PDF as a format can do a lot, but the core promise of PDF is that it preserves the author’s intent and looks the same across multiple platforms. The most optimal PDF files need to be compatible with your internal workflows, render correctly on PDF viewers and across the web, and be easily shareable. To ensure your files can be properly viewed and used as intended, PDF optimization is key. Here are five main reasons why you should optimize your PDFs.
1. Easily Shareable File Sizes
Consider the time it takes for your users or prospects to download large PDF files – if it takes more than 4 seconds to load a PDF, many people aren’t going to read it. PDF compression is a great way to optimize your files to be smaller in size without losing the fidelity of the document, so you can send and share files with your recipients much easier. When a file is compressed, it can be stored easier as well because the smaller file takes up less space, which can save on storage costs.
2. Faster Uploads & Downloads
If you need to add your PDF files to a website, compressing them first will increase their upload and download speeds. Your content will load faster and content abandonment rates will decrease. This means your content gets to consumers faster; right when they need it, and they will be less likely to bounce to another website, location, or competitor for the information they need.
3. Color and Accuracy for Web Viewing
RGB is the color profile most commonly used for viewing PDFs online. To ensure your documents look as intended across the web, it is recommended to use the RBG color space. A color space generally refers to the collection of colors or shades that are described by a particular color profile. Helpful tip: software that uses the Adobe Color Engine, such as Adobe PDF Library will ensure consistency in color across the board, so if you are looking for the most consistent color across devices, a software that supports the color engine is ideal.
4. Color Accuracy for Printing
Color management is key to any print job, so optimizing your PDFs for print makes sure you have a color-managed workflow that uses ICC profiles to maintain color accuracy in your PDFs and the images embedded in them. An ICC profile is a set of data that characterizes a color input or output device, or a color space, according to standards put forth by the International Color Consortium. Simply put, supporting ICC profiles will give you the best color output and ensure your document is printed with the best color fidelity possible.
Overprint is another way to define how colors are going to interact when a document is printed. By using the right tool, you can ensure your documents will be viewed consistently across different mediums – whether viewed or printed.
5. Image Consistency
Images in PDFs should look consistent across the web and PDF viewers. To optimize your PDFs for image consistency, make sure 16-bit/color images are supported, as they will look the most consistent across the web and viewers and cause fewer image rendering issues.
To see our PDF optimization in action, check out the Adobe PDF Library SDK or the PDF Optimizer command-line utility.