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InDesign: .ai or jpg?

Nov 27, 2012 9:12 AM

Tags: #illustrator #jpeg #pdf #indesign #size_problem

Hi there,


I'm having some problems when I export the ID file to pdf. The file size is too big.

I have some .ai files and jpg.

I saw on a magazine that InDesign exports all the Illustrator layers.


Should I place the .ai files with jpg files? Does it help to create a smaller pdf file?

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 27, 2012 9:20 AM   in reply to anamenino

    Before we can give you good eadvice we need to know what size the PDF is now, the settings you used to make it, and its intended purpose.

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    Nov 27, 2012 9:23 AM   in reply to anamenino

    There are a lot of things between these 2 file types that could affect file size, not just a simple choice between one or the other. When you say .ai, do you mean vector artwork or have you embedded graphics into the .ai file?


    My own personal preference is to use vector artwork as much as possible (.ai) as I find in most cases this makes the file size smaller. But there are exceptions. If the vector artwork is complicated - lots of layers, lots of nodes, big dimensions, then it might make more sense to export this first as a useable TIFF, PSD or JPEG (bitmap). It will also depend on what your final output is for - web, print etc. If for web, the more bitmap images you use, typically the more you need to downsample the images and they become pixellated. This is also an issue for print but the file size is not such a huge deal in this case.

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    Nov 27, 2012 9:41 AM   in reply to anamenino

    Vector artwork does not compress, so complex vectors can lead to large file sizes. Live transparency is also a factor.


    You said print. Is that print commercailly, or on a desktop printer?


    Do you have Acrobat Pro? If so you can go tot he PDF Optimizer and and do a Usage Audit to determine waht is taking up most of the space.

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    Nov 27, 2012 10:27 AM   in reply to anamenino

    For commercial printing, and especially for your portfolio, you don't want to try to reduce the size. If you need an online version as well, make a second copy withe the tiffs, but do this understanding that you have traded away a lot of quality for the small size.

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