The ‘Ask an expert’ series taps into the deep well of technical knowledge we’re lucky to have access to here at DocsCorp. It aims to answer some of the most-asked questions about a specific topic. This post takes a closer look at compression and how it can be automated to reduce PDF file sizes. Catch up on the previous post, ‘Ask an expert: Is this text redacted?’ first.
About the expert
Angela O’Donnell is the Product Manager of contentCrawler, an automated OCR and compression solution. Drawing on her technical support background, she helped develop contentCrawler and its compression functionality from the ground up nearly seven years ago. Today she leads a team of developers who continue to enhance the compression technology for its global user base.
PDF compression can help reduce the costs of sharing, storing, and transferring files to the cloud. It speeds up the process of uploading, downloading, printing, or attaching a PDF since the smaller the size, the quicker it is to distribute.
So, what is the best way to take advantage of all the benefits PDF compression has to offer? Angela O’Donnell explains by answering our questions below.
Q: Can you give us a brief explainer of what PDF compression is?
PDF compression reorganizes the data in a PDF file, storing it more efficiently so its size can be reduced without losing important details in the process. Reorganizing the data could mean images are resized and/or reformatted in order to reduce file size.
Q: What’s the best way to convert files to PDF so they can be compressed?
Automation comes into play here, since manually converting hundreds, thousands, or even millions of documents to PDF is a mammoth task.
Administrators can point an automated conversion service at a document repository, like major documents management systems (DMS), Dropbox, SharePoint, or even a single folder on a Windows network, and silently process new and legacy documents – converting them to PDF in the background.
Q: How does automation work in the compression process?
Rather than applying compression to files manually one by one, an automated compression service can process a large volume of files in your repository on an on-going basis. This way, all the compression work happens silently in the background without the need for users to be involved after the initial set up.
This kind of automated compression is a catch-all service, covering all documents regardless of how they ended up in your document repository.
Curious to see what automated compression looks like? This handy infographic gives a big-picture view of how it works alongside an automated OCR processing service.
About the author
Caitlin Burns is DocsCorp's content manager and is based in our Sydney office.