PDF Documents: Do You Know What’s Inside?

PDF Documents: Do You Know What’s Inside?

PDF files are part of your daily life. You receive bank statements, bills, marketing brochures, and a variety of other information in a PDF format. For the most part, these files view pretty accurately. Even if there is a problem with them, like something not viewing properly or taking too long to download, you probably don’t concern yourself too much with why that is.

However, folks who work on the enterprise side of PDFs – the ones creating the documents that are a part of your daily life – are making sure your bank statements view correctly without any font problems or numbers displaying incorrectly. They ensure all documents are a reasonable file size so you can get them quickly. They work tirelessly to create the marketing brochures in a way that the colors you see are the colors they actually want you to see. At the end of the day, a lot of work goes into making sure the PDF files we see daily are put together properly.

At Datalogics, we focus on the enterprise side of PDF documents. We help companies ensure their documents are problem free, and are prepared just right. With over 20 years of experience in the enterprise PDF world, we get a lot of PDF-related questions. “Why doesn’t this document render the way I expect it?” or “This is a 3-page document, why is it so big?” Naturally, we have developed a variety of tools to help answer these questions, and solve big problems for our customers. Some of these can be very complex, but today I wanted to show you one of the simpler tools that’s available to every Adobe Acrobat user out there, and one that is commonly overlooked. It’s a tool that shows you exactly what is in your PDF document, and how much space it takes up.

This is the Adobe Acrobat Space Audit tool. It’s available in the PDF Optimizer menu, tucked away in the right corner. The tool will show you information like how much space images, content streams (which essentially hold the text content of your document), fonts, etc. in your document take up.

The document I’m examining with the tool is a sample bank statement. Even though it’s only 1 page composed almost entirely out of text, the document is still quite large at 55kb. We can also see that a very small percentage of the document are images. In the case of statements, this is usually the company logo. The really interesting part we see here is that the bulk of the document is almost entirely fonts! Out of the 55kb total document size, 45kb are actually fonts. This can happen for many reasons, but I won’t go into all of that detail here. However, if you are interested in how bank statements are usually created and why fonts can be often troublesome, we have a great article for you here.

This is just one of the tools in our arsenal that we use to get an idea of document composition. It gives us a quick glance at what’s going on, and helps us decide what our next steps should be. If you find yourself running into any of the issues we discussed above, contact us and our team of experts will be happy to recommend the best solutions for you.

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