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Not All PDFs Created Equal?


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#1 Toto_Too

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:53 PM

Up to a couple of days ago, I had used PDF-XChange Lite Free to convert MS Word Docs to PDF files.  Well, I then realized that LibreOffice on my PA.com platform on my Flash Drive can actually do that function via the Export to PDF function.  I figured I had found a huge treasure.  Now I wouldn't have to install PDF-XChange Lite Free AND I would have that PDF conversion function available anywhere I take my Flash Drive.

 

Well, out of curiosity, I conducted an experiment.  I converted a particular MS Word Doc to PDF format with both PDF-XChange Lite Free and with LibreOffice.  Shocking results.  The PDF file created by PDF-XChange Lite Free had a file size of 17 KBytes while the PDF file created by LibreOffice had a file size of 101 KBytes.  Doh!

 

I then converted another MS Word Doc to PDF format with both apps and got equally drastically different file sizes.

 

In both conversion experiments, both respective PDF files looked identical.  Why the drastic difference in file size?

 

Is LibreOffice inefficient?  Or is PDF-XChange Lite Free leaving out something behind the scenes?


Edited by hamluis, 20 June 2017 - 10:19 AM.
Moved from All Other Apps to Business Apps - Hamluis.


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#2 britechguy

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:08 PM

All I can tell you is that what you have observed is not atypical.

 

MS-Word (at least 2010 and later) can save as PDF, but I don't use that function because the files are, relative to using PDF Creator, huge.

 

You will find that various PDF converters create files from the same base content that vary wildly in size.  Unless you're willing and able to pick apart the PDF encoding at a level that most of us are unable to it is unlikely that you're going to get any answer to your question that is broadly valid.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

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#3 Toto_Too

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:18 PM

Ahhh, okay.  I guess I'll keep using PDF-XChange Lite Free when I'm here at my computer ... and use LibreOffice only if I have to absolutely convert a Doc out somewhere else on some other computer.

 

Thanks for the insight, Britechguy. 

 

Oh, I HAD heard that the newer MS Word versions did perform conversion to PDF format.  But, I use MS Word 2003.  So that option was off the table.


Edited by Toto_Too, 12 June 2017 - 09:22 PM.


#4 GoofProg

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 01:39 PM

Yes, PDFs are different because every app uses a different technique.  Some leave in more PDF features in the file than others.  Some are just basically put together JPG images while others can be OCR text with note indexes.



#5 Toto_Too

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for the additional info, GoofProg.  I do notice that upon initiating a conversion with LibreOffice, some Tabs do pop up with various settings / options from which I can choose.  On the other hand, the PDF-XChange Lite Free conversion just goes right on through without being offered any settings / options from which to choose.  Oh I'm sure some settings / options CAN be set on some PDF-XChange Lite Free menu somewhere.  The choice just doesn't come up automatically.

 

Up to now, I have not remotely been a PDF File Power User.  I have yet to have encountered a need to go hog wild with the myriad of functions on the 747 Control Panel of my PDF-XChange Editor app.  I just basically use it to view PDF files.  So, as far as I'm concerned, the small footprint PDF files that PDF-XChange Lite Free come up with are fine with me.  I even deselect the OCR plugin during setup.



#6 britechguy

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 04:32 PM

I would advise, strongly, against turning off the OCR plugin/feature being applied automatically when possible if you use Windows 10 (or any version of Windows') search to look for files based on content.

 

Image PDFs are not text searchable, and the amount of space needed for a text layer is small compared to a lot of other parts of a PDF as a whole.

 

If you don't ever search based on file content then it's irrelevant, at least to you, but it may not be to folks with whom you might share them.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

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#7 Toto_Too

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 07:43 PM

I use Windows XP Pro.  To the best of my recollection, the OCR plugin adds something like around 33 Meg to the install.  In doing the Math, I figured the extra 33 Meg was not worth it considering that I really really don't deal with PDFs very much at all.  Then out of those very few dealings with PDFs with which I engage ... up to now I really have not had a need to search based on content.  And I believe only ONCE have I ever sent a PDF file to someone ... my sister and she wouldn't even know what OCR was.  
 
Not saying that I will never ever install the OCR plugin.  Just at this time the need is not there.
 
Who knows?  Maybe with the next version I'll get curious enough and install the OCR plugin and check it out.  Maybe watching it in action might impress me and change my mind regarding its usefulness.





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