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I need to compress a scanned PDF file from 1.5 MB to under 600 KB. I've tried a number of Ghostscript solutions given on other threads but they seem to compress it all the way down to just 2.2 KB and all the content is lost. Can someone provide a solution?

marked as duplicate by Luis Alvarado Apr 11 '13 at 22:57

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You may experiment with the convert input.pdf -resample 85% output.pdf command example.

Reference: http://www.imagemagick.org/script/convert.php#usage

Depending on the quality of the original, the results may not be very good.

  • 1
    I found this increased the size of my PDF by a factor of 14 (with a resample parameter of 50%) – Croad Langshan Aug 10 '14 at 11:15
  • Unfortunately it happens on certain pdf types. – To Do Aug 11 '14 at 6:10
  • This works fine to me with my scanned documents. e.g. convert scan*.jpg -colorspace gray -resample 100% "MyDocs.pdf" – Paul Vargas Mar 8 '16 at 22:18

It would be helpful to see what options you tried with Ghostscript because normally that should work better than ImageMagick.

You can also try pdfjam. To install

sudo apt-get install pdfjam

Then try variants of these commands

pdfjam --scale 0.5 your.pdf

or try the --papersize flag. Run pdfjam --help for a full list of options.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer, but the scale option does not reduce the PDF file size. It only adjusts the page margins. In fact, I wasn't able to find any pdfjam option that would actually reduce DPI/image quality and this file size. – Glutanimate Apr 11 '13 at 22:21

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