What happens if you save with Create PDF Compatible File unticked (this may be less desirable)?
What happens if you link the images rather than embed them?
I have already turned off Create PDF Compatible, preview set to none and do not embedd fonts. I haven't tried linking them, but if we link them, I won't be able to make it a pattern by dragging it to the swatches panel?
yeah any embedded image will make the filesize rocket.
Dang! This is really weird. The files I was referring to were for iPad (artboard size 2048x1536). I opened a new doc @ 800x600 and copy pasted everything in the other file and saved it - 109MB file reduced to 402KB jaw dropper!!! I don't know the logic behind it, but I guess it has to be something related to artboard size ...