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How to automate Adobe Acrobat XI Standard to re-compress a lot of PDFs? – via: Super User

Posted by jpluimers on 2015/09/21

A while ago I asked compression – How to automate Adobe Acrobat XI Standard to re-compress a lot of PDFs? – Super User.

Back then it saved about 80% of the total file size. Very substantial.

Recently I needed to convert another (smaller, but still substantial) bunch of PDF documents and saw I forgot to post the solution here:

This is how I did it in Adobe Acrobat XI Standard:

The trick is to ensure no PDF files are open in Adobe Acrobat XI Standard. Then the Reduce side PDF... behaviour is different.

I used C:\temp as folder for the steps below. You can enhance the steps by

These are the steps I used

  1. Start Adobe Acrobat XI Standard, ensure there are no PDF files opened
  2. in the File menu choose, Save as Other... then Reduced size PDF...
  3. in the Arrange Documents dialog, choose Add Files..., then Add Files... (confused? see the images below)
  4. in the Add Files dialog, select a bunch of PDF files
  5. repeat steps 3. and 4 when needed, or drag files from Windows Explorer, Everything Search Engine, et cetera
  6. in the Arrange Documents dialog, press OK
  7. in the Reduce File Size dialog, from the Make compatible with listbox, choose Acrobat 10 and later, then press OK
  8. in the Output Options dialog, keep the settings, then press OK
  9. wait until the progress dialog has shown all files have been processed and returns itself to the main Adobe Acrobat XI Standard window

Notes:

  • The wait can take very long, especially with thousands of files
  • I converted on copies of each directory so I could view before/after results
    1. Started Adobe Acrobat XI Standard Started Adobe Acrobat XI Standard
    2. Main window: Chose File, then Save as Other..., then Reduced size PDF... Main window: Chose `File`, then `Save as Other...`, then `Reduced size PDF...`
    3. Arrange Documents dialog: Chose Add Files..., then Add Files... `Arrange Documents` dialog: Chose `Add Files...`, then `Add Files...`
    4. Add files dialog: Added files from C:\temp `Add files` dialog: Added files from `C:\temp`
    5. Arrange Documents dialog: Choose OK `Arrange Documents` dialog: Choose `OK`
    6. Reduce File Size dialog: chose Acrobat 10 and later, then OK `Reduce File Size` dialog: chose `Acrobat 10 and later`, then `OK`
    7. Output Options dialog: kept the settings, then pressed OK`Output Options` dialog: kept the settings, then pressed `OK`
    8. Progress dialog: wait until all files have been processed `Progress` dialog: wait until all files have been processed

–jeroen

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