Reduce PDF File Size on OSX

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Some days ago I needed to reduce a PDF file to send it by e-mail, but the integrated Quartz-Filter “Reduce file size” which is available per default in all programs able to save as or export in the PDF format, was just not giving the results I expected: The file site was largely minimized but Image based pages where just from a very bad quality.

The trouble with the included “Reduce file size”-filter is that all pictures in the document are reduced to a size of 512x128 pixels which is often not sufficient for scanned documents.

After some research I found out that it’s possible to create your own Quartz-Filters which are afterwards available system wide.

Create your own “Reduce file size” -Quartz-Filter:

  1. open the ColorSync utility and choose “Filter”
  2. create a new filter by clicking the “+”
  3. add an action to the filter by clicking on the arrow on the right: first a “picture adaption” -filter to reduce the file size (I chose to reduce the size by 60%, but you can play around with that)
  4. add a second action to compress all images (I chose JPG and maximal compression)
  5. Voilà - your new filter is ready and available in the PDF-Viewer Preview

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With my custom filter I was able to reduce the PDF file size from 4.8 to 1.2 MB and maintain good quality at the same time.

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