14 Replies Latest reply on Oct 9, 2013 5:27 PM by Leonie15

    CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs

    Planet Frog



      I am working in the latest version of InDesign CS6 on mac. I have large format job that needs to be hi res for good quality print. It is about 2 yards H x 2 yards W. The problem I'm having is when I export to pdf from InDesign using the press quality setting I get a bloated pdf of 1.5GB. In comparison if I postscript the file and let Distiller do the conversion using the exact same job option setting, it comes out at 86MB. So there is a problem with the exporting that I can't figure out. I've tried a lot of things; placing different image formats, downsampling the larger image files, recroping images to an optimum size, but all to no avail. The export is always massivly bloated. What am I doing wrong?

        • 1. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
          Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

          What happens if you analyze the PDF file in Acrobat Pro?


          For us, unless we see the two PDF files and can see what your content is, there isn't much that we can assist you with.


          There isn't any known issue of PDF exported from InDesign 8 that yields such bloating. Thus, we really must see the content.


                    - Dov

          • 2. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
            Planet Frog Level 1

            When you say analyze in Acrobat Pro, can you be more specific please. What tools should I use and what should I be looking for comparatively?


            I can upload both files some place but the bloated file is 1.5GB - where should I put it for you to check?

            • 3. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
              Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

              In Acrobat Pro, try Save As => Adobe PDF Files, Optimized (*.PDF), press the Settings button, and then press the Audit space usage...


              That will give you an inventory of what in the PDF file is taking what percentage of the file size.


              Unwind your windows so that you don't actually save the file.


              You can also use the Tools=>Output Preview=>Object Inspector feature to see exactly what is underneath wherever you click your cursor. That can give you some good insight as well.


              I don't have a place to put such files, but if you have access to a service such as DropBox, I can grab the files from there. You can contact me at isaacs@adobe.com.


                   - Dov

              • 4. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
                Planet Frog Level 1

                Thanks Dov. I have a sharefile account so I'll upload the files for you to take a look at. I'll give you the job options file as well as I did make these changes to the default Press Quality setting;

                Changes Bicubic Sampling for images above 450 to 350

                Image Quality to High instead of Maximum

                And set Colour Mnagament Policies to Leave Colour Unchanged.


                Do you want  a collect of the InDesign document as well in case you want to open and analyze it?

                • 5. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
                  Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                  Yes, a package of the full InDesign document would be appreciated and very helpful.


                            - Dov

                  • 6. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
                    Planet Frog Level 1

                    Wiil do. I have a rather urgent dealine just at the moment but will collect and upload everything a little latter today (New Zealand time) and notify you via email. Thanks, appreciate the help.

                    • 7. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
                      afsdfasg Level 2

                      Since the dawn of time, Distiller has always made smaller files. Over the years, InD has improved, but still has much less control than Distiller.


                      I'm guessing the file size could be from complex vector graphics? If so, try working on these to simplify number of paths/points (in Illustrator) and gradient smoothing etc. Set the vector art to your output size and set document raster effects (eg drop shadows) to the minimum res you can afford. A half-res drop shadow is often enough.


                      By default [Press Quality] will 'Optimise for Fast Web View', so make sure to turn that off too. Default res is 300dpi for images above 450 dpi - do you need 350? If you know the output line screen, eg 133lpi, then maybe you can drop to 266dpi with no loss in quality. Set 266 for images above 266 if you want strict enforcement.

                      • 8. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
                        Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                        afsdfasg wrote:


                        Since the dawn of time, Distiller has always made smaller files. Over the years, InD has improved, but still has much less control than Distiller.


                        That is not tue. If you have InDesign you should not use the Distiller at all. You can create any PDF via Export and InDesign has much more possibilites than the Distiller has. Thi sentence is nonsense.

                        THe other partis only guessing, when I don't know that file, I can't tell any answer what is going wrong. BTW as someone greewing up in one of the 2 countries which accepted the metric system at the first place worldwide (Austria did it together with France) I don't know what yards are.

                        • 9. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
                          Planet Frog Level 1

                          Dov, the files are uploading at the moment, however the 1.5 GB file will take a while so I might leave that till tonight and send you a link tomorrow.


                          Yesteday I tried re-installing InDesign CS5.5 and it produces the eact same result, so perhaps points to a shared item of some nature used by both CS 5.5 and CS6 in the conversion to pdf?


                          I also tested the Acrobat Pro 'save as optiized' as you suggested and the images are 99% of the file. There are 2 rather large images in the file as you will see when you download them. One benefit of that exercise though is that if I continue with the save as optimized from Acrobat Pro with jpeg compression set to 350 High as a maximum (same as the pdf job options file), that brings the file back down a little smaller than the postscript distilled pdf - I suspect because the optimised version is a v5 pdf so supports layers and I sometimes find the non-flattening lets the file go smaller when working with some larger pdf's. The postscript version is flattend prior to distilling it seems. I'll add notes during testing in the email so you have as much info as I can give. Thanks.

                          • 10. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
                            Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                            Great. Please send me private message either via e-mail or the messaging facility of these forums to advise me when you have the files uploaded and how I get at them.


                                      - Dov

                            • 11. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
                              Planet Frog Level 1

                              Thanks afsdfasg for your suggestions. I tried switching off web optimized and that made no difference. There is very little vector in the files so I don't believe that is the problem. I understand your comments about distiller creating more optimized files, I've been using InDesign since version one so have experinced a fair bit as it has developed. I think though that when InDesign is producing a pdf that is well over 15x the size of a comparitive distilled version, It's not the intended purpose of the software to perfom in that manner. I also tested versions where I downsampled the images in the file prior to exporting or distilling to 200ppi and that made not different to the bloating - only that it came down to about 1Gb instead of 1.4 Gb.

                              • 12. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
                                Leonie15 Level 1

                                I've also wondered about large PDF sizes when exporting from Indesign – even on straight text documents. I have a long text document (no images) that exports out at 18.9mb but is on 1.9mb when postscripting and using distiller. I've had a look at the Audit space usage on the exported PDF and 60% go to Structure Info, 22% to Content Streams and 15% Document overhead – all of which means nothing to me?

                                • 13. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
                                  Planet Frog Level 1

                                  mts_lgr, although this doesn't directly address what causes he bloat, you might find this article helpful in reducing the pdf's file size from Acrobat Pro.

                                  I found that by opening the 1.4GB pdf in Acrobat Pro and using Save as Optimized and setting the image resolution settings same as what I had in the export from InDesign (I changed no other default setting for optimizing except the resolution) the pdf came to to only 79 MB!

                                  One must assume that for whatever reason InDesigns export funtion is adding or including data of some nature, but Optimizing using Acro Pro seems the best way to resolve it in the short term at least.

                                  • 14. Re: CS6 Produces Bloated PDFs
                                    Leonie15 Level 1

                                    Thanks Planet Frog, the article is helpful. The text-based PDF is now down from 18.9mb to 4.7mb with just the User Data and Clean up options selected.