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White Space

If you've ever taken an art or design class, you've probably heard your instructor rant about white space and negative space and balance and many other things which you filed away as "typical bunk."

White space is the name given by designers to, er, white space on a page. The idea behind white space is that it's a relaxing area of a page. It takes the busy feel away from the page and creates a more inviting look that is supposed to draw you in. I've never been a big fan of white space, but I do agree that filling a page up with as much text and graphics as will fit is often counterproductive.

The great thing about using white space in PDF documents is that it costs practically nothing. So what if your PDF document is 12 or 20 pages long; if the same amount of text is used, the document will be almost the exact same size. Unlike the world of printing, where adding eight extra pages to a 12-page document would cost 67% more, adding empty space to PDF documents is "free."

Take advantage of this incredibly inexpensive space by being a little more creative with your page design.

Backgrounds and PDF Pages

Adding solid color backgrounds to PDF pages is extremely cheap in terms of file size. In programs like Adobe InDesign, Adobe PageMaker, and QuarkXPress, solid color backgrounds take up very little extra space.

Background with tiled patterns or large, faded graphics are a different matter, however. Stay away from the complex background, as the files needed for these backgrounds can be much larger.

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