What Happens When You Compress a PDF File?

May 25, 2022
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If you’re curious about what happens when you compress a PDF file, it’s important to know that the end result is still a PDF file. What this means is that all of the layout formatting, fonts, images, and anything else that makes up the final appearance of your document will be preserved in compressed form.  The only thing that is lost when compressing your document is any extraneous white space (i.e., blank pages). Your text and images may shrink or grow slightly sodapdf.com/it/  so it’s best to make sure your margins are set correctly before compressing.

Size vs. Quality

Compressed document size typically goes down by half the original file size (which is why you’ll notice files larger than 10MB can be compressed to less than 2MB). However, when it comes to quality, the end result will still be a PDF file. The reason this is important to keep in mind is that PDF files are meant to handle multiple print jobs without being significantly damaged. That means that if you’re going to be compressing several small documents every day, you may want to make sure that your software can handle the job.

Compress images as well

In order to ensure your final product won’t lose any of its visual fidelity, it’s important to know that PDF allows you to compress files with images as well. Much like text/image/image, you’ll keep the original image size and quality. The only difference is that when a compressed image file is opened in a viewer (such as Adobe Acrobat), it’s rendered as a grey box rather than an actual image.

How to compress images?

The process of compressing an image is very similar to compressing a document. What you’ll want to do is open the file in the software that created it (in the case of images, that would be Photoshop) and then save a copy as a PDF file from there. 

How Does Compression Work?

When you compress a file it essentially puts all of the data into a smaller box. It also leaves out any data that it thinks won’t be noticed by the viewer.what happens during the process. It often throws out white space or any small details that won’t make a difference to the viewer. The PDF can’t tell the difference between a small square of white space and sections of text.

Free vs. Paid Tools

Some free tools out there will allow you to compress your documents, but it’s important to note that the quality of the end result may not meet your expectations. If you’re looking to compress PDF files on a regular basis, paying for a tool will save you time and frustration in the long run. Adobe Acrobat, which is a commercial product that can be found online, has the ability to compress and then re-open PDF files without losing any of its original qualities.

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