Re: Q PDF size

Subject: Re: Q PDF size
From: Max Wyss <prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 15:23:13 +0200


It is difficult to see from afar what actually causes the problems. There are a few culprits. One of them is definitely the resolution of raster images. Check those resolutions. If you don't have it at hand, download the 1-month demo version of PitStop from Enfocus (, which does have a reporting and inspecting tool.

You may also look for another product of Enfocus which is supposed to optimize the PDF for the Web (the name is just not in my mind right now, but you will find it immediately).

One thing is that you will have to trade in image quality for file size. So, it is actually up to you to decide what is acceptable for you and what not any more.

Another thing you could try out is using Quite a Box of Tricks from Quite Software (, which does have the tools to downsample bitmaps and other things for making the document size smaller. Try out the demo, and see to what results you get there.

Some secondary culprits: Tables with graphics as backgrounds instead of setting the background color of the table cells; using many different fonts, or stitching together the document from a bunch of PDFs with their own embedded font versions of the same font; saving the document after processing instead using the Save as.. function; not optimizing (actually makes the PDF slightly bigger, but is needed for byteserving).

The suggestion "link graphics" does not work with PDF; PDF is a format which ensures document integrity, and therefore does not know about "linking" graphics.

It might also be interesting for us to know what the Creation Software entry in the Document Info says.

Hope, this can help.

Max Wyss
PRODOK Engineering
Low Paper workflows, Smart documents, PDF forms
CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland

Fax: +41 1 700 20 37
e-mail: mailto:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch

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I've used PDFs quite a bit but until recently it's been standard docs,
now we have some glossy marketing material (done externally) and, as
they're for downloading from the web, they're huge. Typically +2MB for
12-16 pages.

They're full colour with:

6-10 graphics in each
Tables - coloured background, body and headings
Colour header - graphic, logo and company name.

Now the first we had done wasn't optimised for PDF when we got it and I
tweaked it and ended up with a file of 350k which was fine.

We're now using a different company to produce the datasheets and the
size has ballooned (these are optimised) and I can see no obvious
difference re content (no. of graphics etc). What I've suggested is
that they:

link graphics instead of imbedding (haven't got the source yet so
I'm not sure how they've been done)
try a different graphics format (originals in Illustrator)

but no luck so far. Any suggestions as to why they might be so big or
is that about right and I was just lucky first time round?

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