Reduce PDF file size when saving as PDF from MS Word

While PDF Pro can create a PDF file from virtually any desktop application that prints, we find most of our customers create PDF files from Microsoft Word. We receive many inquiries on how to reduce the size of a PDF file, to make it easier to send as an email attachment. We hope the following tip can help!

If you are creating a PDF file from MS Word, the easiest way to reduce it’s size is to compress the images prior to creation. Word comes equipped with a handy tool that makes this simple. Simply run through your document, and when you reach an image, click to select it. You will automatically be taken to the image format tab, where you will find a Compress Pictures button. Click this button and you will be prompted with a range of sizes to which you can compress your image. There is also a check box that allows you to make the changes to multiple images, or simply the one you selected.

We find that normally you will not notice any change in image quality after compression.

Once you have compressed all the images in your document, proceed to create the PDF using PDF Pro.

We hope this tip will make your life easier when trying to send large documents at the office.

If you have any suggestions on ways to make working with PDF files easier, please send them in!


Why is PDF the most popular format for document sharing?

PDF format is not only popular for the storage of files, but also for sharing. Its popularity originates from its compatibility across multiple platforms, ease of compression, and an abundance of free applications to view them. Some file formats are not always supported by different devices. The PDF format, however, performs independently of hardware, operating system and the program used to create the original PDF, so it works on most operating systems, devices and in multiple languages. Its design creates transferable documents that can be shared across multiple computer platforms, and the original layout of the document is retained when printing. Therefore, PDF is the file format of choice for the internet because of its cross-platform compatibility. Also, PDF files save a substantial amount of storage space by allowing for substantial compression. As PDF files can typically compress to 25% of the original file size, a 100 kilobyte document can be compressed to a 25 kilobyte PDF file. How about a more specific example: a typical A4 page document is around 1,000 kilobytes when scanned, but they can be compressed to 28 to 33 kilobytes when using a PDF file. This size reduction allows the PDF document to open quickly, and also makes it easier to share over the internet. Finally, there are many free applications that allow you to view PDFs easily. PDF files can be viewed and printed with software such as Adobe Reader and PDF Pro 10, and they can be installed on both home and work computers. This allows document sharing at your convenience, but at no expense.

Why is it so difficult to convert PDF to other file formats?

PDF files are easy to share because of their universal formatting and small file size. Also, they provide different security levels and the content can be searched, copied and pasted. Additional features also serve the needs of different industries.

However, despite being able to preserve formatting and visual information for printing, converting PDF documents to other file formats can be difficult except when converting to image formats.

So why is there such difficulty when converting PDF files? The answer lies in their structure.

A PDF file does not keep original layout and meaning formed by text-based building blocks. This means some features like tables, paragraphs, lines and even words cannot be recognized, rather only their location and how the elements should present on a page of document should be contained. This is in contrast to files like Word or Excel, in which you can create and edit every column, header, footer and so on, while saving their meaning.

Therefore, converting other files to PDF files will create documents with identical looks, but the structures for word editing functions will be lost, and cannot be recovered simply by copying and pasting.

Conversion from PDF files to other file formats is indeed possible with the aid of technology. However, there is still another problem. With approximations in conversion, there may be subtle changes to the accuracy of the positioning and layout of documents, despite the word editing functions that could be attained.

Therefore, it is important to achieve accuracy in transferring formatting details to make the recreated documents more editable, especially for transferring tabulated content, because they can be different every time, and there may be a lot of processes before working out whether certain content is tabular or not.

There may also be accuracy concerns in determining the correct page margins during the conversion, in separation from header and footer content, so that normal page content can be better laid out. Scanning of multiple pages for similar positioned content is necessary. This keeps the pages cleaner and allows you to incorporate this content into the actual header and footer areas of a document.

There are numerous elements in documents which bargain for both accuracy and editability, including line breaks, text boxes, tabs, etc. It is too early to achieve perfect accuracy and editability at the same time given the current way that PDF works. However, PDF Pro 10 provides you with the greatest possible realm of an ideal transformation of PDF documents.


By Julie Cooper

Legal Advantages of Using PDF Files

PDFs are the file format of choice for many due to their ease of use and reliability, but some may not know that there are also legal advantages to using PDF files. The PDF file is in widespread government and judicial use due to specific factors that make it difficult to alter as well as compact.

