It’s been over a year since we introduced file size optimization technology in the Adobe PDF Library (APDFL). In this time, we have worked with many current customers and evaluators using this technology. We received a lot of great feedback that helped us improve what is currently in APDFL. Some evaluators were interested in the optimization technology, but they did not have the engineering resource or desire to build their own solution using APDFL. They wanted to use the technology right now, and incorporate it into existing processes where it could be automated. To bring our optimization technology to this wider audience, we created PDF OPTIMIZER. It’s an easy to use tool that allows users to automate the optimization of PDF files. It’s a command-line application (CLI) and is currently available on Windows and Linux.
We released PDF OPTIMIZER in the beginning of December 2017, and have already gotten some great feedback on it. By far the most interesting feature that comes with the tool is the ability to create optimization profiles. Optimization profiles allow you to use the tool in different scenarios. You can use them to optimize documents for high fidelity viewing scenarios with the standard profile, or strive to get a low file size with the mobile optimization profile. To keep the file optimization experience with the PDF OPTIMIZER consistent, these profiles closely mimic the optimization settings in Adobe Acrobat. Optimization profiles are also what makes this tool simple to use. For users without extensive PDF experience, using one of the default optimization profiles will provide a good foundation. For those that are more familiar with the file format, and know the exact changes they would like to make, there are over 40 different settings to choose from.
We have already seen this tool used in some interesting situations – optimizing marketing materials for example. Those are often documents with fewer pages, high fidelity images, and text. They also tend to be fairly large in file size. One thing that’s very important to the authors of these documents is that the content is not altered in any way when the documents are being optimized. The content needs to be arranged in the exact same way the author intended it. Also, the colors need to be preserved. This is just one of the tough challenges PDF OPTIMIZER can handle with ease. The optimization process is color managed, so all colors are preserved correctly. The Adobe PDF Library also makes sure all alignment and organization stays intact.
Another interesting use case for PDF OPTIMIZER is working with infographics and reports. Those tend to have a good mix of text and images. There is one key difference here, though. The images used in this content, like graphs or charts, tend to contain very few colors. Such images can strongly benefit from being converted to an indexed color space. This conversion alone can result in a 3 fold file size reduction for those images, without changing the way images look.
PDF files are often large and unwieldy, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Give PDF OPTIMIZER a try and see how small you can get your files.