How to Compress a PDF and Reduce its File Size

Compressing PDF DocumentsIf you’re not sure how to compress a PDF so that you can share and store it more easily, then you’ve come to the right place.

But, before we go on to the tutorial, let’s explore what exactly PDF compression implies.

Generally speaking, compression is a process through which we optimize bits and bytes in order to reduce overall file size and “fit things better”.

Unfortunately, that compression is often done at an expense to file quality.

That can be seen in compressing JPEG images in Photoshop: the more you reduce the image file size, the worse the quality gets. And vice versa.  

Well, the same is for digital documents, except in this instance, you don’t necessarily have to lose too much quality as here we have a lot more compression options.

For example, PDF documents are naturally optimized for compression.The PDF, by default, supports two biggest compression types: lossless and lossy.

This article further explains these two types of compression, however you should note the main difference:

  • Lossless is used for documents containing text, as its algorithm creates reference points for textual patterns, stores them in a catalogue and then brings them back to your file.
  • Lossy is mainly for images and graphics, as it reduces file size by eliminating bits of information. The end result is a compressed image, but with reduced file quality.

Of course, these compression algorithms won’t happen by themselves. They usually require a PDF compression software, which can be either online or desktop.

When you apply a PDF compressor software to your PDF document, two things happen:

1) The images get downsampled and compressed using either JPEG, ZIP or LZW compression methods.

2) The text gets compressed using a lossless algorithm.

Since we got the technical bit out of the way, let’s explore the two only ways to compress a PDF document.

1. Compress your PDF using a desktop software – gives you better compression, more control over downsampling methods and is much more secure. However it takes some time to download and install the software, which is the main reason why a lot of people resort to the second option.

2. Compress your PDF using an online tool – this is much faster and does the job well for most users. Using this method you can usually reduce your PDF by around 20-30%, depending on its structure and complexity. For business users, however, we recommend a desktop tool, like Able2Extract.

Let’s now explore these two options and see which one suits you the best.  

How to Compress a PDF File with Desktop Software

Compressing PDF using a desktop tool is where we can really dial in on the details and fine tune our compression settings. This is perfect when you need to reduce the size as much as possible and is especially useful when you need to email a PDF. Let’s get started.

Open your PDF software of choice. We’ll use our very own Able2Extract.

Go to View > PDF Creation Options.

Navigate to the Compression tab.

Selecting PDF Compression Settings

There are 3 main panels here, all related to image compression, which is something that takes up most of the space in PDF documents, in terms of file size. Leave the Compress Text checked and set up everything like in the image below.

This is the template for the biggest possible PDF compression in Able2Extract.

Able2Extract Compression Settings Template

Once you set everything up, hit OK and, the next time you use the Create PDF feature, every PDF will be fully compressed.

How to Compress PDF Using Online Tools

By far, the most popular way of compressing a PDF document is uploading it to an online tool of choice and hitting “Compress”. Yes, this does actually work pretty good. Well, in most cases.

Before we recommend the best tools for online PDF compression, you should note that, when it comes to file and document security, nothing does a better job than a desktop tool that can process everything locally, without uploading your file to an external server.

That being said, there are a couple of dependable PDF compression tools that you can use right away:

These tools do a pretty good job at converting smaller documents and, depending on the type of your PDF,  you can even get more than 30% compression.

They are all fairly easy to use and, even better, most of them are completely free. However, they do have some limitations be it either in terms of file size or the number of compressions.

So, there you go, a quick and useful tutorial on PDF compression. To recap one more time:

For compressing large PDF files, use a desktop software (like Able2Extract) to fine tune your compression settings for both images and text.


To compress smaller files even more, use an online tool as a faster way of PDF compression, which also let you work on your PDFs on the go.

Top 10 FinTech Conferences To Attend In 2017

Technology Business Finance Rates

Young start ups, entrepreneurs and established businesses are looking to get inspired and educated  on the latest developments going on in the fintech industry. And in this fast-paced world of technology, this can involve anything from new enterprise developments to number-crunching finance tools.

