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Compressing PDF documents

Datalogics provides advanced compression ability for PDF documents with several of our products:

  • The Adobe PDF Library PDF Optimizer API, supported by all three interfaces, Java, .Net, and C++
  • Our PDF Optimizer command line application, available in Windows and Linux, distributed with our free PDF Checker utility
  • On the Cloud with the Datalogics PDF REST APIs

With PDF Optimizer and with our PDF REST APIs, we provide three compression options,

  • compressionLow. Best suited for users who need to make their PDF documents smaller but who don’t want to compromise those documents.
  • compressionMedium. Substantially compress PDF documents while managing the results in the output files. This would be a standard choice, a compromise between shrinking the size of a PDF document as much as possible while limiting the impact on that output file.
  • compressionHigh. Choose maximum possible compression regardless of the impact on the resulting PDF output files.

The more you compress a PDF document, the greater the likely impact on that document.  For example, if you really want to compress a PDF document as small as possible, to make it fast and easy to distribute, your clients and customers might notice that the quality of images in that PDF document have been reduced, especially if the document is printed.  Also, one way to reduce the size of a PDF document is to remove fonts that are saved within the PDF document itself. That, however, tends to make the file less portable. If a font is not embedded within the PDF document, the viewer used to read that PDF document must find the necessary fonts installed on the local computer hardware instead.  If the viewer can’t find the font it needs, it will look for a reasonable substitute.  That often works—Times New Roman is likely to look pretty much the same regardless of the font typeset used.  But sometimes a PDF viewer can substitute a font and end up with a PDF file that looks different. And if the viewer needs a local Mandarin or Arabic font and can’t find it installed on the machine, the PDF file that appears in the viewer would be unreadable.

Note that beyond these three compression settings for the PDF Optimizer API and for the PDF REST APIs, we also provide a means for you to enter custom compression settings, giving you detailed control over how the software compresses your PDF documents.

You can experiment with Datalogics PDF compression by using our free Compression Web Service.

Working with flags in the PDDocSaveParams element in the Adobe PDF Library

To reduce the size of PDF documents when saving them, you can use severa flags within the PDDocSaveParams element, as part of elements saveFlags and saveFlags2.These flags are passed to the PDDocSaveWithParams() API call.