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Images are stored as uncompressed when embedded, even more so when they are part of the design and use clipping masks etc.. It then doesn't matter what their compressed size was. It should not matter, however - unless there is a specific reason to send editable data, people use PDFs without the Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities option and flattened transparencies for getting such things to the printer or have it approved by their bosses...
Taking out the editing capabilities definitely bumped it down 50%.
My solution was to save it as a high quality print PDF.
That took it down to about 3MB.
Flattening the transparency left odd lines in the artwork. Don't know if I did it incorrectly.
Either way. I am good now.
Thanks for your input!
Looks like CS4 does not like to work with images. There are many posts with the same problem.
if you to to Preferences and turn off anti-aliasing, do the "odd lines" go away? If so, then it's just a display thing.