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Reduce filesize of a scanned PDF
How to reduce pdf filesize?

I have completed my thesis. I used LaTeX to write and the total output size of my PDF is ~100MB. It contains a lot of figures(jpg photos, tikz pictures, pdf images), hyperlinks, references etc.

My university requires to upload my thesis in a PDF file at maximum 50 MB. So I need to reduce my thesis-in size-without losing any quality. Is there a way to do so?

  • 3
    This is certainly not Ubuntu-specific, and has been asked before here: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/14429/… Who knew there was a whole stackexchange site dedicated to LaTeX?
    – roadmr
    Dec 18, 2012 at 21:13
  • @roadmr:Thank you very much for your comment. Actually what I need is a way to reduce the already built PDF. I believe it would be much easier at that point, than to try to understand how to built it smaller.
    – Thanos
    Dec 18, 2012 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


This requires some thought as to exactly what is going on here and what you are trying to do.

You are probably aware that there are essentially 2 types of PDF document, those where the text is ready rendered and those where it is not in which case what you actually have is a fancy image of the page.

So if it is of ready-rendered type (its an images essentially), you could get some mileage by converting to real images, reducing the definition of those images and converting back to pdf. the convert program will do this.

You should also (in 12.04 or greater) put pdf into synaptic. You'll get a slew of utilities including the following, some may be useful for what you need. Perhaps pdfedit, pdftk, poppler-utils, pdfmod, qpdf,

What if your pdf is of the other font-based variety? Of itself I am not sure there is much you can do here. After all, information is or should be stored efficiently in such a situation, so its not clear what you could do without loosing any of it.

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