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How to linearize a PDF file online :
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Did you know?
Linearization is available starting since 1996 with PDF 1.2, and even if internet connections are much faster now, it still brings many advantages besides having to wait for your document to download. It makes the viewing experience more resilient to network interruptions and improves reliability where there is limited memory/storage, like when working in mobile browsers.
When the file is read via the Web, it is accessed as a stream of bytes. It means the information cannot be read until the whole PDF file has been transferred. The larger the file, the longer you will have to wait to see it.
Linearized PDFs contain this information at the beginning of the file in addition to a specific, linear structure, hence the name “linearized.” As soon as the information has been read, the first page can be displayed, while the rest of the file is downloaded. The process seems much faster for the user since she/he can almost instantly see and interact with the first page of the PDF, no matter its size.
You will find more information about PDF linearization in Annex F of the standard specification .
Therefore, linearizing a single-page PDF or a small-sized (i.e., one or two pages in length and <10MB), text-based multipage PDF (which loads very fast anyway) doesn’t make much sense.
Linearizing PDF files meant for non-browser use, and local access (like desktop use, sharing via email, etc.) doesn’t make much sense, either.
Finally, altering a linearized PDF (for example, by modifying a form field, using incremental saving) breaks the linearization. In such a case, the file must be re-linearized.
How can I tell if a PDF is linearized? If you open a PDF in any .txt editor like Notepad, look at the top of the document. If you see the word “linearized,” it means, well, that the PDF is probably linearized. But be careful, “linearized” doesn’t necessarily mean “correctly linearized” as the file may still be corrupted or not properly structured.