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Reducing file size (from Cypressdome)

I know that you have uploaded a good many high-quality color scans of engraved scores so I'm going to assume you are talking about reducing the file sizes of those pdfs. To the best of my knowledge any attempt to reduce the file size of a pdf that consists of color images will result in a loss of quality if you want to keep the images as full color. The best option, especially since you are working with engraved scores, is to reduce the color palette to black and white (2 colors) and have Acrobat pack them using CCITT level 4 compression. For a 600dpi image of a piece of sheet music that will usually reduce the file size for an individual page down to less than 150kb.

Are you scanning individual pages as individual color tif files or does your scanner directly output the files into a color pdf? My place of work has network copiers that do that. If you are producing color tif files then you might want to try running them through Scantailor. This application has the ability to de-skew, crop, set margins, and convert images to black and white. The output files can then be packed into a pdf by Acrobat using CCITT level 4 compression. Geniusboy98 has written a nice tutorial for using ScanTailor. If your scanning method creates the pdf directly then you can use Acrobat to export the images out as color tif files (probably using either no compression or LZW compression--you wouldn't want to use a lossy format like jpg). Then, run those images through ScanTailor.

I use a combination of Imagemagick and ScanTailor. For me, Imagemagick handles the re-sampling to 600dpi (since most of the images I deal with are taken from the web they tend to be anywhere from 120dpi to 400dpi) and the conversion to black and white tif files. I then run those images though ScanTailor in order to de-skew, crop, and set uniform margins. I can give you the scripts to use with Imagemagick but you might want to try running your raw images through ScanTailor first and see if the output is satisfactory on its own.

Reducing file size (from hobbypianist)


generally, scans / images in color or grey scale are rather large, of course. When I convert scores I generate bitmap, so the file size of the .tif is much smaller.

My procedure is as follows:

  • Extract the images from pdf and save as .tif -> done within seconds with freeware tool "PDF Extract Tiff"
  • Next step: I use batch conversion in Adobe Photoshop to convert the grey scale / color images to high resolution bitmap

I check if there's already a set of filters available... (meanwhile I have created many different batch commands for dark scans, yellowish scans, low resolution scans, dark grey scale, etc....) Otherwise I try with different settings and different filter until I get the best result (with best possible resolution)

  • ...then I let Photoshop do the conversion (which can take up to several minutes for one image because I set the resolution usually to 3600dpi or higher for the filters before I reduce it again at the end before saving)
  • Then I load all pics in Photoshop and remove stains / align if necessary, and then (most important :-) I cut the picture to get small and uniform margins. .tif are saved with LZW or CCITT Group 4 compression.
  • Next step: These .tif pass then the image conversion with IrfanView as described here. Afterwards the file size is smaller and pics have 600dpi resolution. Also done within seconds.
  • Now I combine / "print" them with the freeware tool "PDF Creator" ... and voilĂ  here's the pdf.
  • Yes, indeed a bit work, but it's worth it. I've done many black-white conversions of uploaded scores here meanwhile because I like monochrome, it's simply easier / more pleasant for the eyes to have it in black-white on the screen, and in case I want to play a piece I usually print it out (and for printouts of course black-white is better.)
  • Regards, HP
  • btw, here for the Schenker Fantasy I somehow was not able to extract the images with the said tool nor with my (rather old) Adobe version, for unknown reasons. So I simply printed the pdf again (with PDF Creator) to get another pdf. With Adobe I finally got then the images.. rest as described.