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Clipped on: 2013-12-26

Reducing the size of PDFs from Preview

Submitted by steve on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 00:00

I am a big fan of the Preview application that is the default PDF/image viewer in Mac OSX. Discovering that I could use it for scanning was a revelation that might have included a bit of a jig. And the signature feature… brilliant!

But there is one thing about Preview that has always bugged me; when you scan a document as a PDF, the resulting image size is far bigger than necessary. And there is no native way to make it smaller without making the document virtually unreadable.

I finally got annoyed enough by this that I took the time to search for a solution. As is often the case, it didn't take long to find that some really helpful soul had come up with one and was willing to share it.

And the answer is: install some Quartz filters that you can use to reduce the size of the PDF files without making them unreadable. Mind you, I don't have a particularly good grasp on what a Quartz filter is, but you don't have to to take advantage of this.

There is a good post here by Rogier at Scooter-IT with more details than I am going to include, but here is the short version (I can confirm only that this works like a charm in OS X v10.7.3).

1) Download these filters that Jerome Colas was kind enough to create and make available: download here.

2) Put the filters folder from the download in the Library folder of your startup disk (you'll wind up with Macintosh HD/Library/Filters if you haven't renamed your hard drive) - Be sure to put them here and not in the /System/Filters folder, since that folder should be reserved for Apple approved files according to Jerome Colas here.

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