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PDF Optimization

Many PDFs are designed for high-quality print output and are not optimized for the web. PDF files are based on PostScript and contain binary data. PDFs use LZW, JPEG, Flate (ZIP), CCITT (the facsimile standard, Group 3 or 4), run-length, and JBIG2 compression (in PDF version 1.4). The last four are used for monochrome images. Like other multimedia formats, optimizing PDFs takes a two-step approach: creating the compound document, and saving it.

Creating Small PDFs

The main factors that increase the size of PDFs are image resolution, image type (bitmapped or vector), and PDF version. To create the smallest possible PDFs for the web, minimize the number embedded images and fonts, substitute vector-based graphics where possible, and capture and prepare the images you include for maximum compressibility. See Chapter 12, “Optimizing Web Graphics,” for more information on preparing compressible images.


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