Thanks so much for you reply and screenshot. Actually, I've got that part. What I'm looking for is a way to export the artboards as flattened PDFs in a smaller file size. I opened one of the PDFs exported in this manner and it was an editable layered file that was very large.
If I flatten each artboard, the resulting PDF file sizes are still much larger than when I used to use Save As with a single file.
Am I missing something?
I learned on this forum is that artboards aren't what we think they are! They are actually windows into a background. Think one large background, divided into 3 smaller views (if you have 3 artboards).
For example, 3 artboards:
Then select and ungroup them to see that it is one wide document large document.
I suspect that this is having an impact on the file size. You could save a copy and play with this theory (keep the original safe): Delete two of the artboards, ungroup the remaining artboard, crop to size and then make the PDF. What happens to the file size after that?
Here is the explanation from Adobe I was looking for:
The second to last response in that thread was very helpful to me:
Whats not clear to most users is that every layer in every artboard is really the same size as the overall image size. We trick Photoshop into treating artboards like separate docs but it is important to know that they aren't. This is why artboard files may seem disproportionately large, what appears to be many small layers can add up to a very large file.
I read this four months ago so I'm not sure I did a great job with my earlier answer—I hope that the combination of both will fill in that you were missing about artboards in Photoshop, and explain the larger that expected file sizes associated with them.
That explains everything for me. Thank you! The forums here are really very helpful.
So glad I could help.