Reduce PDF file size

When creating a PDF file from a document that contains multiple image, its size might increase to the point where is larger than the original document. To reduce the size of the resulting PDF file, either the original document should be adjusted (by reducing the quality of the images, or removing the cropped regions of the inserted images) or the PDF compression settings should be set to the highest compression value in novaPDF's Printing Preferences.

On this page: Adjust images in the original document Adjust the PDF compression/downsample settings in novaPDF Video Tutorial Compress/Downsample setup Video Tutorial Font embedding setup

Adjust images in the original document to reduce the size of the resulting PDF


A common PDF size problem occurs when the printed document contains images that were inserted in large sizes and then reduced within the document itself. However, even if you reduce the dimensions of the image in the document (or the program does its automatic resize), the entire size of the image is still kept. So one solution to reduce the file size of a pdf printed from a document with images is to force the program into compressing and deleting the cropped areas of the images in the entire document. While programs such as Microsoft Word offer options to do that even after you've added the images, for other programs you should crop/re-size the image with an image editor and only after that insert it in the document.

An example on how to compress and delete the cropped areas of the images in a Microsoft Word document (however please make a copy of the word document before doing this, so that you'll have the original copy with higher resolution and non-cropped images, and this second one with lower resolution and cropped images):

  • Make a copy of the original word document, and open the copy. Double-click on the image, go to the Picture Tools tab and click on Format.
  • A new window with compress options will be opened. In the Compress Pictures window, make sure that Delete cropped areas of pictures is selected.
  • Now click on OK and this should considerably reduce the size of the PDF.

This is a screenshot of where to find that Compress window, even if it's taken for Office 2010, in Office 2007 there's a similar option:

  • reduce pdf file size flat

Adjust the PDF compression/downsample settings in novaPDF

In novaPDF Standard and Professional there is a Graphics tab that lets you select several Predefined graphic options. By default Compress is selected, which will compress the text and graphics when converting to PDF so that the size of the PDF file will be smaller. However, this is a medium compression so if you want to have the smallest possible size of the resulting PDF, the compression settings should be set to the highest compression value, as well as selecting the downsample and conversion options.

To set the Compression/Downsample options:

  • Go to Start->Devices and Printers (Printers only in Windows 2000/Vista), right-click novaPDF Std/Pro and select Printing Preferences
  • Go to Graphics and from the Predefined drop-down select Custom and after that click OK
  • Make sure all the Compress options are checked, as well as all the Downsample options
  • Optionally, you can click on each of the checked options and click on the Configure button. In the Level drop-down select Maximum instead of the default High compression level
  • Click OK to save all the changes and after that print the document to novaPDF again and compare the resulting size

Video Tutorial Compress/Downsample setup:

While this will ensure a smaller PDF size, the quality of the images in the resulting PDF file will be lower, so it's recommended to use this only when the PDF is used for distribution, reviewing purposes or to be put on the web, but not when sending a PDF for printing.

Another option that could reduce the size of the resulting PDF is not to embed the fonts in the PDF. By default novaPDF embeds the font subsets, to ensure that the recipient of the PDF will see the text with the same font as it was in the original document. However, if you consider that having the font substituted wouldn't be a problem (or if the recipient of the PDF has the fonts you're using), you can uncheck the option to embed font subsets. To do so:

  • Go to Start->Devices and Printers (Printers only in Windows 2000/Vista), right-click novaPDF Lite/Std/Pro and select Printing Preferences
  • Go to Fonts tab and uncheck the Embed subsets option
  • Click OK to save the changes

Video Tutorial Font embedding setup:

Applies to:

  • novaPDF Printer 6.x, 7.x
  • Microsoft Office 2003, 2007, 2010

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