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I have a PDF file I'm creating from a Word 2007 DOCX file, using the program FoxIt PDF Creator.

The document itself looks great, but the generated PDF is about twice as large as I've seen other converters create from that same source document.

Is there a way I can compress or 'optimize' this PDF document?

If not, can you recommend any freeware or open source PDF creators?

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Not really a "server administrator" type question, but better on here than on SO ;) –  saschabeaumont May 1 '09 at 4:49
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@sasha: I'd argue it is a pc administration type question, sometimes you may need to know these kinds of things. –  Spoike May 1 '09 at 6:25
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I agree with Spoike, working on an IT helpdesk I've been asked this many times. –  thing2k May 5 '09 at 6:17
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6 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Just upgrade to Office 2007 SP2 and use the inbuilt "Save As PDF" plugin.

If you want to stick with pre-SP2 the plugin is available separately from Microsoft

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use cutepdf, its free and comes out in reasonable sizes I use for sending 200 reports every month by email and works great

http://www.cutepdf.com/

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I use the freeware program CutePDF. But with any PDF generator that works through the print mechanism, you should be able to select 'Properties' next to the printer name and adjust the quality settings (sometimes, as in CutePDF, these are 'Advanced' options). When I have had problems with large PDF files it is usually due to the resolution of the graphics being set to 600 dpi or higher. Depending on what you will use the document for, you might be able to take this down to 150-300 dpi and save alot of space.

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I'm not sure about FoxIt, but I've had good luck with the the open source PDFCreator from pdfforge.

Also, Adobe has their own print driver that will produce PDF. I imagine that it's pretty well-done.

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Take a shot at running your PDF through PDFtk, which is a cross-platform command-line Swiss army knife for PDFs. For example, try a two-phase process where you uncompress the PDF and then re-compress it. Perhaps PDFtk will throw in some optimizations. Similarly, another outside chance would be to convert to PostScript and then convert back to PDF via GhostScript.

(Note, when I say "compress" and "uncompress," I'm talking about compression of components of the file within the PDF document, which is one feature of PDFtk. I'm not talking about zipping the PDF file or anything like that.)

Anyway, I don't know if it will work but since the tools are free maybe it's worth a shot.

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Since you're using Word 2007, you can download a PDF writer from Microsoft Office's web site: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=F1FC413C-6D89-4F15-991B-63B07BA5F2E5

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