July 20, 2018 | General, Important features

Reduce Documents and Images without Losing Quality with MRC Compression

compression icon with text: advanced MRC compression with GdPicture.NET

Advanced MRC compression with GdPicture.NET Document Imaging SDK

Many of you are already familiar with MRC compression. Our SDK provides this feature since version 11, along with Automatic Color Detection in a dedicated plugin.
Recently, we have implemented our latest research on compression, and the result is a dramatic improvement of the engine regarding speed, compression, and image quality. We thought it was a good opportunity to remind everyone what MRC is all about, and on which context it is the most useful.

What is MRC Compression?

Sharing electronic colored documents is often complicated for many reasons: the file size is usually very big, and when the size becomes acceptable, it’s –most of the time- to the detriment of quality. However, it should be possible to share and view color as well as black and white.

The following technical relations can be associated with the customer requirements:

  • efficient exchange of the raster data is directly related to the file size and compression ratios;
  • image quality in a scan anywhere – print anywhere environment is directly related to the exchange of device independent data forms and the rendering compromises made by the output engine;
  • fast printing with modest resources is related to low complexity of the format (source: ISO 16485-2000)

If we take the standard Wikipedia definition, Mixed Raster Content (MRC) is a method for compressing images that contain both binary-compressible text and continuous-tone components, using image segmentation methods to improve the level of compression and the quality of the rendered image. By separating the image into components with different compressibility characteristics, the most efficient and accurate compression algorithm for each component can be applied.

GdPicture.NET uses advanced MRC compression techniques to reduce structured documents without losing quality.

For instance, MRC compression on a single document image can combine JBIG2 compression, Automatic Color Detection, JPEG and PNG compression, and more.
MRC compression is optimal on structured images, or images with forms because each element of the document is compressed with a different technology.

Learn more about MRC compression:
You will find the ISO for MRC compression here.
Many scientific publications are also available on the Web, with for instance:
Haneda, Eri & Yi, Jonghyon & A. Bouman, Charles. (2007). Segmentation for MRC compression. Proc SPIE. 6493.
Pavlidis, George. (2017). Mixed raster content – segmentation, compression, transmission. 10.1007/978-981-10-2830-4.

What’s New with MRC Compression Today?

Working on compression is a research work that requires experimenting on thousands of test cases.
Like in any scientific work, ideas need to be tested with experimental methods.
Our work on compression started in 2003 with the first release of GdPicture.NET (at this time still called GdPicture), and it’s a never-ending task: there are always new and atypical files to process, new technologies to discover, and new algorithms to try.
Our goal with MRC compression is to avoid losing any information. To achieve the best results, we keep a constant focus on segmentation and the document’s structure.

As said before, MRC Compression, along with Automatic Color Detection, is available in GdPicture.NET Document Imaging SDK since version 11.
Version 14.0.60 provides an enhanced version of the MRC compression engine.

The document below has been processed by the updated engine:

Uncompressed form of 686 kb

File size before MRC compresion: 685.8 KB

With MRC Compressor, the form has been compressed to 56 kb

File size after MRC compresion: 56.9 KB

Uncompressed color document of 839.3 KB

File size before MRC compresion: 839.3 KB

With MRC compression, the colored image is now 66.5 KB

File size after MRC compresion: 66.5 KB

Since DocuVieware HTML5 Viewer and Document Management Kit is powered by GdPicture.NET, it automatically benefits from its updates.
Check for yourself by downloading the latest version of GdPicture.NET:

Download GdPicture.NET Imaging SDK

for ASP.NET included.
Resources in our documentation:

AddImageFromGdPictureImage(Int32,PdfAdvancedImageCompression) Method

Other ORPALIS Products

At ORPALIS, we don’t only develop toolkits for developers; we also have a software offer with several productivity apps for individuals and professionals. Almost all of them include MRC compression.


PassportPDF is a modern cloud infrastructure offering freemium microservices dedicated to addressing document management challenges of professional and general public users. Three desktop applications for Windows are currently available: PDF Reducer Cloud, PDF OCR Cloud, and MRC Compressor.

PassportPDF MRC Compressor logo

MRC Compressor is an image to PDF conversion app which uses a sophisticated compression technology called MRC (Mixed Raster Content). It offers an outstanding file size reduction of documents without adversely affecting their quality or colors.

PaperScan and PDF Reducer

As it is the case with Automatic Color Detection, many ORPALIS products are using MRC compression. As our end-user/productivity software offer is based on the GdPicture.NET SDK, it benefits from its technologies and includes all the new features and functionalities with each update.
This is the case for the popular PaperScan scanning software and PDF Reducer, which are also good examples of what you can build with GDPicture.NET.

MRC Compression is just one of many features of our SDK, so if you need more information about other functionalities of GdPicture.NET, please let us know!