How to Reduce PDF Size and Keep Text

Requirement

Small size of PDF file generated from PSD, with real text(for accessibility) and good image quality.

Expect

Expect the PDF file size is a little bit larger than JPG file.

Issue

Use save as and choose Photoshop PDF will generate large PDF. But save as JPG/PNG is much smaller. Test file spec:

  • Page Size: 210mm*297mm (A4)
  • Resolution: 1240px*1754px
  • Fonts: 2 English font

Sizes:

Format Option Size
PSD 79.7MB
PNG  1.2MB
JPG q: 100  0.6MB
PDF default  7.0MB

File transformed on Adobe CC 2016 Jan

Tried several methods to reduce the file size includes:

  • Remove unused layers
  • Merge and flatten all layers
  • Use lower jpeg compression quality
  • Not save meta data
  • Not preserve Photoshop editing capability
  • Use Photoshop autotool > PDF presentation
  • Use Illustrator
  • Use Acrobat Pro to optimize PDF

But none of them can really make the PDF file as small as expected.

Solution

Separate the text and image. Also create a clean PSD file. Steps:

  1. Hide all text layers
  2. Save as PNG file
  3. Open PNG file in Photoshop
  4. Unhide text layers and copy text layers to PNG file (should place at right place)
  5. Save as Photoshop PDF file
Result
Format Option Size
JPG q: 100 618.0KB
PDF default 624.0KB

PS. I think other vector object can also use this method to keep their quality and maintain PDF in small size. But not tested.

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