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PDF Troubleshooting: sluggish documents

By January 21, 2014June 6th, 2022No Comments

Sometimes you’ll find yourself working with a PDF that’s acting sluggish or slow. Like, for example: when you try to move from page to page it takes a long time for the next page to load. Or any kind of delay in having a tool pop up, or become active.

Assuming you have a fairly new computer and have been maintaining it properly, the problem is probably with the PDF and not your computer. If it’s the PDF, then the odds are you can easily fix the problem.

Let’s troubleshoot the situation.

  1. Try closing down all other programs you have open. Close the PDF and reopen it, and then see if it is still sluggish.
  2. Reboot your computer and try to work with just the PDF if it’s still slow.
  3. Does the PDF have a lot of pages? More than 200 hundred pages might be a problem. More than 1,000 would almost definitely be a problem. Again, it depends on the processing power of your computer. If it has too many pages, then break it up using the Split Document command (Tools >Pages>Split Document. Covered in Section 7.9 of my book Adobe Acrobat for Lawyers)
  4. Try reducing the size of the PDF, and saving it with the reduced size. Read this post on how to resize a PDF, if you’re not sure.

If none of that works, then I’m not sure what else to try. But I bet some of you have some ideas, and if so leave them in the comments for the benefit of everyone else.

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