8 Replies Latest reply: Nov 26, 2015 3:17 AM by Bernd Alheit RSS

    Is there a PDF size limit?

    DP-HPS Community Member

      Is there a recommended maximum size (in pages or MB) for a single PDF file?

      We have very large (10,000+) page PDFs that are being created, and we keep running into problems with file corruption. I'm not sure its related to the size of the PDF, the fact that it is created using various other scanned docs, or because the original was in Acrobat 8 and we're now adding to it using Acrobat X.


      Any suggestions?



        • 1. Re: Is there a PDF size limit?
          MichaelKazlow ACP/MVPs

          There are maximums, but it is not 10,000 pages. It is larger. But the problem with large documents formed from scans is that you may be taxing your system. Why do you feel the need to have a 10,000+ page document. Especially, one that consists of scans. With scans unless you have ocr'd the documents you cannot search the contents. You can setup a table of contents pdf and use links to get from one document to another. If you are running into corruption problems, you loose the entire document. If you have smaller files, then if corruption occurs you can restore the smallest part from backup or regenerate as needed.

          • 2. Re: Is there a PDF size limit?
            Dave Merchant ACP/MVPs

            There's no explicit page number limit but there is a limit on indirect objects of 8,388,607 in a 32-bit PDF rendering application - Acrobat and Adobe Reader are both 32-bit code - and because each page consumes at least one indirect object, every PDF file created by or opened by Acrobat must have less pages than that. If you were to create a native x64 PDF application you could add more pages, but the resulting files wouldn't open at all in 32-bit apps.


            Architecturally there is only one limit in the PDF standard: the overall file size must be below ~10GB as the cross-reference tables which define the PDF structure use 10 bits.

            • 3. Re: Is there a PDF size limit?
              Bill@VT MVP

              When you get to extremely large sizes, you limit the usefulness of the document. You might be the only one with enough memory and harddisk space to open the thing. So the practical answer is much lower than the limit in terms of size. The limit is in useful content and ease of use. It is a lot simpler to create a sequence of PDFs and link them. For a book, it might be by chapter. For archived documents, it might be by month or such. In any case, a huge document becomes useless fast, even if it is technically possible to make it that large.

              • 4. Re: Is there a PDF size limit?
                julesmacattack Community Member

                the purpose of combining files is to search...if one could search a directory full of PDFs for a subset that contained my keyword, i wouldn't have to combine...but since i can't search, i have to combine...see?

                • 5. Re: Is there a PDF size limit?
                  try67 ACP/MVPs

                  You can search a folder of PDF files using the Advanced Search functionality of Acrobat/Reader.

                  • 6. Re: Is there a PDF size limit?
                    julesmacattack Community Member

                    Thanks, this looks promising...

                    • 7. Re: Is there a PDF size limit?
                      notarf70115297 Community Member

                      Are these numbers still accurate for Adobe Acrobat DC ? I am unable to save an 11,2 GB overall size document. The smaller pdfs are already merged pdfs of a usual size of 500 MB. 


                      Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.151019-1254)

                                     BIOS: BIOS Date: 08/10/12 14:00:18 Ver: 06.10

                                Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU G840 @ 2.80GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.8GHz

                                   Memory: 4096MB RAM

                      Available OS Memory: 3786MB RAM

                                Page File: 6059MB used, 2405MB available


                      maybe i should keep the merging to 3,7 GB RAM  ?

                      • 8. Re: Is there a PDF size limit?
                        Bernd Alheit MVP

                        notarf70115297 wrote:


                        Are these numbers still accurate for Adobe Acrobat DC ?

                        Yes, nothing was changed in the PDF Reference.