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In Acrobat there are two options that appear to make files smaller;
Save As > "Reduce Size PDF"
Save As > "Optimized PDF"

In my tests the latter results in smaller files; which makes sense given it's name.

It's hard to track down exactly why they're different.
What do these options actually do?

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Double check the help files that come with acrobat, I suspect a clear answer may be there. – MDT Guy Jul 21 '13 at 18:59
One will reduce the comparability with older versions the other will reduce the size of the images – Ramhound Jul 21 '13 at 19:17
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Adobe's help on optimized pdf and reduce size pdf for acrobat XI

Reduce size

  • resamples and recompresses images
  • Removes embedded Base-14 fonts


  • Optimizer lets you set options for color, grayscale, and monochrome image compression, and image downsampling
  • You can also make compatible with to ensure certain items don't get compressed that would reduce compatibility
  • It also gives you control of other options not given in reduce size
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