How to shrink down huge PDF files on the Mac?
I created a six page contact sheet in Aperture as per your instructions, but the resultant PDF file is crazy big, too big for me to email to a client. What happened and how do I shrink it down?
You're absolutely right that the first thing I had to learn how to do once I figured out how to create proof sheets as PDFs from Aperture is to shrink those darn sheets down. One five page sheet I made was 125MB, which is incredibly huge. Yes, it'd probably print gorgeously on even a 300dpi printer, but really, that's quite a bit more detail that I would ever need.
There's no PDF shrink utility included with Mac OS X, but it turns out that the unsung hero "Preview" has just such a capability if you know where to look. Fortunately, I do!
To start out, the contact proof sheet I created in the earlier blog entry, a single page, weighed in as a rather large PDF file, ascertained by using "File" -> "Get Info...":
4.3MB isn't insanely large for a file to be sent in email, but still, it's just a single page, why on earth is it so big? To shrink it down I simply double click on it to view the page in Preview:
Nice enough, and though there are lots of tools along the top of the window, none of them will do what we want. Instead, we need to look on the "File" menu for "Export...":
The Export dialog is an old school Mac window (rather than have a set of iconographic buttons that represent the different output formats, as we now see in apps like Pages and Numbers):
After you've entered the filename you desire -- I used "lego smaller.pdf" -- you'll need to click on the confusingly named "Quartz Filter" menu:
You can see I've picked the desired filter: "Reduce File Size". That's really all there is to it. Make sure you know the destination of the new file, then click "Save".
The new file is created.
Now, did it shrink at all? A quick check with "File" -> "Get Info" reveals the good news:
That's quite impressive, going from 4.3MB to 152KB without visibly changing the page. Not too bad once you know to look in the "Export" window for the "Quartz Filter" Reduce File Size option, is it?
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