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Is it possible to create linearized PDFs (optimized for "fast web view") using TeX with free software? (I don't have Acrobat available.)

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The fast web view is simply a method of allowing content to be displayed as it is being downloaded.

It will not, however, be fast. As such the name fast can be deviating from its meaning.

You should use qpdf --linearize as noted by @MartinSchroeder (pdfopt is deprecated as noted in the comments).

PDFcrop will also do that for you, however with additional work done, i.e. cropping your PDF.

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    pdfopt does the job. (In Adobe Reader, under properties it now says, "Fast Web View: Yes", that's all I wanted.) Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 12:29
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    pdfopt is not longer part of ghostscript. Instead of pdfopt the pdfwriter of gs provides an option -dFastWebView=true. So you have to use, e.g., gs -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dFastWebView=true -sOutputFile=output.pdf input.pdf instead of pdfopt. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 8:57
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Use qpdf --linearize, not pdfopt.

qpdf uses a pdf library while pdfopt uses ghostscript and as such has a much larger footprint and is more fragile.

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    Would you also tell about the differences between the two tools? Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 9:16
  • @AndreyVihrov: done. Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 9:26

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