Compress pdf file with linux

A ghostscript command to reduce the size of big pdf files

A pdf file with a lot of scanned images can be a very large file.

I reduced a file from 307MB to 68MB with limited quality loss.

The original askubuntu answer.

Use the following ghostscript command:

    gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dPDFSETTINGS=/screen -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -sOutputFile=output.pdf input.pdf
  • -dPDFSETTINGS=/screen lower quality, smaller size.
  • -dPDFSETTINGS=/ebook for better quality, but slightly larger pdfs.
  • -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress output similar to Acrobat Distiller “Prepress Optimized” setting
  • -dPDFSETTINGS=/printer selects output similar to the Acrobat Distiller “Print Optimized” setting
  • -dPDFSETTINGS=/default selects output intended to be useful across a wide variety of uses, possibly at the expense of a larger output file

I tested this approach with a document full of scanned pages. The original file was 306.7MB, the results of the different quality setting are:

method size MB difference MB difference % quality
screen 25.1 -281.6 8% shit
ebook 68.4 -238.3 22% good slight loss
default 221.8 -84.9 72% no visible difference
printer 340.7 +34.0 111% -
prepress 512.2 +205.5 167% -