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Why does an InDesign document exported to PDF using data merge result in very different sized PDFs?

Oct 18, 2013 1:03 AM

Tags: #pdf #data #merge #printing #indesign_cs4 #data_merge

I've got a small sheet that I update on occasion and use data-merge to add people's names to the sheet. It's very much like an invitation where every invite has a different name on it. I use the data merge feature to select a list of names and then they get inserted into the document. Then I use the Export to PDF command in the data merge window to create a pdf that has all of the invitations in one big file. They are four-up per page on letter sized paper. Sometimes I print 2000 of them and the resulting PDF is about 2mb, sometimes I print 1000 of them and it's 20mb. Document, settings, method of issueing the commands to output the files are all the same. The only difference is the list of names and those are all almost identical in length. Anyone know what could be happening?

 

One clue is that it takes about a minute to run when the result is going to be a small file and about 5 or more minutes when the result is going to be a large file.

 

My guess is that sometimes it includes a copy of the images once per page, and sometimes it only includes them once per document, but I'd love to know why and how to control that. Thanks.

 

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