PDF In-Depth

PDF Continuing Education: Real World Document Makeovers

November 06, 2003



The first PDF featured in this series is one we referenced previously in our Planet PDF Weblog.

Number of pages: 44 Original file size: 20.38 MB Original Application: Unknown, but likely Adobe Illustrator or similar Original PDF Production: Adobe Acrobat Distiller 5.05 Revised file size: 763 kb Size reduction after review: 96.25%

Primary Concern: File size.

Secondary Concern: The lack of searchable text renders the file "invisible" to search engines. The lack of document metadata compounds this issue.

Samsung Media Kit

Other Issues: The lack of bookmarks requires the user to flip through the pages to locate the information they seek.

Reviewer's Notes: Due to the file-creation method, it was necessary to convert the file to raster images -- essentially, printing and scanning -- before reprocessing. Size could have been further reduced by another 30 percent through conversion of the tables in the document to PDF/Formatted Text & Graphics. For review purposes, however, the tables were retained as images.

Key Recommendations: Adjust application and PDF creation settings to produce text based instead of artwork-based files. Basic adjustments to the file creation method would have delivered a file of less than two percent of the original size with no additional work.

Additionally, bookmarks should be added to longer published documents to assist the user in locating the information they seek.

PDF File Attribute Analysis: Before & After

NOTE: See a Glossary of Terms used in the chart below.

Attribute Before After
Basic Qualities
PDF Subtype Vector Art Formatted Text & Graphics
Searchable Text No Yes
Fast Web View Yes Yes
Version Compatibility Acrobat 4 Acrobat 4
Font Handling None Embedded/Base 14
Bi-tonal Image Compression N/A N/A
Bi-tonal Image Resolution N/A N/A
Color/Grayscale Image Type Vector Art JPEG
Color/Grayscale Image Resolution N/A Medium (Photoshop 7)
Initial View Page Only Bookmarks and Page
Page Orientation Mixed Corrected for on-screen view
Page Layout (Initial) Mixed Single Page (Fit Page)
*Tagged For Enhanced Accessibility No No
Metadata Fields Empty Filled
Document Display in Title Bar File Name File Title
**Google PDF Quality Index N/A Excellent
Navigation/Interactive Features
Form Fields N/A N/A
Bookmarks No Yes
Internal Links No No (No Table of Contents)
URLs in document linked No Yes
Other Features N/A N/A
Secured against change No Yes
Secured against content extraction No Yes
Acrobat/Reader version required to open Acrobat/Reader 4.0 Acrobat/Reader 4.0

* Tagging ensures compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and is required for Federal Government documents. Tagging this file for demonstration purposes was outside the scope of this review.

** Google PDF Quality Index (GPQI) is the reviewer's measure of the likelihood of satisfactory results when the file is indexed by the Google search engine.

PDF In-Depth Free Product Trials Ubiquitous PDF

Debenu Quick PDF Library

Get products to market faster with this amazing PDF developer SDK. Over 900 functions and an equally...

Download free demo

Five visions of a PDF Day

In the world of PDFs or as we like to say Planet (of) PDF, a year isn't a real PDF year without an intense few days of industry knowledge sharing.

May 15, 2018
Platinum Sponsor

Search Planet PDF
more searching options...
Planet PDF Newsletter
Most Popular Articles
Featured Product

Debenu PDF Aerialist

The ultimate plug-in for Adobe Acrobat. Advanced splitting, merging, stamping, bookmarking, and link control. Take Acrobat to the next level.


Adding a PDF Stamp Comment

OK, so you want to stamp your document. Maybe you need to give reviewers some advice about the document's status or sensitivity. This tip from author Ted Padova demonstrates how to add stamps with the Stamp Tool along with related comments.