How to reduce Illustrator file size in PDF exports

Have you ever noticed that some Adobe Illustrator files just weigh too much? That can be a problem when uploading files for print, as several online printing sites have tight file size restrictions.

Some typical solutions for the exceeded file size problem are:

  • Removing unused layers and elements.
  • Removing the image parts hidden by cropping masks after flattening their transparency.
  • Exporting the Illustrator file in .PDF format instead of .AI format.

Using PDF format is a wise choice, as those Portable Document File formats keep the information as vectors (whenever possible.) So the PDF files will keep the high vector quality that Illustrator files already had.

But sometimes this export in PDF isn't enough to reduce the Illustrator file size under tight size requirements.

Uncheck a PDF option in Adobe Illustrator to reduce the file size

Fortunately, reducing the exported PDF file size a lot is in fact a simple, one-step solution. Just follow these easy instructions:

  • Select a High Quality print preset in Illustrator to assure that the resulting image would have enough quality for professional printing purposes.
  • Then just uncheck the Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities option in the General PDF export menu inside Illustrator.
option to reduce Illustrator PDF size

That's all you need to achieve a dramatic size reduction of a PDF file exported from Illustrator (even containing both, vector and raster elements.)

It seems that Illustrator just keeps some of the original information in .AI format inside the exported .PDF file - that's how Illustrator assures that you would keep editing capabilities inside the exported .PDF file.

But truth is that, if you are uploading your final art file to an online printing service, those editing capabilities would be unused, and you would be much more worried by the Illustrator file size itself.

So uncheck that option, send your high-quality PDF file with the optimized file size, and don't worry about Illustrator editing capabilities in such exports!

Music playback commands in the headphone buttons of iPod touch and iPhone

A little trick to control iPhones and iPods is that they support certain voice control commands as well as some functions or shortcuts in their headphones.

Some models of the iPod Touch and the iPhone have a small control panel in the very cable of their headphones. We can use these headphone buttons to control the music playback in a quick way, with no need of taking out our music player from our pocket.

This control panel in the iPhone / iPod headphones is composed of 3 front buttons and a voice recognition microphone in the back.

iPod headphones controls

With the iPod buttons "+" and "-" we can control the playback volume. And with the central button (pressing the small box in the middle) we can perform the following actions:

  • 1 click: Pause / Resume music playback
  • 2 clicks in a row: Skip to the next track on our playlist.
  • 2 clicks, keeping the button pressed after the second click: Fast forward in the current music track (release to continue at a normal speed from the chosen point in the track).
  • 3 clicks in a row: Skip to the previous song in our playlist.
  • 3 clicks in a row, keeping the button pressed after the third click: Rewind the current track, (release to resume the playback from the chosen point in the track).
  • 1 click, keeping the button pressed: activate the voice recognition mode to use the Voice Control commands on our iPod / iPhone. So we can issue commands to our gadget by speaking to the microphone embedded in the headphones. We could even start phone calls using our iPhone.

The iPod voice control commands to play music are:

  • Play
  • Play music
  • Play (Album) (Album name)
  • Play (Artist) (Artist name)
  • Play (Playlist) (Playlist name)
  • Pause
  • Pause music
  • Next
  • Next track
  • Next song
  • Previous
  • Previous track
  • Previous song
  • Play more like this
  • Play more songs like this
  • Shuffle
  • Genius

The call comands that we can issue to our iPhone to control it with our voice are as follows:

  • Call (name)
  • Call (name) (home, mobile, work, etc.)
  • Call number (555-555-5555)
  • Dial (name)
  • Dial (name) (home, mobile, work, etc)
  • Dial number (555-555-5555)

Other iPod control information commands, answered by a computer synthesized voice:

  • What's Playing
  • What song is this?
  • What song is playing?
  • Who sings this song?
  • Who is this song by?
  • Who plays this song?

It's also possible to issue voice correction orders to the iPod / iPhone:

  • Wrong
  • No
  • Not that one
  • Not that
  • Nope

And it is also possible to cancel the iPhone / iPod voice control mode with the simple voice order "Cancel"