pdf optimisation

While preparing an online report for the PUT1107 project, I encountered a limit for uploaded pdf-files as low as 3 Mb. Thus, I was forced to reduce the pdf-file size to this limit as follows:

1. I merged a set of articles into one files: pdftk 1.pdf 2.pdf 3.pdf output set.pdf

2. Then I reduced the size of the resulting file: gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dPDFSETTINGS=/screen -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -sOutputFile=out.pdf set.pdf

The size was reduced by more than 50% with almost the same visual quality.

Taming the equations in Libreoffice

Working on large documents with many equations in a word processor is a torture. In my case, booklets of chemistry problems require a lot of work. For certain reason I prefer to use LibreOffice. When is needed to reformat all equations in a document the following macro is very useful:

Sub FormulaFontSizeChanger

o = ThisComponent.getEmbeddedObjects()

fontSize = 12

fontFamily = “Arial”

For i = 0 to o.count-1

if (not IsNull(o(i))) and (not IsNull(o(i).Model)) then

o(i).Model.TopMargin = 0

o(i).Model.BottomMargin = 0

o(i).Model.LeftMargin = 0

o(i).Model.RightMargin = 0

o(i).Model.BaseFontHeight = fontSize

o(i).Model.FontNameVariables = fontFamily

o(i).Model.FontVariablesIsItalic = 1

o(i).Model.FontNameFunctions = fontFamily

o(i).Model.FontNameNumbers = fontFamily

o(i).Model.FontNameText = fontFamily

o(i).Component.BaseFontHeight = fontSize

o(i).ExtendedControlOverEmbeddedObject.update()

endif

Next i

End Sub

 

P.S. The script might be useful also when writing a thesis with a lot of chemistry inside and many Zotero references. LaTeX might not be so comfortable, and in Word one is still limited with few math fonts.

Archive at arXiv

Recently two our articles were uploaded to arXiv. Our collaborator Satish Narayana Srirama prepared the first one:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1604.02788

While submitting the other, we encountered some problems when compiling the source tex-file. It turned out that one should add \pdfoutput=1 to get everything work. As a result, the second article was successfully archived at the arXiv:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.08078

Writing workshop

Thesis writing and, in general, academic writing is a skill. Not everyone has that skill, but certainly most can get it. To develop an understanding of the behaviours associated with successful writing, we organized a workshop with the help of AVOK – Centre for Academic Writing and Communication. Under the supervision of Djuddah A. J. Leijen, we started this four-hour workshop with Q&A followed by sessions about time management, in particular how to avoid procrastination, and, of course, grammar.

Continue reading “Writing workshop”