-- Drupal and Web Development

Notice: this post was last updated 6 years 27 weeks ago so it might be outdated. Please be cautious before implementing any of suggestions herein.

Converting a word doc to pdf

I recently got a 2Mb word document I had to convert to PDF to put online. For some reason, on Mac OS X:

  • OpenOffice (through the print... dialog) generated a 64Mb document
  • Acrobat (through extreme space saving meaures) generated a 24Mb document
  • OpenOffice (through export... > Adobe PDF > smallest file size) generated a whopping 160Mb document
  • Google Docs couldn't read by word doc at all (it displayed the html version)

I discovered the excellent free service at, which produced a 7 Mb PDF... for free!
Of course, I'm not clear on why PDF needs 7Mb to store what word can store in two..., but still, doc2pdf saved the day for me.

Compress PDF file using Mac OS X Preview

To compress a PDF file, you are saving a PDF file with a Quartz filter. The Quartz filters are still on the "Save" dialog box in the Preview application.

Here's how..

Open Preview, in your Applications folder.

Choose File > Open, select the PDF file to compress, and then click Open.

Choose File > Save As, choose Reduce File Size from the Quartz Filter pop-up menu, and choose a name and location for the new PDF file.

Click Save.


When I use the preset "Reduce File Size" filter, I find a significant loss of quality in the PDF, but huge savings in file size from 7 MB to 800KB.

You may need to fine tune the quartz filter.

See details...

Use Quartz filters to modify a PDF file by adding effects, changing the color space, and even reducing the size of the file by recompressing graphics.

To modify a PDF file using Quartz filters:

Open ColorSync Utility, in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder.

Open ColorSync Utility
Choose File > Open, and select a PDF file.

Choose a filter from the Filter pop-up menu.

The effects of that filter are reflected in the window, but the file is not modified.

To step through the pages of the PDF, use the navigation arrows in the toolbar.

Click Apply when you want to save the changes to the PDF file.

Enjoy! HS

Thanks for the tip -- now

Thanks for the tip -- now there's no more excuses for bloated PDFs,