The Portable Document Format creates a document that can be signed, password protected and encrypted. This means that a PDF can be created that is a read-only document and cannot be altered in the future without leaving signs of the changes. Other file formats such as TIFF, JPEG and GIF are simply images that can be modified at will by anyone. This makes introducing them as evidence and using them to file legal issues difficult. Word documents have similar issues.

A PDF transferred directly to a form of optical media such as read-only CD or DVD is even more secure because files on these types of drives cannot be altered after initially written.

Compared to other types of file, the PDF is also extremely portable. Virtually any modern computer system can view PDF files accurately, and a PDF will generally look identical on any system. PDF files take up very little space compared to image files, which means that large amounts of data can be stored. This is one of the reasons that the PDF has become standard for government archives. The PDF was actually developed originally for government archive use. PDFs have also become industry standard for loan companies, credit card companies, and legal companies.

The PDF format also has the benefit of appearing the same on any computer system, whereas Word documents may become distorted and formatting may be lost in a way that obscures the meaning of the text. Because PDFs allow the direct embedding of images and fonts, no meaning or content will be lost during the transfer of a Portable Document.

For any issues that involve legal matters, the PDF format is the most secure, compressible, and portable option. Not only does it offer a variety of methods to encrypt and protect delicate information, but it also ensures that the data of the file will not be compromised and that the file will appear the same to all parties. For those that need the archiving of years of documents, such as attorneys, the PDF allows for virtual archiving and not physical paperwork.

By Julie Cooper

Tips for Navigating large PDF files

Recently I purchased a textbook in PDF format in order to learn CSS. The book is 456 pages long and at times it has been difficult to return to specific pages with key information, such as frequently used code for styling web pages. To make my life easier, I took some time to uncover the features in PDF Pro that would help me navigate large PDF files. Here they are:

1)      Bookmarks: When you come across information in a PDF file that you need to return to, bookmarks make it simple. While on the page, simply click the Bookmarks tab on the left-hand side of the interface, under the navigation ribbon. A section will open allowing you to set a customized bookmark for that page. When you need to return to the page quickly, simply click bookmarks again and select the appropriate bookmark.

2)      Sticky Notes and Highlighter: These tools are useful when you want to return to a specific paragraph, sentence, or other element of a page. For example, if you are reading the financial statements of a corporation and find a crucial piece of information you will need to return to, you could simply click the Sticky Note button on the Home or Review tab. Then, click on the section of the page with the information you need and give the note a subject heading in the upper left portion of the navigation ribbon. Once the sticky note is set, you can easily return to it by clicking the Comments List button on the Review tab. It is important to set the note’s subject heading in order to quickly recognize it in the list of comments. Once in the Comments List, you can also add additional notes to the comment.

The highlighter tool can be used in the same fashion. Simply select the Highlighter tool from the Review tab, and highlight the appropriate text. You can then add a subject header just like with the Sticky Notes, and find the highlighted text in the Comments List, allowing you to quickly return to that text in a jiffy.

I like to think of bookmarks as a great way to return to an important page, or where your reading left off, and sticky notes and highlighter as a great way to return to a specific piece of information within a document. I hope these tools will help save you time and effort in the future when working with large PDF documents.

By Julie Cooper

PDF: The Ultimate Format for Secure Document Sharing

PDF files provide an extremely wide range of options to users in terms of security features. These range from no security at all with complete access and the ability to manipulate documents, to high levels of advanced encryption in the event that higher levels of security are needed.

The most common security option available for PDFs is none at all, with no authentication required to access the document. A higher level of security is basic password protection, allowing documents to be viewed, and sometimes manipulated, by anyone who knows the document’s password. A similar level is certificate security, which allows documents to be altered or viewed by anyone who holds the digital certificate for the document. Security guidelines can also be set up for a specific policy server. Individual security options fall into a few different categories:

Printing can be restricted on PDF documents, including the document’s level of resolution. Users can set security levels from no printing at all, to low resolution printing at 150 DPI, to high resolution printing with no restrictions.

