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PDF Files from InDesign much larger than Quark->Distiller, why?

Aug 20, 2009 6:52 AM

We've recently switched our publishing workflow for one of our pubs from Quark to InDesign, and are having issues with PDFs being really large. Previously, the pub would be PS'd out of QXP6.52 and then ran through our Distiller service at Press Ready quality settings. The resulting PDF files were 4-6mb (This is only a 2-page pub).

 

Now, moving to InDesign, we PDF directly from InDesign (or I've also tried PSing and then Distilling), and using Press Ready Quality settings still -- the resultant PDF files are 15-16mb. Can anyone theorize as to what would create such a large difference between the two?

 

This is using a few issues of the pub - not just one instance, as well.

Thanks

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2009 7:30 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    I've never heard that before, usually (well in the past at least) it was the QXP generated pdf's that will yield mega pdf's for many people.

     

    The size of the pdf would of course depend on the number of placed images, the way they will be compressed, the resolution in the final pdf etc.

     

    So it is very difficult to answer your question - could please post screendumbs of your pub and PDF settings used for export etc.

     

    But first you could try out these settings for a general press purpose:

     

    Set1.jpg

    set2.jpg

     

    Torben.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2009 7:55 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    NOT the same settings!!!!

     

    Compatibility is set to Acrobat 5 instead of Acrobat 4, hence you can't flatten pub as shown in my second picture set2.jpg

    You've got psd files placed in pub, and if not flattened they can increase your pdf substantially.

     

    Your settings are not wrong for publication though - but not the same as I posted.

     

    Torben.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2009 8:07 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    Were you embedding fonts in the distilled PDFs? Exporting to PDF always (thankfully) embeds the fonts unless restricted. I suspect, though that much of it is the Acrobat 5 compatibility.

     

    Try doing a "Save As" before exporting and see if that makes any difference. It will certainly reduce the size of the .indd file itself, but I'm not certain it owuld affect a PDF export.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2009 8:10 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    There may be some other factors like bookmarks or interactive content (though that should have disappeared with a switch to Acrobat 4 compatibility). You might want to runt the PDF optimizer, though frankly I don't see a problem with a 15 mb print file.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2009 8:11 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    If you'd like, you could make Package, zip it and either attach it or post a link, and I'll give it a try

     

    Up to you.

     

    Torben.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2009 8:19 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    Sounds great.

     

    We'll leave the why-part for internal follow-up.

     

    Torben.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2009 8:04 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    Change the compression options in the PDF dialog box.

     

    I'm not sure how quark does it, but in InDesign you can alter the resolution on export to PDF.

     

    So for images above 450 dpi you can have them downsampled to 300 dpi, and then you can also add compression. LZW, JPG, ZIP or NONE. Each having problems, LZW and ZIP can trip up RIPs and can take longer to process in RIPs, sometimes; JPG is undesirable as it adds artifacts to images (ok it's barely noticeable if at all to the naked eye); or None which can increase the size of the image by not compressing it for the PDF.

     

    By changing this option in the Export PDF it can increase or decrease the file size, depending on your settings.

     

     

    Here's a nice booklet

     

    http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/cs3/articles/cs3_printguide.html

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2009 8:16 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    Your problem is the PDF is bigger out of InDesign, right?

     

    Well what are your settings for the PDF in Quark, sorry if I missed them - but I can't seem to see them there.

     

    You'll probably find that if you print the InDesign file to PostScript or to PDF that the file size will be smaller too.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2009 8:18 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    It's very dificult to pin-point your problem - which seems to be a problem in general.

     

    Again, please Package an example, zip it, an post to a server for temporary download to the forum-people.

     

    This would help a lot and probably remove the problem hence forth.

     

    Torben.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2009 8:34 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Check to see if you are using OPI when creating the PDF.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2009 10:18 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    A few questions:

     

    1. When you printed from Quark, was full resolution tiff output enabled?

     

    2. Have you tried printing and distilling from InDesign? (I think someone already asked this)

     

    3. Do you have master page items in InDesign?

     

    4. Is the document in facing pages?

     

    5. Do you have vector based links that are cropped in picture boxes?

     

    6. Have you tried increasing the compatibility when exporting from ID, say to Acrobat 8 or 9?

     

    7. Is the ID file using transparency, or have links that use transparency? (Please note this can really change things, Quark 6 did not support transparency)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2009 10:43 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    Did you see 7, I posted an update:

     

    7. Is the ID file using transparency, or have links that use transparency? (Please note this can really change things, Quark 6 did not support transparency)

     

     

    8. The background images - are they the same size and resolution as the ones used in Quark?

     

    9. Do you have colorized tiffs?

     

    10. Do you have gradients in ID that would have been blends in Quark?

     

    11. Are you outlining text when flattening in InDesign?

     

    12. Do you have elements off on the pasteboard?

     

    13. Are you including marks in the PDF?

     

    14. In PDF options in ID, in compression, is crop image data to frames enabled?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2009 11:22 AM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    CJensen@osv.com wrote:

     

    7. Yes, the file and links are using transparency.

     

    This is probably the answer.

     

    Recreate the page in InDesign with no transparency (as a test). This means all links are tiff or eps. No use of opacity or blend modes. No drop shadows.

     

    This is how it would have been in Quark 6, which did not support transparency (the newer kind anyway)

     

    Note: if you had overlying drop shadows in Quark 6 they would have had to have been bitmap tiffs.

     

    I also should mention: transparency is a good thing. There may be a way to get the file size down without removing transparency. Possibly you could use Acrobat to do this.

     

    Also note I posted a couple of updates on my previous post, they may or may not be relevant.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 19, 2012 9:54 PM   in reply to MLMorgan85

    We find InDesign > Export to PDF produces much larger files than InDesign > Postscript > Distiller.

     

    Don't know why, but if file size is critical (med-low res PDF for email spam/website downloads, or proof-by-email), we'll go the postscript route.

     

    Bizarre, given it's all Adobe, and they invented the format; but I wonder if the InDesign PDF gets extra tags or editable parts; whether it slices up larger images, or handles layered/trans files differently.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 19, 2012 10:10 PM   in reply to DrGroove_phd

    PostScript is an older, more primitive format than PDF.

     

    Here are some of the things that are lost when creating PostScript:

     

    • Transparency is flattened.
    • It’s not possible to create PDF layers, useful for versioning, for example.
    • The file’s structure (called tagging) is stripped from the file.
    • Forget about a color-managed workflow; embedded color profiles are discarded.
    • Interactive elements (bookmarks, hyperlinks, etc.) are thrown away.
    • Metadata is not included

     

    Here's a posting I did to InDesignSecrets.com in 2006 but it's still pretty accurate:

     

    http://indesignsecrets.com/creating-pdf-export-or-use-distiller.php

     
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