PDF Optimizer

PDF Optimizer

PDF Optimizer is a command line tool for Windows or Linux 64-bit platforms that you can use to optimize PDF documents. With this product you can count on maximum file size reduction and enterprise-level accuracy and reliability. PDF Optimizer offers flexible control, allowing you to optimize your documents for a wide range of document workflows. You can optimize a PDF document so that it will download faster, open more quickly in a web browser or PDF viewer, print more efficiently, or be better suited for long-term preservation. Select exactly what type of content you prefer to preserve or discard, fine-tune image compression options, and optionally convert to a PDF/A archival standard.  With PDF Optimizer, you can ensure that your PDF documents will always be as small as possible while still meeting your needs.

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Optimizing can also improve the performance of a PDF document without necessarily making that document smaller.  The optimization process can discard objects and features within a PDF document that require excess processing time. A complicated PDF document with a lot of features will tend to take more time to load, regardless of the size.

What you get when you buy PDF Optimizer

  • A Windows or Linux command line tool for making PDF documents smaller or more efficient, or both
  • The capacity to create and use JSON profile files, each one providing a list of settings for processing PDF documents from a command line or as part of an automated workflow. JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is an open standard file format that relies on easily readable English text, and it is used as an alternative to XML.
  • Technical support from our team of digital document specialists and professionals.  You can contact your Datalogics Support representative directly by electronic mail or visit our support site for this product.
  • Regular software updates
  • Comprehensive user documentation, provided as a PDF file and online at our Developer Resource site.

How to use PDF Optimizer

You can run PDF Optimizer from a command prompt, and manually optimize one PDF document at a time. You can add a PDF Optimizer command to a batch or shell script file to automate the process. This way you can  create a workflow that uses PDF Optimizer to optimize large numbers of PDF documents automatically. You can use your favorite scripting language to automatically generate a series of calls to PDF Optimizer, each with a unique name for the input PDF document and the output file. PDF Optimizer is a quick and easy way to convert a set of PDF files to make them easier to distribute.

When you run PDF Optimizer, the program takes the input PDF document you provide, optimizes it, and then saves it as a new output PDF document.

After PDF Optimizer finishes processing your document, you will see a summary statement describing how much the product has reduced the size of your source file, and what was changed or removed to make the output PDF document smaller. This summary appears by default, but if you don't need the summary you can disable it. You can also choose to generate an optional detailed Results Report, saved as a text file in a folder you select.

Both of these reports are designed to make PDF Optimizer easier for you to use. As soon as you use the software to optimize one of your PDF documents, the product can provide details for you about the results—how much space was saved by reducing the resolution of individual images in the original document, embedding fonts, and removing objects like thumbnails, annotations, and JavaScript code.

The PDF Optimizer Profile

You can provide a variety of custom settings to tell PDF Optimizer exactly how you want it to optimize each PDF document. For example, you can make a PDF smaller by choosing to downsample the images found in that document. Downsampling an image reduces the resolution of that image and reduces its size as well. You could add a setting to a profile file that tells PDF Optimizer to discard bookmarks or attachments within a PDF document.

The custom settings that you provide to PDF Optimizer to manage the process are all defined in a profile file. The profile is a JSON file that you need to name in the command line statement.

We provide a set of profile files with the product, including several for converting documents into PDF/A output.  These JSON files are stored in the OptimizationProfiles folder:

  • compresionMedium.json. – This is the profile recommended for PDF documents to be optimized without a specific case in mind. It provides strong compression, and the loss in quality of images is minimal.
  • compressionHigh.json – This profile is designed for maximum compression. For some documents this may mean a significant loss in the quality of images.
  • compressionLow.json – This profile is designed for modest compression, and little to no loss in the quality of images.
  • Digimaster.json.  This profile color converts images within a PDF document to gray scale and downsamples any images greater than 600 DPI resolution to 600 DPI. This profile is intended to be used with Kodak Digimaster printers.
  • We provide a series of profiles designed to create an archived version of a document for long-term storage.
    • PDFA-1b.json. Basic conformance with PDF/A archival standards.
    • PDFA-2b.json. Basic conformance with archival standards but revised for later versions of the PDF format. PDF/A-2 includes options for OpenType fonts, layers, attachments (which themselves must be PDF/A compliant) and JPEG 2000 image compression.
    • PDFA-2u.json. Matches PDF/A-2b but also requires that all text in the document have Unicode mapping.
    • PDFA-3b.json. Matches PDF/A-2b, except that it is possible to embed any kind of file in the PDF document. With PDF/A-3 a user can save an XML, CSV, CAD, spreadsheet, or other type of file in the PDF document and still conform to PDF/A standards.  The file embedded in the PDF/A-3 does not need to be converted to PDF/A itself.
    • PDFA-3u.json.  Matches PDF/A-3b, but also requires that all text in the document have Unicode mapping.
  • printing.json. This profile is recommended for PDF documents to be sent to a printer.

You can update these files if you like, but the content of your profile file must be valid JSON content. If you want to create your own custom profile, you can base your work on one of the profiles provided with the software installation package. But we recommend that you save a copy of the original JSON file and rename it, and then edit this copy instead.  This way you will preserve the original JSON profile for later reference.  Also, if you install an updated version of the software, the installation process will overwrite the original file, and any changes you made to that file will be lost.  Besides saving your own copy of the profile, you might also want to create a backup of your edited JSON profile in a different directory.

You can use a JSON validator like JSONLint to check your JSON syntax.

We provide details on how to set up your profile, and an example of what a sample profile looks like.

Installing PDF Optimizer: PDF Checker

Note that when you install PDF Optimizer, you can also install a separate utility as well called PDF Checker. PDF Checker is a simple command line application for 64-bit Windows and Linux platforms that allows you to quickly scan a PDF document or set of documents to look for problems, or to simply identify features within a document that are likely to get in your way if you want to use the PDF efficiently. Then, you can use this knowledge of your PDF documents to enhance them using PDF Optimizer.  The two tools are designed to work together.

If you install PDF Optimizer in Windows, you will see an installation screen where you can select the software you want to install.  Both PDF Optimizer and PDF Checker appear, and both boxes are checked by default, so PDF Checker will install with PDF Optimizer unless you decide otherwise.

If you install PDF Optimizer in Linux, you will be asked if you want to install PDF Checker as well.  Type Y in response on the command line to install PDF Checker. You will be prompted to accept a license agreement, and then PDF Checker will be installed separately.

Installing PDF Optimizer: Updating the Activation Key

When you first purchase PDF Optimizer, you will receive an activation key, and you will be prompted to enter this key when you install the software. In response PDF Optimizer generates a license file for you (pdfoptimizer.lic) and stores it in the software installation directory.

When your evaluation period ends, and you later receive a new activation key for PDF Optimizer, you will need to enter it as you did your original activation key when you first installed the product. You will be prompted to enter the activation key. Type or paste the key value as you did before. PDF Optimizer will update the license file for you, and you can continue to use the product.

Note that if you don’t enter the activation key value when you first install the product, or enter it incorrectly, you will be prompted to enter the value again the next time you run PDF Optimizer.