Friday, October 31, 2008

Reference: Shrink PDFs

WOiP Tip - Reduce PDFs For Quicker Access
Over the past year I have been moving toward a "paperless" work-style. Most of my important documents and text are now in electronic format - most of the time PDF. As a result, I can literally have an entire reference library with me at all times on either my iPhone or iPod Touch. Unfortunately, PDFs can be huge, and that is where the problem begins.

The handhelds seem to be able to handle rather large files but, unfortunately, they can take a long time to load. Try to resize them and you end up waiting a long time. Moreover, flipping from one page to the next is at best, a slow process.

That's where the tip comes in...

Shrink PDFs!

Most PDF programs offer the option to shrink PDFs. Unfortunately, the quality is often rather poor. Apago's PDFShrink for the Mac, however, offers a huge degree of control over the compression and quality. After a bit of experimenting I found a setting that provided excellent compression but maintained the high degree of image quality that I want when reading documents. A 7MB PFD files was reduced to just 1MB. The result? It loads super fast on my iPhone and, once loaded, is much easier, faster and stable when resizing or flipping pages.

I still haven't gotten around to reading the Sony guidelines for optimized Sony Reader PDFs. I wonder if this added step could make them even better?

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