12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 16, 2017 2:50 AM by Monika Gause

    saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?

    Chafespeare

      How do I save an Illustrator file (about 20 MB) into a 3-4 MB PDF that can be mailed?  I already tried to go to Edit >> Adobe Preset Edits and then select the "Smallest file size" option. I then went tried to save a copy as a PDF and the resulting copy was 19 MB.  How can I get this file down to a manageable size?

        • 1. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          You remove everything that makes it look good! I'm afraid this is a somewhat circular argument. Unless you reduce the resolution of images and raster effects or compromise on otehr quality settings, the result you are seeing is probably as good as it gets. Simply ask yourself what's more important to you: quality or size. That aside, people upload files to FTP accounts, Yousendit and other sites and do not mail them, if it is realyl important that the client/ reviewer sees all the details. This also neatly avoids mail being blocked due to excessive attachments...

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
            Scott Falkner Level 5

            Start with Smallest File Size and adjust the compression values. Probably the most important thing to turn off is Include Illustrator Editing Capability. With this option on, the complete Illustrator file and all embedded images are saved within the PDF so it can be opened and edited with Illustrator. Without this option, only the PDF data is stored, which keeps the size down but makes editing the file later difficult or impossible. Be sure to follow up with a Save As back to a normal Illustrator .ai file.

            • 3. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
              mec_os Level 3

              you can print as pdf. that might get you a smaller file. or you can open your pdf in acrobat professional and go to document/reduce file size. if you have images in your document check you can down sample them more in the output options in the save as pdf menu.

               

               

              damn. three responses at the same time.

               

              acrobat professional will reduce your file greatly. i've gotten 60 megs down to a few megs

              • 4. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
                joãop62663633

                Save as [PDF/X-1a:2001]

                • 5. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
                  Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Save as [PDF/X-1a:2001]

                  This thread is 7 years old.

                  The issue is apprently solved.

                  Saving algorithms have been changed since then.

                   

                  And on top of that: In no way whatsoever can saving as PDF/X-1 be applied to any existing file to bring file size down. It completely depends on the workflow, content of the file and the purpose of the file.

                  • 6. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
                    joãop62663633 Level 1

                    You're right. 7 years... Nevertheless my dear, any file that you save as a "default" PDF, will decrease its size when saved as [PDF/X-1a:2001]. I could tell you another 50 ways to decrease the pdf's size, but the thread is 7 years old, so why bother.

                     

                    On top of that, the reply was meant to help. The original file, is an .AI meaning: it will ALWAYS decrease the pdf's size (I do it everyday, saving 5 times the space of a PDF with default proprieties). You should try it

                    • 7. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
                      Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      You should try it

                      Why should I?

                      I'm saving PDF/X-1 when sending stuff for print AND the service provider wants that kind of file.

                       

                      For getting the smallest file size, PDF/X-1 usually is not a good idea since it flattens transparency and converts everything to CMYK which has the potential to create even bigger files.

                      • 8. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
                        joãop62663633 Level 1

                        "How do I save an Illustrator file (about 20 MB) into a 3-4 MB PDF that can be mailed?"

                         

                        The transparency and not embedded fonts are in fact the only possible issues (easily overcomed by a a junior designer).

                         

                        Once again, I do it everyday and it works. Fast and productive

                        • 9. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
                          joãop62663633 Level 1

                          By the way, I got curious: your way to solve this problem in 5 seconds is...?

                          • 10. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
                            Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Without knowing anything about the content and the purpose of the PDF: impossible to answer in 5 seconds.

                            • 11. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
                              joãop62663633 Level 1

                              In my line of work, we would engage the transparency possible issues, embed the fonts, and save in PDF/X-1. This way I guarantee the result either for web or print. If you have a middle man/agency between you and the final client, this will cost you time (money!), and will displease everyone. The art director would tell you "how can you feel this amount of insecurity in a 20Mb file? Just do it!"

                              Plus, if that's your answer, in my agency you would be automatically discredited, because, bottom line, we are talking about a 20MB PDF (you can easily narrow the options, right?).

                              • 12. Re: saving Illustrator files as small PDFs?
                                Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Plus, if that's your answer, in my agency you would be automatically discredited

                                I have never even applied for a job at your agency, but thank you very much.

                                 

                                "In your agency" you know your files and you know what happens to them. And I would assume that "in your agency" a lot of years ago some people have experimented with workflows. Probably long before you have been employed.

                                 

                                But this is a public forum. Nobody knows about the files or their contents (why is this file that large?). Nobody knows about workflows or any of the people involved here. Without knowing that, you cannot give an answer if you take answering seriously.