On Tue, 27 Jul 2004, Mats Broberg wrote:

[mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of George N. White III

As a general principle, it makes no sense for pdftex to
provide image manipulation capabilities.  Such capabilities
are useful to a much wider
audience than the users of pdftex, so there are lots of tools
to do image resampling and format conversions.  All that
pdftex should do is support inclusion of pdf.  The limited
support for including png images is a convenience, but if you
are being careful you would want to make pdf images.

George N. White III  <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
   Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada

Having checked the pdfTeX documentation, doesn't the internal parameter \pdfcompresslevel deal with this? The documentation says:

"compress level This integer parameter specifies the level of text and
in-line graphics compression. pdfTEX uses zip compression as provided by
zlib. A value of 0 means no compression, 1 means fastest, 9 means best,
2..8 means something in between. Just set this value to 9, unless there
is a good reason to do otherwise - 0 is great for testing macros that
use \pdfliteral."

The compression this parameter controls is quite different. Without compression (e.g., \pdfcompresslevel=0) a PDF file consists of almost readable text. Even images can be stored in an ASCII encoding. Setting a non-zero value for \pdfcompresslevel applies a lossless compression algorithm to objects in the pdf file.

For images that will be displayed only at low resolution it may be useful to downsample the original image to reduce the size. For example you might have a 2 inch by 2 inch image scanned at 400 dpi. This image would have 800x800 pixels. For screen display you might prefer to have a 200x200 pixel image (or 100 dpi for 2 inches). Downsampling refers to the process of reducing an 800x800 pixel image to 200x200 pixels.
ways to reduce image size (lossy compression, colorspace changes,
even converting certain images to line art).

Some tools to generate PDF include methods to downsample images.
In particular, people who have been using tex-->dvipsone-->distiller and are now using just pdftex encounter problems with much larger pdf file sizes and excessive load times until they resize the input images.

George N. White III  <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada
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