Whether it be about making connections, finding new investors or meeting possible partners, conferences are the best way to stay on top of the industry. To that end we put together your own personal guide to fintech conferences that you should have on your radar this year. Here are the top 10 North American fintech events 2017 has to offer.

1. FinDEVr

At FinDEVr, fintech developers, CTOs and engineering professionals will be at the center of innovation and forward looking content. Here you can get the first look at the latest tools, upcoming technology and platforms in finance through 15 minute presentations offering professionals in the industry a springboard on which to build and improve on their fintech vision.

New York, New York
March 21-22, 2017

2. Finovate Spring 2017

When your company is looking to stay ahead of the game, Finovate Spring 2017 will be the fintech conference you’ll want to check out. From senior financial and technology executives to expert analysts and innovative entrepreneurs, this conference will be the place to be. The focal points of this conference are on-stage live demos of new innovative financial technology and networking sessions.

San Jose, California
April 26-27, 2017

3. Money20/20

Though this event made its debut in 2012, Money20/20 has since grown into a conference that was capable of attracting more than 1700 CEOs, 11000 attendees and 4500 companies last year. This conference is the place to be if you want to raise brand awareness, launch a product,or  create new partnerships. With keynote presentations, hackathons, and educational sessions, you can learn and get up to speed about the latest developments in financial services and how they relate to technology, data, and more.

Las Vegas
October 22-25, 2017

4. Future of FinTech

Get updated with the latest technologies that are reshaping the financial services industry. Future of FinTech  will cover trends that include insurance tech, AI, blockchain, and more. With startup presentations,  panels, and topics discussing the next disruptive force in financial services.

New York, New York
June 26-28, 2017

5. Digital Banking

The Digital Banking conference is for anyone working in the banking industry.  This conference covers the trends and issues that are happening in banking technology: cyber security,  mobile payments, user experience, and analytics. Meet executives and other tech developers looking to push developments in mobile and online banking and payment systems.

Austin, Texas
June 12-14, 2017

6. The 2017 CNP Expo

According to its homepage, “The CNP Expo is the only conference of its kind, dedicated to the intersection of security, e-commerce, software, mobile, retail and payments.” This conference is dedicated to educating professionals in the financial technology industry. From covering best online payment practices to providing perspective and knowledge on a number of  essential topics, this conference will enlighten you and your team.

Orlando, Florida
May 22-25, 2017

Conference Event Auditorium

7. LendIt USA 2017

The LendIt USA 2017  conference will be the conference to attend if you’re in the lending and fintech industries. At this conference, you’ll find business opportunities while building your network with valuable and top tier industry professionals. Make the most of your experience with presentations, partnerships, funding, media exposure, innovation and thought leaders.

New York, New York
March 6-7, 2017

8. In|Vest

The In|Vest 2017 conference is the event where you can get perspective on upcoming digital trends and strategies on wealth management. You’ll get to network with a number of executives from traditional and private banks as well as venture capital and private equity investors. Benefit from disrupt demos, CEO spots and breakout sessions.

New York, New York
July 11-12, 2017

9. CFSI EMERGE Financial Health Forum

Anyone who’s involved in financial services should attend the CFSI EMERGE Financial Health Forum. This conference is aimed at providing VPs, directors, managers, and financial professionals with some insight on how effective their financial strategies to assess consumers’ financial state are. This can be a good springboard and compliment to fintech businesses in search of new product ideas, partnerships, and market research.

Austin, Texas
June 14-16, 2017

10. Future of Money & Technology Summit

The Future of Money & Technology Summit is a meeting ground for the most innovative minds that include entrepreneurs, developers, investors, and both service and solution providers. Attend and discuss the changing financial ecosystem with top professionals. This conference still has yet to confirm its agenda, but is worth keeping an eye on.

If you can’t attend them all, don’t worry. No doubt these organizations will have some great post-event summary and content available.  Any conferences we missed? Post them down in the comments to add them on.

