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Resizing PDF files natively on your Mac

December 3rd, 2013 · 2 Comments · Mac

I have a headache that I face almost every day on my Mac. When I share a presentation externally, I can’t always share the native PPT. I have to distill out a PDF, and I use the native print utility within Mac OSX to creature the pdf.

The challenge is, that I use LOTS of images and graphs in my presentations. This results in 50+ Megabyte files that are impossible to send via email. Resizing these down to a manageable size is not something that is natively available within OSX.

Solution to compressing PDF files natively with OSX

The solution is using quartz filters, and creating an Automator script to create an “application” that you use to compress your files. Below is the procedure to create this on your mac

1. download these set of Quartz filters to your laptop – https://github.com/joshcarr/Apple-Quartz-Filters

Joshcarr Apple Quartz Filters

2. Unzip the output and copy the qfilter files to your ~/Library folder

qfilter

3. Open Automater, choose CREATE APPLICATION, select Apply Quarts Filter to PDF document  and Drag to the right window. then Choose the DPI from the drop down and Save as Application

automater-qfilter

4. Save as an application (.App) and then drag the PDF you want to resize over that App file. In a couple seconds your PDF will be shrunk and available on your desktop.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Geert // Dec 4, 2013 at 1:23 am

    would like to get this working, however, a mac has multiple Libraries and I did not yet find the one to put the quartz filters in so they show up in the drop down, any hints ;-)? cheers

  • 2 Al // Nov 9, 2014 at 10:13 am

    So, detailed as this explanation is it forgot something, maybe deemed obvious. You have to place this files not in the Library folder but in /Library/Filters/
    Whichever Library would be fine, root/ would be effective for all users, /user/ only for that user.

    Also, no need to go the extra mile creating an app in Automator. Once you’ve placed this files, open the pdf in Preview, Export, Format: PDF and in Quartz Filter: dropdown menu you can select them

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