PDF document sizes can vary a lot, from Kilobytes to Megabytes. It largely depends on media that the author of the document adds to it. If you take images as an example: a non-optimized image may take up a Megabyte or more, even though that may not be necessary for the particular document.
A single image can raise the size of a PDF document from Kilobytes to several Megabytes, and while that may be necessary sometimes, especially when the resolution of the image exceeds the dimensions of the PDF document.
While it is not always necessary to pay attention to the size of a document, you may want to do so in Enterprise and business environments, especially if there is no abundance of storage space or network bandwidth available.
Even one document may become problematic if it is transferred to hundreds of recipients in a company network.
Most programs that offer to compress documents, be it Word, PowerPoint or PDF, do so by reducing the quality of images included.
Free PDF Compressor is no exception to that. When you start the program after installation you are presented with an easy to use interface.
Select the pdf document that you want to compress first, and then one of the appropriate compression settings. The profiles names have been selected to provide you with information about what they can be used for. Screen for instance offers the lowest image resolution which makes it okay for on-screen reading, but not for printing or other activities that require a higher image resolution.
A quick test using a 346 KB PDF file brought the size down to 237 KB using the screen profile, and to 281 KB using the Prepress profile. Considering that the document contained only black and white images, it is a considerable decrease.
The program itself is really easy to use. There are however two issues that I had with it while using it. First, it is not really clear how the default profile compresses images. Information about it are not found in the program itself or on the developer website.
Second, you can only compress one pdf document at a time. If you need to compress multiple ones, you are better off using different programs that allow the batch processing of files. A program like File Optimizer can be used for that task.
If you need to reduce the size of PDF files occasionally, you will find Free PDF Compressor ideal for that task. If you need to use it more often, and on multiple files, then you may want to use a batch processing application instead as it speeds things up considerable.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.