Compressing PDF's in Leopard

December 22, 2007

One of the Tiger features that’s now missing in Leopard is the PDF Service that compresses bitmaps in PDF files. Not something terribly vital but definitely useful on occasion. The good news is that you can basically create one yourself.

  • Open Automator and add the Apply Quartz Filter to PDF Documents action.
  • When prompted, also add the copy action, but move it after the Quartz filter
  • Set the filter to Reduce File Size
  • Save as a Print Workflow plugin

Print > PDF > Compress PDF (or whatever you called it) and you should get a compressed PDF on your desktop (or whatever you chose) with the document name (most of the time) as the file name.

You can do the same thing using the Compress Images in PDF Document action, but the file names will be random, like E1utKK.pdf

Without the copy stage, the compressed files are placed into /tmp.

The weird thing is that the Compress Images in PDF Document action looks identical to the one in Tiger, but doesn’t prompt for a destination in Leopard. Maybe this is why it was left out in the first place.