Document changes
Security options for changing and manipulating documents can also be set at various levels. The highest level allows users read-only access, disallowing users to change anything within the document. Permissions can also be granted or denied for the insertion, deletion and rotation of pages, as well as for filling in form fields and signing of existing signature fields. Another level of permissions adds the ability to fill in form fields, and the lowest level allows complete freedom to alter the document short of page extraction.

Copying of text, images and other content
Security levels related to the copying of content can be set at a range of levels. The most secure level prohibits users from selecting any graphical objects or text, which effectively keeps users from copying any part of the document. Permission can also be set to enable object selection of text and graphics for the extraction of any content from the document.

Enabling text access for screen readers for the visually impaired
Text access for screen readers can be allowed or disallowed depending on the user’s security needs.

These points illustrate some of the many security levels that are available for PDF documents, ranging from full access to read-only restricted access, with a wide range of security levels in between.

By Julie Cooper

How To Add & Read PDF Files on your iPhone or iPad

Out of the box, there isn’t a clear-cut way to save PDF files to your Apple device. The iPhone and iPad both include apps for listening to music and watching videos, but not to read PDF files. Luckily there is an easy solution. By downloading the free iBooks app from Apple, you will be able to transfer any PDF file to your iPhone or iPad for viewing on the go. Here’s how to do it:

1)      From the App Store on your device, download the iBooks application.

iBooks image

2)      Once installed, plug the device into your desktop or notebook.

3)      Select your device within iTunes and click the tab to select your device’s library. For instance, if you are using an iPhone, select the “On This Phone” tab.

4)      Find the PDF file you wish to add to your device and simply drag and drop it into your device’s library.

5)      Eject your device from iTunes and open the iBooks app.

6)      There will be a button in the top center portion of the app that should say Books. Press this button and then select PDFs from the menu.

iBooks menu image

7)      Select the PDF you wish to view and enjoy!

iBooks makes it convenient to add and read PDF files on your iPhone and iPad. The app also allows you to email or print your PDF flies directly from your device, and includes cool features such as bookmark, adjust brightness, and search.

By Julie Cooper

How To Save A Webpage To Your Kindle or E-Reader

All you folks out there with a Kindle or an e-reader listen up. Have you ever come across a great article, blog post, recipe or any interesting content online that you’ve wished to take on the go? Perhaps you want to review it more carefully, read it on the plane, or simply save it without adding to your long list of forgotten bookmarks. Not to worry, with PDF Pro you can save any webpage to PDF format and then transfer the document to your e-reader. Here’s how:

Google Chrome:

1) Go to the webpage you wish to save to your e-reader.

2) Once there, click the button with three horizontal stripes that allows you to ‘customize and control Google Chrome.’

3) Click Print, and on the screen that follows select PDF Pro 10 under Destination by pressing the Change button.

4) Once selected, click Print. This will launch PDF Pro 10 and your document will be found under the jobs tab.

5) Select the appropriate job and click the Save button. You will then be able to save the PDF document to the destination of your choice.

6) Proceed to transfer the PDF document to your e-reader.


1) Go to the webpage you wish to save to your e-reader.

2) Once there, click the orange Firefox button in the upper left-hand corner and select Print.

3) A prompt will open. Select PDF Pro 10 from the drop-down menu under Name and click OK.

4) This will launch PDF Pro 10 and your document will be found under the jobs tab.

5) Select the appropriate job and click the Save button. You will then be able to save the PDF document to the destination of your choice.

6) Proceed to transfer the PDF document to your e-reader.

Internet Explorer:

1) Go to the webpage you wish to save to your e-reader.

2) Once there, click the settings button that resembles a mechanical wheel, the click Print.

3) A prompt will open. Select PDF Pro 10 from the Select Printer section and press Print.

4) This will launch PDF Pro 10 and your document will be found under the jobs tab.

5) Select the appropriate job and click the Save button. You will then be able to save the PDF document to the destination of your choice.

6) Proceed to transfer the PDF document to your e-reader.

The instructions above are for the latest versions of each web browser. In the event that yours is an older version, simply look for the Print option in your web browser and select PDF Pro as your printer. If you cannot find the option for print, you can simply press CTRL + P and you should be prompted with all your printer options.


By Julie Cooper