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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 05:37 AM   #1
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What makes Acrobat Pro so good at creating small pdfs...

... and what can you replace it with?

With the impending demise of the CS suite in 10.14, I have been testing replacements. As explained elsewhere Affinity provides excellent software at a fraction of the cost and without subscription.

However finding a replacement pdf creator has stumped me so far. All the built-in creators in scanning applications create files typically twice the size of anything Acrobat produces. My workflow is to scan with *whatever* is at hand (or directly from Acrobat if the device is Twain compliant) and then run it through OCR in Acrobat: de-skews anything that needs to be and divides file size by two (for the same visible quality). If I'm bothered I also carry out another save in 'reduced size mode' which makes the file compatible with Acrobat 9 or above only. That saves another 10%.

So, what's Adobe's secret sauce? Does anybody else come close?

Thanks

François
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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 09:35 AM   #2
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I've found it's usually down to image optimization. Acrobat is really good at picking the right compression/dpi for an image. Some other apps just take them as is.

In the past I've run pdfs through an automator job with decent results:

I believe the action you're looking for is Apply Quartz Filter (not in front if my Mac right now) and the Filter is 'Reduce File Size.'
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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 09:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polywog View Post
In the past I've run pdfs through an automator job with decent results:

I believe the action you're looking for is Apply Quartz Filter (not in front if my Mac right now) and the Filter is 'Reduce File Size.'
Would be great if you could show me how! Thanks
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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 10:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polywog View Post
I've found it's usually down to image optimization. Acrobat is really good at picking the right compression/dpi for an image. Some other apps just take them as is.

In the past I've run pdfs through an automator job with decent results:

I believe the action you're looking for is Apply Quartz Filter (not in front if my Mac right now) and the Filter is 'Reduce File Size.'
I ran a test using preview with a large PDF I have for a banner job. The file size was around 18 mb, so not massive by any means. I opened the PDF in preview exported as a PDF using the quartz filter "reduce file size" and saved. There was zero change in the file size, not even sure what it did. I then opened in Acrobat DC and saved as a reduced size PDF and was given a PDF around 600kb, so a significant reduction, massive really.

It really is a shame how Adobe has pushed completely into subscription for their software. I know a few people who use the software a little and could not justify paying monthly and have looked at other software for when it will not longer be supported. Specifically photoshop. From my tests with Adobe CS6 in Mojave it is not looking good.

No solution for you unfortunately.
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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 10:10 AM   #5
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It really is a shame how Adobe has pushed completely into subscription for their software. I know a few people who use the software a little and could not justify paying monthly and have looked at other software for when it will not longer be supported. Specifically photoshop. From my tests with Adobe CS6 in Mojave it is not looking good.

No solution for you unfortunately.
*Sigh* and *Re-sigh*
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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 10:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderings View Post
I ran a test using preview with a large PDF I have for a banner job. The file size was around 18 mb, so not massive by any means. I opened the PDF in preview exported as a PDF using the quartz filter "reduce file size" and saved. There was zero change in the file size, not even sure what it did. I then opened in Acrobat DC and saved as a reduced size PDF and was given a PDF around 600kb, so a significant reduction, massive really.

It really is a shame how Adobe has pushed completely into subscription for their software. I know a few people who use the software a little and could not justify paying monthly and have looked at other software for when it will not longer be supported. Specifically photoshop. From my tests with Adobe CS6 in Mojave it is not looking good.

No solution for you unfortunately.
There's also 'Compress Images in PDF Documents,' and a slew of Advanced options in Quartz Filter.

Unfortunately in Mojave, I can't scroll enough to see what's in 'Reduce File Size' as options under advanced.
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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 10:17 AM   #7
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All I can see is that in Acrobat Pro you have a slider for quality and if you set it at 60-70% you get a massive size reduction while retaining excellent quality (I'm using it mainly for text and minor graphics); a bit like when you drop jpg to 90%. I've never found the Apple engine (in preview or keynote) to be nearly as good. It systematically creates bloated files and the quality degrades rapidly the minute you lower options from 'best'. The 'cropping' size reduction works.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 12:40 AM   #8
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PDF Pro

I don't use PDF Pro, but I wondered if it allows PDF file-size reduction?
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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 05:20 PM   #9
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*Sigh* and *Re-sigh*

Did you try the reduction size suggestion using ColorSync Utility?
https://smallbusiness.chron.com/make...mac-53818.html

And I guess you've tried these:
3 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Make a PDF Smaller on Mac
https://www.cisdem.com/resource/how-...aller-mac.html




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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 08:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
Did you try the reduction size suggestion using ColorSync Utility?
https://smallbusiness.chron.com/make...mac-53818.html

And I guess you've tried these:
3 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Make a PDF Smaller on Mac
https://www.cisdem.com/resource/how-...aller-mac.html




- Patrick
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FYI - the filter options in ColorSync Utility are the same ones available through the Automator action.
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