Apple’s Keynote has been very helpful for creating my image intensive lectures slides since it was unveiled in 2003. Each presentation I make is a large file which is fine as rarely leaves my desktop, but the pdf of the lecture slides are also large, which can be a problem for my students.
I do two things when creating lecture pdfs – first, I change the slide background (or theme) to white, to save on printer ink and speed when printing out slides. Then I reduce the file size of the pdf as much as possible to save students the grief of a lengthy download.
This used to be difficult, for with too much reduction, some images would get pixelated. I struggled with this until I discovered Jerome Colas’ quartz filters in 2007. Colas provided eight filters which he developed after experimentation, but I really only use his “Standard Compression” filter.
He tweaked that for a balance of image quality and file size and it is much better than Apple’s “reduce file size” filter.
Once downloaded, move the unzipped file to Root > Library > PDF Services. If you cannot find the folder, simply create one – which is safe to do, no worries!
When you are next viewing that large pdf, select “File > Export…”, and in the window that opens, select the standard compression filter in the Quartz Filter drop down menu.
That often reduces a 90MB file to 9MB – yes, a 90% reduction is the norm! All my slide lecture pdfs are thus below 10MB. The pdfs look fine on screen and when I peek at my student’s printed notes, they look clear.
This filter is one of the first files I copy back onto my hardisk after a clean reinstall, and is working fine on Mountain Lion. It should be every educator’s arsenal – thanks Jerome!
For other apps I use, see macapps.sivasothi.com.