Linearizing PDF scans

Kevin Parker trash80 at
Sat Aug 14 21:55:51 CDT 2021

Hi Dave - I think it used to be called Byte Range Serving i.e. it would only
serve up the page requested so URL's like
would only send page 4 to the browser - I think this is what you are talking

Back in my earlier PDF days and the web we were quite a**l about setting
PDF's up for this due to much tighter bandwidth constraints but on my
limited understanding it required support from the web server to actually
give effect to this.

I don't know if PDF's are optimised out of the box these days for this but
if you optimise a PDF for web delivery it should have the markers in it for
byte range serving. While the markers may add a bit to the file size, which
I suspect would be negligible, the action of optimising it for web delivery
should reduce file size quite noticeably anyway.

If you have an option for optimising for web delivery in your PDF tool then
try pumping out a PDF file both ways and compare file size.

Is it useful these days - probably not so much because of better bandwidth
in my view (although directing a browser to open to a specific page can
still be useful) but that is conditional on having well prepared PDF files.
I'm not aware of any local benefit in having files prepared this way other
than having good quality PDF's that are well presented and therefore easier
to use.

Kevin Parker
0418 815 527

-----Original Message-----
From: cctech <cctech-bounces at> On Behalf Of J. David Bryan via
Sent: Saturday, 14 August 2021 6:21 AM
To: Classic Computing List <cctech at>
Subject: Linearizing PDF scans

Is it still useful to linearize PDFs?

I've been scanning and PDFing manuals for 16 years, and I've been
linearizing them regularly.  My understanding is that this made them
accessible on a page-by-page basis in Web browsers without requiring a
complete file download first.  But given the increase in typical bandwidth
in 16 years, I wonder if this is still useful.  It is an extra step, and it
does make the files somewhat larger.

Recommendations?  Does linearizing confer any advantage locally once the
entire file is downloaded?


                                      -- Dave

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