Recommendation on a PDF printer app (and PDF viewer?) that results in small PDF file.

Posted a previous question about removing the password from a PDF that I DO have the password for.  Just to simplify opening it going forward (accountant emailed tax returns with our SSN on them).  Different ways to do that, but printing to a new PDF is 1 way and seems to be (for me) the cheapest / simplest way.

Touches on another issue that I've wondered about for a long time.

Printing  a PDF (or even a web page or text doc, etc) to PDF using different apps can yield wildly different size documents.

Any (free preferred) app that you like for printing to PDF ... and makes small resulting files?

I know with this password protected file (monochrome text), the original was 90KB and any app I tried using to make a PDF resulted in files that  was hundred Kilobytes / megabytes.

And even PDF Forge - for a password protected PDF, it won't even print to PDF (at least when viewing it from Adobe Reader.

From PDF Forge forum:

it isn't really up to us, this is a Ghostscript "feature". Ghostscript is what PDFCreator uses internally to convert the Postscript print data to PDF and other formats.
The idea behind it (I guess) is that you can't use Ghostscript to strip protection from PDF files. Even though the settings allow print, printing it to a virtual PDF printer will basically remove the user password for you, so it is really something different than printing it to a piece of paper. On the other hand, if you have the password and you can view/copy all content anyway, you might as well directly be able to create an unprotected PDF from the password protected file.
You can actually print it to PDFCreator, you just can't use PDF as output format (if printed from Adobe Reader).
The best solution (in my opinion) is to simply print the PDF with PDF Architect or SumatraPDF instead of Adobe Reader.

That brings up another question - Does the size of the resulting PDF depend on the combination of  PDF viewer AND PDF Printer app?  Ie using pdf viewer A vs. pdf viewer B give a different resulting PDF file when printed with the same PDF printer app?!
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> Any (free preferred) app that you like for printing to PDF ... and makes small resulting files?

There are many free PDF print drivers out there. Eight good ones are Bullzip, CutePDF Writer, doPDF, Foxit Reader PDF Printer (part of the Foxit Reader install), Nitro PDF Creator (part of the Nitro Reader install), PDFCreator, PDF-XChange Printer (part of the PDF-XChange Editor install), and PrimoPDF:

http://www.bullzip.com/products/pdf/info.php
http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp
http://www.dopdf.com
http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader
http://www.nitroreader.com
http://www.pdfforge.org/pdfcreator
http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-editor
http://www.primopdf.com

They have varying features and some folks prefer one over the other, so you may want to experiment to see which one you like the best. At one time CutePDF was my favorite, then it was doPDF, and my current choice is Bullzip. So I suggest trying Bullzip first to see if it works well for you; if not, try doPDF next; then the others until you find one that you like. One of the interesting things about doPDF is that it does not use Ghostscript (most, if not all, of the others do). In terms of the size issue, I've never compared the results among the various products, but I don't recollect any of my Top 3 (Bullzip, doPDF, CutePDF) creating huge files...try 'em and see! Btw, if you have Adobe Acrobat (the full product, not just Adobe Reader), then you'll already have a PDF print driver called Adobe PDF.

> Does the size of the resulting PDF depend on the combination of PDF viewer AND PDF Printer app?

It could if the viewer sets different params in the print driver. For example, one viewer could set the print driver to print in B&W at a low DPI while another viewer could set the print driver to print in color at a high DPI. Those could result in significantly different file sizes. Of course, those are the defaults that the viewer sets...you can change the printer properties in the print dialog to whatever you want. Regards, Joe

Edit: Just noticed the second part of your question — "(and PDF viewer?)"

Two excellent, free PDF readers/viewers are Foxit Reader and PDF-XChange Editor. Here are a few five-minute EE video Micro Tutorials that discuss them:
How to rotate pages in a PDF with free software
How to OCR pages in a PDF with free software
How to password-protect a PDF with free software
How to scan to a PDF file with free software

The first three are on PDF-XChange, the last is on Foxit. Regards, Joe
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Thomas UCommented:
Hi Begentlewithme-Ineedhelp (puuh long;)

This is quite a little text you wrote above. I general I think you want to know why PDFs are the size they are, why reprint grows etc.

I think I found a good link where you can get the info you want.
https://www.evermap.com/PDFFileSize.asp

It depends on Font, font integrated, picture quality etc, etc. Then there are also PDF standards (for archiving, where fonts etc must be within the file)

cheers
Thomas
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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
Thanks. Interesting to read that.

Not seeing file-> save as other -> optimized  in the acrobat reader DC I have with windows 10

But basically wondering which PDF printer app(s) result in smallest size by default. will all apps give the same size when all settings exactly the same (no embedded fonts, etc.?).
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> Not seeing file-> save as other -> optimized  in the acrobat reader DC

Correct! "Optimized PDF" is in (full) Acrobat, not Reader.

> wondering which PDF printer app(s) result in smallest size by default

Don't know...test 'em! May depend on the source doc, too.

> will all apps give the same size when all settings exactly the same (no embedded fonts, etc.?).

Yes. If all the printing parameters are identical in the print driver, then it doesn't matter which app initiates the printing. The PDF creator/producer is the print driver and it should result in the same PDF file when printing with the exact same settings. Regards, Joe
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hdhondtCommented:
Large PDF sizes are normally caused by the DPI of the images in the document.

CutePDF lets you change that. In the Print dialogue box click Advanced > Page Size. Click "Print Quality" and change the DPI. For printing you'll want 300 dpi but for screen display 100 dpi is plenty.

I believe Bullzip also lets you change dpi, but I do not know how to. I don't know about other PDF writers.
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masnrockCommented:
That brings up another question - Does the size of the resulting PDF depend on the combination of  PDF viewer AND PDF Printer app?  Ie using pdf viewer A vs. pdf viewer B give a different resulting PDF file when printed with the same PDF printer app?!
The size of the PDF depends on its contents (fonts, graphics, etc), options such as color or DPI, as well as the program that's used to create it. Which program works best for your depends on your needs, but be sure you're doing apple-to-apple comparisons.

Any (free preferred) app that you like for printing to PDF ... and makes small resulting files?
Joe provided a pretty complete list. However, there is also PDF995 (www.pdf995.com), but I remember that the free version would always have a nag page each time you ran it.
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