Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I should print this file on paper, but it is heavy (2,3 MB) and the printing process is very slow.

But this is not the whole problem. I should first create another .pdf file (grayscale) with four pages on each sheet. When I try to print this file as a .pdf file, the process of creation of the new file is even slower than the printing process, and the output file is much heavier than the original (hundreds of megabytes).

How can I shrink the pdf file? Is there a way to create a printer friendly .pdf version of the file? Before you ask, I can't simply print it on pages. I must create this .pdf file with four pages on each sheet.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The trick is to convert the PDF to images and back. For example, by using ImageMagick. Install ImageMagick unless you have it:

sudo apt-get install imagemagick

Convert the document to images and back:

convert 2_gdp_issues_ita.pdf pg.png
convert pg*.png doc.pdf

This will give you a fast PDF document with each page as an image. You will also have several pg*.png files, one per page.

To get the 2x2 slides per page use montage. I added the geometry option to avoid fuzzy slide images:

montage  -geometry 660x -tile 2x2 pg*.png doc2x2.pdf

You can use convert to make a grayscale document:

convert -type Grayscale doc.pdf doc_gray.pdf
share|improve this answer
I'll try it! While I was attending this course this afternoon, I've thought that I could use GIMP to do the same thing, but this solutions seems more efficient. Thank you! – Luigi Oct 10 '12 at 16:54

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.