[R] Reducing the size of pdf graphics files produced with R

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Tue May 22 18:47:18 CEST 2007

>From the help page

      'pdf' writes uncompressed PDF.  It is primarily intended for
      producing PDF graphics for inclusion in other documents, and
      PDF-includers such as 'pdftex' are usually able to handle

If you are able to contribute a stream compressor, R will produce smaller 
plots.  Otherwise it is unlikely to happen (and it any case would be a
smaller contribution than that of the author of pdf(), who is quite happy 
with external compressors).

Acrobat does other things (not all of which it tells you about), but 
compression is the main advantage.

On Tue, 22 May 2007, Chabot Denis wrote:

> Hi,
> Without trying to print 1000000 points (see <http://
> finzi.psych.upenn.edu/R/Rhelp02a/archive/42105.html>), I often print
> maps for which I do not want to loose too much of coastline detail,
> and/or plots with 1000-5000 points (yes, some are on top of each
> other, but using transparency (i.e. rgb colors with alpha
> information) this actually comes through as useful information.
> But the files are large (not as large as in the thread above of
> course, 800 KB to about 2 MB), especially when included in a LaTeX
> document by the dozen.
> Acrobat (not the reader, the full program) has an option "reduce file
> size". I don't know what it does, but it shrinks most of my plots to
> about 30% or original size, and I cannot detect any loss of detail
> even when zooming several times. But it is a pain to do this with
> Acrobat when you generate many plots... And you need to buy Acrobat.
> Is this something the pdf device could do in a future version? I
> tried the "million points" example from the thread above and the 55
> MB file was reduced to 6.9 MB, an even better shrinking I see on my
> usual plots.
> Denis Chabot
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Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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