Review: Zevrix LinkOptimizer

LinkOptimizer is an InDesign plug-in meant to reduce the size of linked images in InDesign. The magic lies in the elimination of excessive image data.LinkOptimizer is a plug-in that immediately launches Photoshop when activated. The first — and sometimes the only — thing you’ll do is enter a number for the output resolution of your images. Then click the “Analyze Links” button and the plug-in will list all images that have a resolution higher than the one you entered. Those images can be optimized.
LinkOptimizer has a clear-cut interface. There’s little to do or select, so little can go wrong. The most important part of the plug-in, however, is not immediately obvious. It’s the Settings dialogue, which has three tabs: the Backup, Advanced, and Processing tab.

The Processing tab is where you will tell LinkOptimizer what it should do when you want it to rocess files that can be optimized. Choices include layer merging (a space saver if ever there was one), colour space conversion, and hidden layer removal. In the Advanced tab you can have InDesign remove images that you are using multiple times throughout a document.
Image Safeguarding Options PresentLinkOptimizer will then make sure that the original image is referenced instead of embedded multiple times. You can also have a Photoshop Action perform on the images.

In the Backup tab, you make sure none of your originals are “mistreated” by either leaving originals untouched, or by creating copies of them.

Images found by the plug-in don’t necessarily need to be processed all at once. You can deselect specific images, or have LinkOptimizer take you to one of the images in order to check what you’re about to do.
A nice touch is that LinkOptimizer warns you with a yellow triangle if you have selected to overwrite images without backup having been set up.

To cut a long story short: I tested this plug-in with a large, image rich, report of mine, and I found LinkOptimizer to be a great addition to InDesign. It does what it says “on the box”, and it does so without crashing or hanging InDesign — which many plug-ins have a tendency of doing in my experience. I also found that LinkOptimizer indeed saves a lot of space, but that you need to carefully figure out how much data you can afford to throw away. Images that you set to have a resolution of below 240 dpi, for example, won’t print nicely in an inkjet printer. On a printing press, the resolution will be much higher.

For such jobs, LinkOptimizer could do with an extra button that enables you to see if there are layers that can be thrown away. Analyzing links only be effective resolution seems to be a bit too restrictive to me, but I could be wrong.

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