I recently had to submit an online government form that limited file size uploads of supporting documents to 3 MB. By the time I was done compiling my documents, it was 12 MB, well over that limit.
Naturally, looked for solutions to compress the documents! But I didn’t want to use an online tool for privacy and security reasons. I was trying to upload sensitive medical documents to the government.
With some googling, I found the solution that involved running two Terminal commands to compress a file. I followed a simple tutorial by Greg Pittman:
pdf2ps -dLanguageLevel=3 viral_test_results.pdf ps2pdf -dPDFSETTINGS=/ebook viral_test_results.ps
With these settings, I managed to reduce my PDF by around 30-50% without a visible drop in quality.
Those commands —
ps2pdf — are part of Ghostscript. What is Ghostscript, though, and how do you get it? Greg’s tutorial hadn’t mentioned that.
brew update brew upgrade brew install ghostscript brew cleanup
If you are using Windows, you can download the program directly from Ghostscript’s downloads page. The command line commands may differ from the above.
Careful: The command may overwrite files. Consider making a copy of your file before running commands on it just in case something goes wrong!