First off, let me say that "Fight On!" is really, really great. It has more stuff that I'd actually want to use than any other source, and even the stuff I'd never use is really good idea fodder.
Unfortunately, sometimes it's hard to read conveniently because of its file size.
I read most PDF products on my tablet, which has (like most tablets) a pretty anemic PDF viewer. On big PDFs, like Fight On!, which seems to average around 60 MB per issue, page turns range from sluggish to unbearable.
Could the images be downconverted? Or ... something? Heck, I will help in any way I can, if that might help. (I can dissect the PDF to see where all the space is going, if you want to make it smaller but don't know what's making it big.)
If not, though, I will grin and bear it. The content is really, really good.
Not involved directly in the production process, but I'm betting a lot of the filesize is due to artwork. There's a lot of grayscale and smooth gradient art, which looks good, but causes problems with some platforms (as you've noticed.) I would guess that if there were a greater focus on line art or dot pattern shading, and if art were converted to two-color palettes, you could shrink it up quite a bit.
I would be more than willing to help make this happen but I must admit I don't have the technical know-how currently. If there are helpers out there with good ideas, let me know!
I can dissect the PDF to look for the big space sinks. It would be easier, though, to start with the assumption that it's all the source material, so let me ask you a few questions and make a few suggestions.
First, though, I'll note that Labyrinth Lord's manual is about 1/10 the size of Fight On! 4, despite being about the same number of pages. FO has more artwork, but 90 megs more? It seems unlikely that this needs to be the case.
So the first question is: what is the image format that you're dropping into the source document? This can make a massive difference. PNG files will preserve pixel-perfect crispness, which may be necessary for things with fine print, but in almost all other artwork, I think you'll find that JPG will suffice and will be much, much smaller. (I have not yet confirmed that this format savings carries over into PDF, but I am in the process of checking, and believe it is extremely likely.)
The next is: at what DPI are the images being stored? PDF is a page format, not a screen format, so an image that fits at 5 x 5" could have almost any number of pixels, meaning that it might have much, much more data than anyone will ever see. If optimizing for the screen, you don't need a high DPI. At most, you care about what Lulu uses when printing.
If you want, I can help more hands-on, if you give me the artwork files for an issue. I realize that this might not be convenient for you, for any number of reasons.
Well, since we are a fanzine, I have no submission guidelines for writers or artists - we take stuff in word, rtf, pdf, open office (although my OO files got destroyed in a recent viral attack), jpg, png, tiff, bmp, and so on and so forth. Occasionally I have resized or reformatted giganto pictures when they jammed my computer or the lulu software, but often I don't. IMO 300 dpi is more than sufficient resolution for most interior printing though, and some stuff comes in much higher than that.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat more...
Page resolution at 300 dpi is the sweet spot between low screen resolution and fine "laser printing". Those of us that print their issue/selections at home could ask for an even larger file, since the cheapest inkjet can usually manage 600dpi now.
New tablets give me that "early laptop" deja vu...
Post by Alex Schroeder on Dec 29, 2011 5:15:38 GMT -6
I try to make my map submissions in the 2000x3000 range in order to make them about 300dpi if printed full page. If they don't get resized when they take up less space, that could be a source of space wasted, I guess.
I took Fight On #4, since it was the biggest one I had at 98MB. I have the full version of Adobe Acrobat 8, so I just ran the little thing called PDF optimizer, and it reduced it to 38MB.
I think a lot of this depends on the software used to put the document together. Take MS Word, for example. I'm pretty sure if you take a big-ass image and paste into into word, then drag the corners to shrink it down, it still gets stored as the original, large size (presumably so the data is still there in case you want to make it bigger again later).
I would assume that there is some free software out there somewhere that could perform this same optimization function on your PDF files, so you could make slimmer versions of the files to keep on your tablet.
Personally, I prefer having it the way it is, so I can export the images from the PDF for use in my personal stuff, and get them at the full size.
One of the things about publishing on lulu is that you have to use the lulu settings for the PDF. This means that we can only use PDF files that have been converted to Postscript and then converted back on the lulu settings - if we do anything to the file after converting back from postscript, it doesn't work right for their printing any more.
But, that doesn't apply to the PDFs for sale, so there's no reason we couldn't run the optimizer on those. That's bonehead obvious but you don't think of these things sometimes...we will try it out.
That is fantastic! Those 60mb shaved off will, I predict make a big difference in page-turn time. It would be nice if Adobe would just make their PDF reader for tablets faster, but... in the meantime, this could be a real boon. Thanks for looking into this!