How To Add A Watermark To PDF Documents

From password encryption to limited file permissions, there are different ways to lock down your PDF content. But oftentimes, you may not fully appreciate what they’re capable of.  Those features are crucial because though you may not realize it, a PDF file on its own isn’t as secure as you may think.

As a universal file format, the PDF preserves the look and feel of your original document for sharing with others regardless of platform or device. But without security settings on your PDF, there’s no way to stop someone from opening the file and taking credit for your content. 

Because of this you need to be creative with how you control and secure your file. Passwords are a good start. File permissions are even better. What else? What happens if your file travels beyond the “trusted” recipient?

To prevent malicious users from taking advantage of your content, there are a few other things you can do to protect and help boost the security of your PDF.  

Why You Should Add A Watermark To Your PDF Pages

For instance, simple additions like a watermark annotation can be used alongside the heavy duty PDF encryption features you’re using. It’s a simple way to add one or two more levels of flexibility when securing your content. Here are a few ways:

  • A watermark can easily help users identify the status of your PDF content. It can be used as a visual warning to designate your document as confidential or for internal use only.
  • Watermarking each page of your file can help protect your intellectual property from being passed off as someone else’s when the file is shared with others.
  • Adding a watermark of your logo or brand is effective for publication material you want to identify as belonging to your company without completely locking the PDF down. It allows you to identify the distributed content as yours and add a professional touch to your material.
  • No matter who opens the file, whether they’re an authorized user or not, a watermark will always be visible in the PDF, right on the pages that are being viewed.  

Having different options when it comes to document security is definitely a bonus  as you oftentimes won’t know how your content will be used. Using a watermark is an effective way to cover all your bases. This is why Able2Extract Professional 11 has added the ability to insert watermark annotations into  PDF files.

Adding A Watermark To Your PDF

With Able2Extract Professional 11, watermarks can be easily customized according to your needs. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to add a watermark to your PDF:

1. Open your PDF in Able2Extract Pro 11

2. Go to View > PDF Annotations Panel

3. In the side panel, click on the Add Watermark icon.

Able2Extract 11 Add Watermark

You’ll get the following dialog box where you can customize, position, your watermark:

Able2Extract 11 Watermark Options

4. You have two options on how to create a watermark:

To insert an existing image as a watermark,

a) Click on the Image radio button in the Source section.

b) Click on the Browse button.

c) Select your image from your computer and click on Open.

Able2Extract 11 Inserting Watermark Image

d) Scale the Image size as needed.

Able2Extract 11 Logo Watermark

To insert your own custom text as a watermark,

a) Click on the Text radio button.

b) Type in your text.

Customizing Text Watermark

c) Customize the Font, Size, and Color of your text watermark.

Able2Extract 11 Text Watermark

5. When you have your watermark inserted, you can then tailor it further with the settings below:

Selecting Watermark Settings

  • Appearance: Adjust the opacity of the watermark to allow text from behind to show through. You can also adjust the angle and rotation at which you want the watermark
  • Page: Decide what percentage of the narrow side of the margin you want your watermark to appear on the page.
  • Position: Choose where you want the watermark to appear–in either one of the top or bottom left- or right-hand corners, top and bottom center, left or right, or dead center in the middle of the page.
  • Page Range: Selectively decide which pages need a watermark by specifying the first and last pages where your watermark will appear.

6. After your watermark is completed, save the PDF with the name and in the location of your choice.

Experimenting this feature a bit can help you explore an extra layer of  security. See how a watermark works for your content with Able2Extract Professional 11, Test it out with a 7 day free trial.

 

How To Keep Your 2017 New Year’s Resolution With A Few Apps

2017 Agenda Calendar

As 2017 begins, everyone starts to put their New Year’s resolution into action. It’s all about a clean slate and starting the year off right. But no matter how hard you try, there’s always that one resolution that never materializes.

That’s why this post is aimed at helping you stick to those resolutions. Here we drop a few app and tool names for you to check out. Achieve some of the most common New Year’s goals. No excuses!

