7 Steps to a better file compressor Blog image

7 steps to a better file compressor

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The inbuilt file compression engine in WeCompress is highly tuned and very powerful but as good as it is, there is always room for improvement. We always strive to be the best at what we do and want to deliver you the most robust free file reduction service possible.

We’ve been hard at work testing thousands of files and working out clever ways to make files smaller - but crucially remain in the same format and look visually the same as the original files. On 3 December 2020 we launched a new file compression engine that has all of the improvements listed below. Best of all - you don’t need to do anything, this is already live on the site. Happy compressing!

What’s new in the Dec 2020 update?

Updated PDF Library

The WeCompress PDF Compressor is among the best found anywhere on the web. One of the reasons behind this was our decision to use the official Adobe® PDF Library from Datalogics to help us manipulate the content and compress PDF files. This ensures maximum safety and compatibility with your PDF files.

We’ve updated the version of the PDF library we use because it has a host of low-level bug fixes, taking care of many known issues that occasionally cropped up with PDF files and thwarted our compression.

Subset PDF fonts

When you use non-system fonts in PDF files these can be embedded when the file is saved to ensure that the content looks the same to each user, no matter what fonts they have on their system. However, this means a full copy of each non-system font is stored in the file driving up the size, in some cases dramatically if many different fonts have been used.

Our offline file compression software NXPowerLite Desktop already had the ability to subset embedded fonts in PDF files, ensuring that only the characters used in the file are embedded. Now that WeCompress includes this feature some PDF files will be a fraction of their original size without looking any different at all!

Smaller Microsoft Office files

WeCompress can now further compress PNG images inserted into PowerPoint, Word and Excel files by reducing their color depth where possible. Many files containing PNGs are now likely to compress significantly more than before, in some cases files that could not be compressed at all by earlier versions can be reduced by 50% or more.

Flatten embedded charts in DOCX and PPTX files

This is huge! When you insert a chart into PowerPoint or Word from Excel using the default paste option, you end up with a complete copy of the Excel file saved inside your presentation or document. This will happen again if you paste a second different chart in and so on. You can see this effect in the image below where 15 charts were added to a presentation from the same Excel file creating a 95mb PPTX file!

Flatten embedded charts in DOCX and PPTX

This file didn’t compress with previous versions of WeCompress but can now be reduced to 166kb and the charts remain fully functional!

Compress header and footer images in DOCX files

WeCompress couldn’t previously find images that had been inserted into either headers or footers of Microsoft Word documents as they were squirreled away in a super-secret internal location. So if you had heavy images like logos in headers or footers, chances are you would have been disappointed with the compression. Not anymore! WeCompress now finds these images and works its magic.

Compress Microsoft Office files created by other apps

Although apps like Google Docs can save in the Microsoft format, they don’t always write files that conform explicitly to the documented standards. This can cause unpredictable issues with software like WeCompress, so previous releases would skip these files to avoid any unfortunate accidents. Following extensive testing we are now satisfied that WeCompress can safely reduce them, so we’ve now enabled compression for these files.

Bug fixes

Not the most glamorous of subjects but we understand that when a file cannot be reduced by WeCompress it is frustrating. So we are constantly improving our file compression and fixing bugs. In an effort to ensure more files can be reduced we have fixed 7 bugs over 4 file formats which allow files to be compressed.

All in all these features amount to a pretty significant leap in the ability for WeCompress to compress PDF, PPT, Word and Excel files. Rest assured we are not finished here and have some great updates to improve the compression engine coming in the future.

We hope you love the new improved compression now available on WeCompress with this new update. However, if you do come across a file that WeCompress cannot reduce and you think it should, please do get in touch - our ears are always open.

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