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Depending on the volume of files to be compressed and workforce availability, there is a choice to be made between compressing document files manually or automatically. A case can be made for either. However, the advantages of effortless, automatic compression are too attractive to ignore, especially if the volume of documents is large enough to require batch compression.

Batch Compression vs. Single File Compression

Batch compression enables companies to compress, optimize, and OCR entire directories with a simple click of the mouse. For companies with a sizeable backfile that are just beginning to incorporate compression into their workflow, it's amazing how simple it can be to use batch control to streamline the conversion and compression process while saving time and money.

While batch compression is extremely useful for large companies with high volumes of documents to process, for smaller companies with smaller budgets, software that incorporates batch compression can be prohibitively costly. There are PDF Compression alternatives that don't offer batch compression, but do offer many other important features at a lower price. These products tend to offer the same conversion and compression as the expensive server edition engines but restrict users to single file processing, which might be the perfect compromise for a company that has the manpower to manually process their documents.

Watched Folder for Process Automation

To compress multiple files, whether new or legacy documents, the most efficient, automated procedure is to designate a watched folder. Any files dropped into the watched folder will be processed when the folder is automatically polled. By using a watched folder, manual intervention is eliminated.

The polling frequency for most watched folder applications can be set by the user. A good watched folder utility should have support for a scheduler so that the conversion program can be set to run at the convenience of the user, e.g., during off-peak times.

Combine Additional Processes with Compression

The process of compressing PDF files can be combined with additional processes including: converting from other formats into PDF, optimizing the PDF for fast web display, adding security for view and print protection, stamping each page with Bates or page stamp, and applying OCR for text-search-retrieval. All of these processes can be easily organized into a single automatic process.


Converting scanned and electronic documents into compressed, optimized PDFs can benefit companies both large and small. While smaller companies may prefer to do the compression manually, larger companies will probably opt for the more versatile, server-based compression software tool allowing for automated, batch compression. Both budget and work force availability will dictate which type of compression system would be most appropriate for each company.