Tool Icon

PDF Linearization

Optimize a PDF for faster web display using linearization

Drop your PDF file here or
Upload from your device
Upload from Google Drive
Upload from DropBox
Upload from Web address (URL)
Max file size: 128 MB

Your files are safe !

We use the best encryption methods to protect your data.

All documents are automatically deleted from our servers after 30 minutes.

If you prefer, you can delete your file manually right after processing by clicking the bin icon.

How to linearize a PDF file online :

  1. To start, drop your PDF file or upload it from your device or your cloud storage service.
  2. Our tool will automatically start to optimize the file.
  3. Download the web-optimized PDF file to your computer or save it directly to your cloud storage service.

Did you know?

There are many different names for a single process
What is the difference between a linearized PDF, a web-optimized PDF, and a Fast Web View enabled PDF? None, as they all refer to the same process, which is optimizing PDFs to allow a streaming-like behavior on the Internet, in a similar fashion to YouTube videos. The first page is displayed in a web browser, and the user can interact with it while the rest of the PDF document is still downloading.
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.
A linearized PDF has a specific structure
Regular PDFs contain all the file information at the end of the file, and therefore it becomes usable only after complete download.
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 .
Tips and best practices
PDF linearization was created to display large PDF files in browsers. Large files are usually long to load because they contain lots of different elements, like text, graphics, and images.
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.