Tip: creating PDFs and Reducing a PDF's file size in OS X

Discussion in 'OS X and OS X Apps' started by elbert, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. elbert

    elbert Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Messages:
    13,923
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Manila
    The best way to email documents is through a PDF file. PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and is compatible with all computers (provided that computer has a PDF reader).

    Creating a PDF is just link printing a file, only, it gets printed into an electronic format rather than into a physical one (i.e. paper). The big advantage with PDF is that you are assured that the document's format and contents are preserved and protected (great for contracts and proposals).

    Even if you have an existing document that you'd like to send but is not a PDF, you can easily convert it into a PDF as well.

    So, here's a general and simple rule: as long as it can be printed, it can be converted into a PDF.

    To create a PDF from any application (Word, Mail, Safari, Preview, etc.):
    1. Go to File > Print
    2. In the bottom left of the print dialogue, there's a PDF button. Click on that.
    3. Select Save as PDF...
    4. Create an name and choose a location to save the PDF (Desktop would be good, for easy access)

    [​IMG]

    Documents that have been scanned into PDF format have a tendency to be very large. If a PDF is too large to email (most email recipients can't receive attachments larger than 5MB), follow these steps:

    1. Double click the PDF to open in Preview.
    2. Go to File > Save As...
    3. In the middle you'll find Quartz Filter, click on that and select Reduce File Size
    4. Click Save (to save over and replace your existing large PDF with the smaller one)

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 elbert, Feb 19, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2007
  2. suavecito

    suavecito PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    4,445
    Likes Received:
    525
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Elm Street
    Is it the same thing as saving a file as an Adobe PDF using Acrobat distiller?
     
  3. deepblue

    deepblue Active Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,540
    Likes Received:
    0
    wow... OSX has had this all along?! thank you elbertc :)

    (i'm curious, does windows xp have this built-in as well? in vista maybe?)
     
  4. kaffee

    kaffee Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,576
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    qc
    Yes, if you mean does it make the PDF file generated from within the 'PRINT' page the same standard as Adobe's Distiller. The basic differences are:
    a. Elbert's built-in OS X tip is simpler to use;
    b. There are no complicated, technical steps or functions one needs to go through as in Distiller.

    The format is readable by any PDF-capable reader app besides Adobe's (eg Preview, etc.).

    Thanks for this posting this tip, Elbert!
    I believe one needs a third-party prgram for Windows to generate the same (eg PDF995.exe) if one does not have Adobe installed.

    Doesn't it just make OS X ->:cool:
     
  5. Theus

    Theus PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    1,564
    Location:
    Antipolo / Las Pinas
    for many years, i've been using distiller converting files to PDF until i learned about this OS X feature last year when i got our iMac. Not only is it faster, it's built-in!

    one thing i noticed though is Distiller does a better job 'compressing' files. a 20-page document i recently converted came out at only 210kb using distiller compared to 320kb using this feature (without tweaking).
     
  6. deepblue

    deepblue Active Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,540
    Likes Received:
    0

    i tried this, but the .pdf file ended up bigger in size... :)

    any explanation for this? tia.
     
  7. kaffee

    kaffee Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,576
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    qc
    Using elbert's info above (using elbert's image attachment):
    • here's a comparative file size on a 1-page DOC file with inserted graphic:
    • SAVE AS PDF (first selection on the drop-down menu above): 556kb
    • COMPRESS PDF (fourth selection on the drop-down menu above): 176kb

    With COMPRESS PDF option selected, you'd just have to manually enter the filename and extension and select a folder to save the file to. Either method can be opened in Preview.
     
  8. jha

    jha Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    it works for me!

    I was able to reduced a 38mb file into 892kb!!! Amazing but its true!

    Thanks Elbert!
     
  9. gracegal

    gracegal Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    21
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Cagayan de Oro City & Manila
    Thanks for this tip elbert.
     
  10. polar_bear

    polar_bear Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    0
    for those who were at my seminar last week, when a particular demo about creating your own PDF filters (kinda one step after the hint on this thread) bombed and i didn't know why...

    here's why:

    1. if on 10.4, go to the Library folder in your home directory and make a new folder called PDF Services
    - if on 10.3, the new folder was called PDF Workflows (argh!)
    2. open /Applications/Utilities/ColorSync Utility
    3. click on Filters
    4. (for example) Click on the little disclosure triangle TO THE RIGHT of Reduce File Size, Duplicate
    5. Edit the new filter however you wish
    6. VERY IMPORTANT STEP - Click on the little disclosure triangle TO THE RIGHT of Reduce File Size, Add Domain Information
    7. Make sure the PDF Workflows checkbox is checked
    8. Close ColorSync Utility

    SO. Now. If you do that PDF thingie again on any document, you can now access your very own filters. These filters are stored in the PDF Services folder, and can be sent to anyone. Useful for standardizing workflows
     

Share This Page

  • About PhilMUG

    Since the mid-1990s, PhilMUG (formerly the Philippine Macintosh Users Group) has grown to become not just the Philippines’ but one of the world’s foremost Apple user groups. Our online community brings together thousands of members from the Philippines and around the world for the latest news and discussions covering all Apple products and related hardware and software. Anyone can join PhilMUG, from newbies to experts, subject to our membership rules and guidelines.
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Buy us a beer!

    The staff works very hard to make sure that PhilMUG is running 24/7. Care to buy us a beer or help out with our hosting fees? We'd really appreciate it!

    Donate to us!