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First Look: PDF Shrink compression program

updated 06:00 am EST, Tue January 29, 2008

First Look at PDF Shrink

PDF files may be convenient for storing and sharing files, but they can often be too large to email or share with others. Apago's PDF Shrink solves this problem by condensing PDF files by up to 90-percent with little noticeable loss of quality. The program shrinks PDF files in the same way that compressing graphic files to JPEG or audio files to MP3 works.

First, the program looks for redundant data, such as a recurring background color appearing on each page. It then removes this redundant data, essentially tossing out information to create a smaller file. Eliminating data always reduces quality, but when done sparingly, compressing can shrink a file without any perceivable loss.

PDF Shrink offers several settings to optimize file compression depending on whether you want to send it by email, view it on the screen, or post it on a web site.

PDF Shrink can optimize a PDF file for different uses.

For further optimization, PDF Shrink can target specific PDF viewing programs such as different versions of Adobe Acrobat or Preview - a program that comes with every Macintosh. By targeting a specific PDF viewing program, PDF Shrink can optimize files just for that one particular PDF Viewer.

To protect the contents of your PDF file, PDF Shrink can use password protection to prevent users from printing your file, changing it, or copying text.

PDF Shrink offers different ways to control file access.

Compressing a PDF file is as simple as dragging and dropping one or more files over the PDF Shrink interface. You can then optimize it for email, print, the web, or any custom settings you define. After compressing, PDF Shrink displays how much space is saved with each file.

PDF Shrink shows how much it managed to compress each file.

When handling PDF files that consist of mostly text, PDF Shrink compressed files approximately 1- to 5-percent of their original size. Compressing PDF files that are created from PowerPoint/Keynote presentations, PDF Shrink was able to reduce file size by 2- to 10-percent. PDF files that contain mostly color graphic images, PDF Shrink compressed files up to 90-percent. You can further maximize file compression by defining custom settings or optimizing for specific targets such as email or the web.

The group most likely to benefit from PDF Shrink is anyone who regularly stores and shares graphic files as PDF files. People who store text and slideshow presentations can also benefit from PDF Shrink, but the results aren't likely to be as dramatic, making PDF Shrink much less of a necessity.

PDF Shrink is a handy utility especially for anyone who creates and shares graphics-intensive PDF files. For $35, PDF Shrink can be a useful utility that can make your PDF files smaller and easier to transfer and store.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Had to Google the name

  1. sammaffei

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Did you guys just use their ad copy verbatim? Read more like a commercial script that an article...

  1. macjockey

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Preview does this

    I open my PDFs in Preview and do a save as. Preview will shrink PDFs as much as 80%

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    like any other...

    ...super weapon - IF people that created PDF files having trouble with the file size - would take the time to read and learn the software that they use [ie - Acrobat Pro] - those files can contain un-compressed images - live Fonts and Layers to name a few_

    There are built in optimization tools that will kick out all this un-needed garbage - flatten layers and transparencies - render the text so the Font is no longer needed - compress and flatten the images to reduce file size and optimize the whole thing for web viewing_

    It's amazing how there is a large enough market for this third party company to sell this to when most people already own the tools to do it_

    And I'll bet there'll be enough un-educated folks that will buy into this_


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