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I've been combining PDFs into a single file with Acrobat X Standard and have been able to get a 30-page document down to ~8MB. I've been seeing numerous similar documents that are just as, if not more image-heavy and roughly the same resolution that are quite smaller in filesize, despite having many more pages, like this Brand Finance document that is 55 pages and weighs in at ~7MB (

I was wondering if there's something I'm missing in optimization settings within Acrobat X Standard that is causing me to end up with a heavier file that has pages the same resolution and image quality?

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Without being able to have a look at your file(s) to investigate it more closely there is no chance of giving you any helpful hints... --- Did you use the 'Optimize' menu command of Acrobat after combining your PDFs? – Kurt Pfeifle May 16 '12 at 15:37
up vote 3 down vote accepted

One solution that is worth trying is to use the pdfsizeopt program.

It is a command line program that is, in my experience, further compress (losslessly) even some (not all) documents that were already "optimized" by Adobe's Acrobat.

Just to give you an idea, I downloaded the document that you pointed to in your question and I obtained the following results:

$ ls --block-size 1 -1 -s best_global_banking_brands_2012_dp.p*
7208960 best_global_banking_brands_2012_dp.pdf
6774784 best_global_banking_brands_2012_dp.psom.pdf

As you can see, after processing the file that you pointed to, the resulting file with about 7MB had almost 0.5MB killed from it.

For users that typeset their own documents with LaTeX using the sophisticated Latin Modern fonts, the resulting files output by pdfsizeopt are (again, in my experience) about 1/2 the size of the original files, since the Latin Modern fonts have a fair bunch of subroutines in them.

Furthermore, pdfsizeopt is able to recompress PNG files in the source document with tools like pngout (and I have modifications that make it use optipng) so that even the bitmapped pictures (not only the structural parts of your PDF) are losslessly recompressed.

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I use Ghostscript to convert PDF files down to a more manageable size.

gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dMaxSubsetPct=100 -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress -dAutoFilterColorImages=false -dColorImageFilter=/FlateEncode -sOutputFile="paper_processed.pdf" -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH "paper.pdf"

The input in this case is "paper.pdf" and the output is "paper_processed.pdf".

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