from 50-100KB, smaller than with any other method. In addition, PdfCompress can downsample images to a lower resolution suitable for screen-viewing, for example on the web.

Apart from its ultra-fast and reliable operation, what users like most about PdfComprses is its ease of use: just drag a PDF file onto its icon, and the compressed PDF is created almost instantaenously, or use it directly from any application via Mac OS X 10.2.4’s spiffy new PDF Services feature, supported with PdfCompress 4.1.

More information and download (826 KB) link here.

1 Comment

  1. I can state that I really appreciate PDFCompress. I have a Word X table that I use to make a church photo directory. There are two columns, each row having a cell for a 3 inch photo and a cell for family information. That is run in two columns per page. I put it on a CD for people to have a copy of the color pictures. Word saves this as a 122 meg pdf file. After I compress it with PDFCompress it was 1.6 megs. Great savings in space, but that means it runs a lot faster on the computer, too. Good product.

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