Start discovering a few apps for the following resolutions:

Saving More Money

With tech developments at an all time high, it’s easy to spend your money on phones, entertainment systems and accessories, HD TVs, new computers, laptops and hardware. That’s a big strain on the wallet. Saving money for bigger life changes is harder than ever.

Fortunately, with apps and tools such as Mint, GoodBudget, and MoneyWiz you can keep your financial goals synced, updated and in sight. Each tool can easily replace makeshift spreadsheets and calculations and set you up with a system capable of putting your finances in order and helping you reach your financial goals.

Getting Fit And Healthy

Who doesn’t have this New Year’s resolution at least once in their lifetime? Staying fit and healthy is on the uptick with dietary calorie counters, fitness tech watches and health monitoring apps. But as much as they help keep your health activity on track, how well do they motivate or support you when you’re feeling down or lazy?

Fitness Equipment

In such cases, tools like MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, MyNetDiary, Social Workout and SparkPeople can help give you that added boost. They each have a strong user community of individuals like you where you can gain that much needed support. Connect whenever a moment of weakness arises.

Personal Development Goals

Sometimes the one thing you’d like to improve isn’t physical at all. We’re talking about personal development. Want to improve your habits? Be less negative? Become more mindful? Confident? No matter what your goal, these following apps will help you stay on track to get there.

Wunderlist, Bucketlist.org, Lifetick.com, and Mindbloom are great tools for outlining, tracking and staying on top of your goals whether they be aimed at changing your life or your routine. For goals aimed at developing and improving habits, try checking out tools like 21Habit, Coach.me,  Goal Tracker (Android) or Strides that keep you committed to progress.

Learning Something New

This is a self-taught, DIY age where you can learn anything, so this resolution is often easy to make, but hard to keep up. The most common reasons of doing so? There’s no time or you can’t find the right course.

However, there are educational sources and apps (some paid) that can eliminate those hurdles by being accessible and credible. Udemy, Lynda.com, TEDTalk, Coursera are classic faves that will connect you to quality content online. For iOS users, you can’t get a better resource than iTunesU. With the amount of material you’ll find with each source, the only problem will be narrowing your course load.

Going Paperless

Is going paperless on your list? This is a resolution that not only helps you contribute to a greater environmental cause, but also keeps you updated with digital work trends that are going on around you. If you’re at a loss on how to start, begin by turning paper records into digital files.

Annotating PDF Documents

CamScanner and GeniusScan are cost-effective tools to create scanned PDFs of paper receipts or documents on the spot with a smartphone. But that’s only half the battle. Once you get your documents in PDF format, you can then use tools like Able2Extract Professional 11 to work and edit PDFs.

Cleaning Out Your Data

You snap pictures, shoot videos, share images, save files, and add music files to your device and computer everyday. So the new year can be the perfect opportunity to clean out old junk files. Yet tediously backing up files you want to keep first may be keeping you from that goal. But it’s actually easier than you think.

Mobile users can turn to iCloud (for connecting iOS and Apple devices) or CM Backup  (Android).  If those don’t cut it, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box.com are easily the most popular and flexible solutions for backing up data that cover both mobile and desktop platforms.

Stop Procrastination And Increase Productivity

This resolution is a hard one. For anyone who is in the habit of putting things off due to poor time management skills, we dug up a few tools that can help in each case.

Looking for a way to keep yourself focused? You can’t track your time any better with  apps and tools like Pomodoro, FocusBooster, Pomello.  By combining both timers with apps like Todoist and Trello, you can boost your productivity and get your tasks done faster.

 

Overall, the secret to a successful new you in 2017 is to keep your resolutions realistic so you can keep them up. And with a few helpful tools, you’ll be one lean, mean goalkeeping machine.

Have you ever achieved your New Year’s resolution? Share your story on what helped you get there.

6 Ways Able2Extract Pro 11 Is Making Your Paperwork Easier

Editing Pages

If there’s one pain point for businesses, it’s the paperwork. Or rather the digital document work.

