Creating Smaller Digital Files

If like me you are using a document scanner to scan your magazines into image files you likely have the quality settings set as high as possible to get the best scans. This results in, well, rather large PDF's if you use them as they stand. ALternately, you may have done some post-scanning editing yourself but file sizes are still high.

I try and apply a mantra of providing PDF files between 200MB (for magazines with smaller page numbers) to 400MB maximum (for those monster 200+ page magazines) otherwise you not only have massive files which generally put people off downloading them but they are quite sluggish to navigate when opened on memory restricted tablet devices. Keeping magazines between those sizes generally results in acceptable performance and quality loss really isn't noticeable to any great degree. Not only that but uploading the smaller file to OGM's filehosts is way quicker  🙂

Below is my method for creating smaller PDF files for this website. Before we start head off to http://www.fotosizer.com and download the Fotosizer application. I have purchased a registered version but the free version for personal use works perfectly fine for what we are doing. Install it and we're ready to go.

I will use a recent scan of Jason's as the example for this tutorial. Nothing like seeing it in action right? Here we go ….

1. We have our directory of scanned pages. A size check shows that the magazine scans currently is sitting at 681mb's

That's pretty big for a 68 page magazine. Ideally we want this to sit in the 200-250MB range.

2. Open the Fotosizer application. After the register screen (assuming you are using the freebie version) you will be presented with the main screen

3. Check the VERTICAL sizes of the pages in your image directory. If they are the same you're all good to go. If they are different due to editing we want to adjust them using Fotosizer so they are all the same. Check on several and decide on a vertical resolution midway between the biggest and smallest value. It isn't a big deal if some pages are upsized by 10-20 pixels or vice versa. The idea is to get the PDF displaying the same vertical pages size when in two page view.

4. WHen you have worked out the value highlight all the pages in the directory and drag them into the left side pane in Fotosizer.

5. In the Resize Settings area on the right side click on the "By One Side" button and select Height from the available options. Input the pixel height that was midway between the biggest and smallest size determined in step 3. Make sure "Maintain Aspect Ration" is ticked.

6. In the "Miscellaeneous Settings" area use the slider to adjust the jpg settings to arrive at a smaller size. You will need to try this out. I generally find a directory between 500-700MB's in size will drop to 200-300MB on a setting of 90% while a 1GB directory usually requires anywhere from 80-85%. Your mileage will vary depending on the number of pages etc.

7. Set your destination directory in the "Destination Settings" area and press [Start].

A couple of minutes later you should have a set of images that are identical in vertical height but are much smaller. Check the folder size and if the directory is anywhere between 200-400MB's convert to PDF and upload to OGM. If you are using Adobe Acrobat you can change the default page view to "Two-Up (Cover page)" to save me having to do it and reupload etc. This will mean I only have to upload it to the other filehost account which means faster turnaround of magazines. Win win ….. 🙂

You can use any program you like to process the above if you prefer something else. I use Fotosizer because it works, is easy to use and you can't beat free ……

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