PDF Workflow - Computerphile | Summary and Q&A

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September 30, 2016
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Computerphile
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PDF Workflow - Computerphile

TL;DR

PDF's journey from compression technologies to becoming a de facto standard for exact representation and high-quality typography.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did the speaker reduce the PowerPoint presentation file size using Adobe PDF and PDF writer?

The speaker compressed the PowerPoint presentation file size by converting it to a PDF using the built-in save as PDF option in PowerPoint, then further reduced it using PDF writer, a paid option that optimizes file size through compression technologies.

Q: Why did it take several years for PDF to become a de facto standard?

It took several years for PDF to become a standard because desktop workstations needed to become powerful enough to handle the processing demands of postscript and PDF rendering. This required advancements in technology and increased affordability of powerful workstations.

Q: What were the challenges faced in developing PDF?

Fonts were one of the main challenges in developing PDF. Ensuring compatibility and accuracy with different fonts was crucial. Developing a reliable distiller substitute that could handle diverse postscript inputs without crashing was also a challenge for third-party developers.

Q: What was the significance of PDF writer in the evolution of PDF?

PDF writer allowed users to bypass the need for postscript and directly convert documents from applications like Microsoft Word into PDF format. This eliminated the cost and reliance on Adobe Distiller. Third-party options provided alternatives, with varying levels of effectiveness.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker shares his experience of compressing a PowerPoint presentation using Adobe PDF and PDF writer, resulting in significantly reduced file sizes.

  • The video discusses the origins of PDF and its association with postscript, highlighting how postscript had to evolve over the years to become renderable on screens and handle larger file sizes.

  • The transition from using Adobe Distiller to convert postscript to PDF to using PDF writer as a standalone option is explored.

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