It’s the multiple tasks you have to do with PDF documents that can range anywhere from filing and revising to securing and reviewing. What makes it even tougher is that most of those documents are in the PDF format.

If you’ve been struggling to get your business on track with all the PDF work that needs to be done, you’ll be happy to know that Able2Extract Pro 11 is aimed at making things easier and stress free from here on in.

Take a look.

1. Contract Revisions Are Simplified

In any business, it’s essential to get contracts that cover everything. From drawing them up to negotiating terms, half the battle is in the collaboration process. Contract drafts are usually transmitted via PDF and can span multiple pages. Revisions aren’t fun and performing the edits, even worse.

PDF Annotations Panel

But here’s where it gets a bit simpler. Able2Extract Pro 11 can help you annotate PDF contracts right on the page. You can highlight clauses you don’t agree with, insert carets where text needs to be re-worded, or add sticky notes on additional details that should be considered.

 2. Redact Sensitve PDF Data When You Need To 

One thing about paperwork that can give you a ton of stress is leaking information you aren’t supposed to. Take tax filings, for instance. What’s more stressful than filing taxes for your business? Being selected for a tax audit where the revenue agency will inspect every ledger, receipt, and banking statement you have. The accuracy of your business books is crucial, but so is the security of the information that doesn’t need to be inspected.

Redacting PDF Data

This is where redacting any sensitive information is essential. Able2Extract Pro 11 can permanently and selectively delete any information you don’t want displayed. No need to extract the data to Word, insert makeshift black rectangles around your text, and re-convert it to PDF.  You can simply open your PDF, redact your content, and save your file.

3. You Can Work With Third Parties Seamlessly

Working with third-parties can be a nightmare when the documents passed around are secured PDFs and you all need to work around them. Having access to PDFs you can interact with is the first thing you need.

For those needing a way to work openly with security and PDF files by encrypting and decrypting your PDFs. Able2Extract Pro 11 will let you open, edit and decrypt PDFs to keep the collaboration process going. Or you can open, redact, and then encrypt the file to ensure that sensitive details aren’t leaked.

4. Edit Professional Business PDFs Without Converting

When it comes to company information in PDF, your first instinct is to type on the page in order to add in your changes. But it isn’t as straightforward as typing in MS Word. In fact, the inability to do what you naturally would is at the core of everyone’s frustration with the format.

But you can now expect to update your PDF documents almost in the same way you would in a Word Document. Whether you need to update pricing lists, product information brochures or company newsletters, simple text and page dits are possible in Able2Extract Pro 11. You can match the font, colour and size of the existing text or merge and split pages by just clicking in the PDF editing side panel.

Check out the video above for a taste of how to edit PDF files the smart way.

5.  Access Scanned PDF Information Easily

Thus far, the completely paperless office hasn’t arrived yet, which means you still have to cater to and work with scanned documents that are emailed in. This is especially hard when you need to access textual data from that PDF.

Able2Extract Pro has already had the scanned PDF conversion part nailed for years. What’s new is that it can convert image-only scanned PDFs into PDFs with searchable text. This means that you can navigate through PDF text with the search functionality when you need to make changes or find certain sections in lengthy PDFs.

6. Tweak Professional Branding Material Yourself

Marketing and branding material is essential when you run your company. When you need to distribute brochures or information packages online, your professional material will be published in the PDF format. So how do you effectively edit the branding material you have?

Improved PDF Editor

The enhanced PDF Editor in Able2Extract Pro 11 has a few new editing features that will allow you to make additions and refined edits to PDFs. It will allow you to modify content page objects: business logos, page borders, and large PDF page art. You can also add in images and insert vector shapes for an added visual boost. Make your edits right in the PDF without the need for conversion or any graphics software.

Business productivity is about to change. It’s all about getting set up with the tools that can get the job done. See where Able2Extract Professional 11 fits into your workflow. Test it out for 7 days with a free trial version.