Converting scanned documents to compressed PDF

Use cases for converting scanned documents to compressed PDF

Scanning has come a long way since the first image scanners were invented in the early 20th century. Today, you can scan documents and images in full color with vivid resolution—but at a cost. Standard 300 dpi color scans create very large files—upwards of 25 MB for an uncompressed, letter-sized TIFF. All of that data chokes networks and email, slows applications, and quickly fills storage archives.

The solution? Use PDF to compress your scanned documents.

Compression reduces a file’s size, creating a smaller file that’s faster to transmit and smaller to store. PDF files can be fairly compact because they use a very elegant data structure and support efficient compression algorithms.

Compression technology is a veritable alphabet soup of options, with names such as CCITT, G3/G4, JPEG, JPEG2000, JBIG2, MRC, and ZIP. But you don’t need a college degree in compression to get good results. You can get higher compression and quality by using better software. Better solutions create color scans that are only about 40-80 KB per page. That’s very small—in fact, it’s about the size of a typical black and white TIFF.

Use OCR to create searchable pdf documents

In addition to reducing file size, converting scanned documents into PDF gives you another major benefit: searchable text. Searchable PDF files are similar to normal PDF files, except that they include an invisible overlay of searchable text. This turns your scanned document into a source of intelligence, enabling you to use your digital file system as a searchable database to help locate the information you need.

Archive smaller PDF files for the long run using PDF/A

An ISO-standardized version of PDF, PDF/A ensures that documents you archive will keep their appearance and readability over time. You get more predictable, consistent results from PDF/A, which is useful if you’re expecting those documents to be accessed far into the future.

How PDF optimization benefits business

A growing number of enterprises have digital mailrooms that scan and email all incoming paper documents. They also have digitization projects requiring paper documents, such as contracts, insurance forms, and customer records, to be digitized into their document management system. Both of these are areas where color scanning, OCR, and PDF/A are useful features for PDF optimization.

If your organization could benefit from high-quality PDF compression, Foxit can help.

Introducing the LuraTech pdf compressor

LuraTech is now part of the Foxit family. LuraTech specializes in conversion of scanned documents to highly compressed PDF and PDF/A files. They offer the widely used LuraTech PDF Compressor, an application for compressing scanned documents and converting them to PDF and PDF/A with OCR. It’s a great option if you’re using Foxit PhantomPDF for Business in your digital mailroom, on your digitization projects, or in any application where you need small, searchable PDF files.

Read more about LuraTech, the LuraTech PDF Compressor, and other products on their website. Details about the Foxit acquisition of LuraTech can be found in our press release.

7 thoughts on “Converting scanned documents to compressed PDF

  1. Evan Cox

    This is a one of the most interesting topic to me. Actually I was searching for such kind of helpful topic. It helps me to understand the conversion very well. Thanks.

    1. FOXITBLOG Post author

      Will, PhantomPDF is great for processing one file at a time on your laptop or desktop PC. PDF Compressor, on the other hand, is for mass conversions (in unattended batch mode) on servers. If you have any additional questions about PDF Compressor, please don’t hesitate to contact sales.


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