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Question about reducing PDF file size on export

May 3, 2012 3:02 PM

I have a large file that is generates a PDF about 75MB when exported with the "[High Quality Print]" preset. However, I can reduce the size down to to under 5MG in Acrobat if I use the Tools>Flattener Preview>[Medium Resolution] setting (image attached). Is there a way to generate this smaller file directly from InDesign? I couldn't figure out how to do this with InDesign's Flattener Preview or Export options, but it is very likely that I missed something.

Region capture 2.png

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 3:18 PM   in reply to Neil Weinberg

    Did you try the Smallest File Size PDF preset? You can also customize it to further reduce the resolution on the Compression panel to 72 ppi. Are you going to use this image on the Web?

     
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    May 3, 2012 7:57 PM   in reply to Neil Weinberg

    Watch out for transparencies used in your document they blow out the size a fair bit.

    Flaten those transparencies if you can in photoshop and then output the file

     
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    May 3, 2012 8:35 PM   in reply to Neil Weinberg

    Huge numbers of AI vectors can be very resistant to compressing in size. What I think happens with the Medium Resolution flattener preset is that it's rasterizing the vectors at the resolution setting shown in the dialog.

     

    In InDesign you should be able to replicate those settings in Edit > Transparency Flattener Presets. You can use the Medium Resolution preset or create a custom preset. You may need to experiment to get the best results.

     

    Then export as a PDF from InDesign using a preset that flattens transparency (like PDF/X-1a). In the Advanced panel select the preset you chose or created.

     
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    May 4, 2012 3:12 AM   in reply to Neil Weinberg

    When you choose Smallest File size, it is still using the PDF 1.6 setting.

     

    Change this to Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3) this will automagically flatten the PDF - which means you shouldn't have to do it in Acrobat.

     

    That should get you a nice small file size, I believe.

     
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    May 7, 2012 2:40 PM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    Eugene Tyson wrote:

     

    When you choose Smallest File size, it is still using the PDF 1.6 setting.

     

    Change this to Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3) this will automagically flatten the PDF - which means you shouldn't have to do it in Acrobat.

     

    That should get you a nice small file size, I believe.

     

    Flattening transparency in InDesign will not necessarily yield a smaller PDF file size. Transparency flattening will not automatically convert placed vector artwork to raster images unless that vector artwork is actually involved with transparency. And even then, whether you end up with a smaller file depends on a number of factors.

     

    If the reason for the very large file size is indeed very complex vector artwork and you are willing to sacrifice quality, conversion of such vector artwork to raster might yield a significantly smaller exported PDF file. To accomplish that conversion, I would personally suggest converting the most offensive (in terms of file size and complexity) of such files in Illustrator (assuming that they were .AI files) and exporting them as .TIF files (to avoid the potential imaging artifacts of JPEG compression).

     

              - Dov

     
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    Mar 12, 2013 11:36 AM   in reply to Neil Weinberg

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/708537

     

    This thread explains how to delete the XMP data that is making your PDFs huge. If you have a file that has been worked on over a long period of time and been saved many times, all of this will be embedded in the PDF. Follow the instructions to create a script for Bridge using Extendscript Toolkit (it leaves out the simple step of saving the script into the folder with a descriptive name). It works.

     

    100 DPI proof PDF before deleting XMP: 4.9MB

    100 DPI proof PDF after deleting XMP: 106KB

     
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    Mar 13, 2013 1:07 AM   in reply to Neil Weinberg

    Neil Weinberg wrote:

    (3) the files are only text and imported AI files, no photos.

    Vectors don't compress the way photos do, so lots of .ai files or native vector objects will make the PDF larger.

     
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    May 13, 2013 12:57 AM   in reply to Neil Weinberg

    I have the same problem, but using flattener preview doesn't reduce my pdf (in fact it increases). This pdf doesn't have any rasterized image, just complex .ai vectors with many lines.

    My file size is 14 Mb and if y use Save as >>> Optimized pdf it doesn't help.

    Any idea?

     
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    May 13, 2013 4:17 AM   in reply to javier.arizcuren

    Complex vectors are what they are. Sometimes rasterizing them will actually shrink the PDF file size with the obvious drawback that it's no longer vector.

     

    Bob

     
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    May 14, 2013 12:03 AM   in reply to Neil Weinberg

    I don't know if I'm doing something wrong. I have a 14 Mb pdf from InDesign. I'm going to Tools>Print Production>Flattener Preview, then Save and I get 42 Mb!! Then  Save as>Optimized and I have 40 Mb.

     
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    May 14, 2013 11:40 PM   in reply to Neil Weinberg

    I'm using the settings that you said and I get 42 Mb. I'm a little bit frustrated.

    Thanks Neil.

     
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    Dec 4, 2013 2:10 PM   in reply to Neil Weinberg

    Hi Neil... I'm having the same problem and am not sure what else to do. I can't find the menu tree you use ie Tools>Print Production>Flattener Preview (i assume then your using iOS not windows like myself).

     

    My indesign file size is 1.8 mb my pdf is 9mb.

     

    It is essentially the first of 80 chapters, potentially 1 gig in total pdf's... that can't be right!

     

    I've used no imported graphics other than indesigns CS6 internal formatting of text, tables, flowcharts etc

     

    Any further suggestions, keeping in mind this is new to me.

     

    Cheers Sean

     
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    Dec 4, 2013 3:10 PM   in reply to Sean novice

    That's in Acrobat, not ID, in case that was your problem, but it also moves around a bit from version to version.

     
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