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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.

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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
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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
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