Windows XP/PDF files


Hi Troy,
         I have a file (rates account scan) which is 1.08mb. I need to reduce it to less than 600kb. How do I do that?

Q2. I need to send a pdf file to a site which requires that it is no bigger than 1200 x 1200 pixels? What does that mean and how do I do this.

I am using Windows XP Office.

Thank you.
Don Boddie,
New Zealand

Greetings Don,

Although your question technically isn’t about Problems with WindowsXP itself (can’t boot up WindowsXP, can’t get a printer to install into it, etc) I would still be happy to help you and answer your queries.
(The only reason I state the above is because, although I am a Systems Analyst/Engineer and am experienced with the Windows Operating System (the interface, how to use it and fix problems, etc) I do not have in-depth experience with the separate applications that Windows can run, including Microsoft Office (I am not Microsoft Office Certified, they are called Microsoft Office User Specialists). For more in-depth assistance with Microsoft Office in the future, may I gently direct you to the AllExperts category for MSOffice, located here:
[In your case, the category would be “Microsoft Word”]
Please know that I am still happy to answer your question (since I can!), but if it had been slightly more complicated (as far as Office goes), I may not have been able to help you – that is the only reason that I give the link to the Category above) - I always want everyone to have an answer!

As to your question...

PDF (Portable Document Format) files are designed to hold many ‘objects’ in one ‘container’ - that is, the text of a document, any images that might be in it, and also any form fields (areas where people can fill things in) – all in one distributable file. If I remember correctly, direct PDF support for Office began in Office2007, where Microsoft has since offered a free add-in that is downloadable from Microsoft, that allows creation (output) of PDF files. Office2003, OfficeXP and prior versions, I believe, need to use third-party software to convert a saved office document into a PDF file.

Don’t worry, there are many free PDF creation utilities out there, such as PrimoPDF (, CutePDF (, and more (both of those previously stated have completely free versions to use). Adobe (co-founded by the ‘creator’ of the PDF format), also offers PDF creation, but you must pay for it (or subscribe, it seems now), otherwise you can only READ PDF files with Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader.

To reduce the size of a PDF file, there are a few options that you can change, mainly the Quality settings (for images) that will affect how pictures used will look, and depending on the utility used to create the PDF, you can adjust the Compression as well (how ‘small’ it will try to make the file when it creates it). Each utility is different however, so try a few of them and see how they allow you to adjust the file sizes, in order to try to create a file size that is within your constraints (less than 600kb, from your example). If you simply cannot get the file size that small (it cannot be compressed that small, no matter what) - then you must consider taking out elements of the document (pictures, etc) or reducing the amount of text (rephrasing, rewording, etc).

The term, 'Resolution' (in your example, “1200x1200 pixels”) is usually phrased that way when talking about pictures/images, or video. PDF files do not really use a ‘resolution’ constraint, other than restricting the resolution for the images within the document. The resolution for a picture is the "pixel dimensions" (think ‘length’ and ‘width’) that will dictate the size of the picture and how it is displayed [by default].
Pictures can also be Scaled up or down in size, which merely changes how much space the picture takes up on the screen (but does not change the actual initial, source dimensions of the picture (the Resolution), only how big it looks on the monitor - that is what is meant by Scaling.
In a PDF file, images can also be Scaled up or down, which shows the entire picture, but makes it smaller or bigger, in how it looks (how many lines it takes up) in the document.
I am assuming here, but perhaps the website is stating the limitation on the pixel size for the pictures that will be used in the PDF file, as an image with more pixels [to begin with] with have clearer detail, but take up more space in the file (making the file size larger).

If you have images that are, for instance, from a camera; they can be quite large (in order to try and maintain detail) and would probably be ‘too large’ to send in an email directly or embed into a PDF. A 10 Megapixel camera picture, in RAW format, would be about 15MB in size. A 10 Megapixel camera picture, in JPG format (a compressed format, if your camera can do it), is still about 2MB in size, which is 2000kb, which is too large for your limitations in your example – and that is just for one image.

You can reduce image file sizes in two ways: lower the displayed resolution (the pixel dimensions of the image, such as changing it to 600x600, instead of 1200x1200) or you could increase the compression.
If you are unfamiliar with ‘compressing images’ or ‘changing the dimensions of the image/pixels’, you can convert almost any image (from cameras, the internet, etc) with third-party programs such as Irfanview ( or HoneyView ( You can even save images with Windows’ built-in Paint program, although you cannot adjust the compression ratio (but you can save in the smaller filesize/compressed format JPG).

To change the dimensions of the image, you would have to open the image in an image viewer, and adjust the 'size' of the image (resizing a picture, for example, from 1600x1200 pixels, down to 1200x900 pixels, which will still 'show the whole picture', it will only be smaller). If you are using images in the JPG format, you could also increase the Compression to say 25% (which means 75% Quality), which isn’t too bad for an image, if it is not too large and it’s display dimensions are smaller (such as 400x300, as part of a document, for example). Try not to increase the compression too high, or loss of detail can easily be seen and will negatively affect the impression of the image.

So overall, there are a few options you can try, to reduce the PDF file size to the limitations the website is apparently giving you. Adjusting the dimensions (resolution) and the compression of the images used (which lowers the Quality - try not to go too low), is a couple things you can start with. You can also try to adjust the 'compression of the PDF file itself' when creating it, if it can be adjusted within the PDF creation utility. If you still require making the PDF file even smaller, you may have to resort to removing some elements (number of pictures, reducing the amount of text, etc). Trying these steps above however, will hopefully start you off in getting your PDF file down to the size you want.

I hope that at least helps you out a little bit, Don - and take care

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Troy M. MCSE, CNA, MCP, CST, IC3, Aplus


Hi there! Even though I am relatively new around here, I have been having great fun with PCs for over two decades now, becoming familiar with Windows through versions 3.x/9x/Me/2000/XP/2003/7/8/10. I enjoy helping others with what I feel is an exciting industry - computers are always changing, improving and offering new opportunities for learning. I look forward to assisting you with questions concerning Windows, how it interacts with your PC Hardware, configuration/settings or just general tips and ideas. Besides troubleshooting questions, feel free to ask the basics, as well. I will always start there, and I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a dumb question - we are all ‘Beginners’ at one time or another!


I am an A+ Certified, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer with Computer Service Technician and LAN Administration diplomas and over 15 years direct experience with PCs including assembly, troubleshooting/support and upgrading. I have worked for retail outlets, schools and businesses, and have been an Instructor in the past as well – helping others, just like you, understand and enjoy computers!

MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer), CNA (Certified Novell Administrator), MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), CST (Computer Service Technician (Formerly Computer Engineering Technician)(Hardware/OS servicing Diploma), IC3 (Internet and Core Computing Certification)(Hardware/OperatingSystem/Internet Fundamentals Certification), A+ (Computing Technology Industry Association Hardware/Operating System Certification)

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