10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 26, 2012 4:40 AM by Luke Jennings

    PDF's are too big to email


      I email a lot of pdf's out of Illustrator and have a saved setting. I am basically using the smallest file size setting but with bleed and trim marks. Files normally come out about a MB or smaller. We recently upgraded to CS 5.5 just after Thanksgiving and everything was fine. All of a sudden for about the last 2 weeks when I save a pdf the files are 10 MB or bigger. I have tried just about everthing to reduce the file size and nothing is working. Anyone have an idea why this would have happened and what I can do to fix it. I had to export the files as jpgs in order to make them small enough to email.

        • 1. Re: PDF's are too big to email
          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional



          Just to make sure: are you (still) saving with Preserve Illustrator Editing capabilities unticked?

          • 2. Re: PDF's are too big to email
            markerline Level 4

            There are many contributors to this forum who would be better equipped to give you tips on how to reduce the file size without losing image quality.  However I can say that if you are in the end unable to do so I would consider if I were you using a file-sharing service that enables you to email large files.  Some email clients have them as applications or services that they offer in conjunction with using their email clients.  I'm not sure if the services are free but there are I'm sure some services that are if you do some research.  One set of keywords to look for is "drop box".

            • 3. Re: PDF's are too big to email
              tbtx77 Level 1

              We are a printing company and I am in Prepress. I download the full size Illustrator files and am trying to just make a small pdf for the sales people to view and print on the job ticket, and sometimes to email to the customer for approval. I just need something for position only not for printing.

              • 4. Re: PDF's are too big to email
                Luke Jennings Level 4

                Optimize the PDF in Acrobat. In Acrobat X, you do a file> save as> Optimized PDF. The standard setting is usually adequate to produce an emailable PDF, but you can adjust the settings to make it even smaller. Add "_LR" to the end of your file name, so they know it's low res.

                • 5. Re: PDF's are too big to email

                  I know this was post 11 months ago, but for anyone searching and finding this page, wondering why their PDF's are so large, I'd like to add one other thing.


                  As with what Luke Jennings said "Optimize the PDF in Acrobat. In Acrobat X, you do a file> save as> Optimized PDF" while optimizing, I found that if you click the "Audit space usage..." you can see what is taking up all the space with your file. For me it was all the fonts. I reduced my PDF size from 32MB to 1.5MB by simply unembedding all the fonts I didn't use (basically 99% of them).


                  Hope this helps anyone in the future.

                  • 6. Re: PDF's are too big to email
                    Luke Jennings Level 4

                    If you are sending the PDF to be printed, unembedding the fonts is not wise.

                    • 7. Re: PDF's are too big to email
                      JojoRaiel Level 1

                      How would I reduce my file size if 99% of the file is taken up by fonts?

                      • 8. Re: PDF's are too big to email
                        Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                        If using Acrobat 9 Go To Document>Reduce File size.


                        If Using Acrobat X or XI to tot he tools sidebar and use Optimize for Web Distribution.


                        If you do not want to fool witht he pdf in any way then download Adobe Send Now app and use their free service or subscribe for a year for a whopping $29.95.


                        The free version allows you to upload files upt to 500MB there may be limitis to how many files you can upload it sends an e-mail to the parties you want to download the files and they simply follow the link and it downloads.


                        The paid version allows you to upload files as large as 2 GB and gives you 20GB of storage. I immediately myself purchased the paid version.


                        If you hppen to upgrade to the cloud then you get the paid version free.

                        • 9. Re: PDF's are too big to email
                          JojoRaiel Level 1

                          Thanks Wade for the response, but unfortunately what you suggested didn't work. Another reason why I need to reduce the file size is because I have an old photocopier which takes forever to RIP the file if it's larger than a few MB's. I don't know how I manage to increase the file sizes in the first place, but by unembedding most of the fonts, it doesn't effect anything other than the file size for me. I keep the fonts I use within the document.


                          Is this not a good way of doing it? I only posted on here to offer another alternative if all else fails.

                          • 10. Re: PDF's are too big to email
                            Luke Jennings Level 4

                            It seems unlikely there is 30 MB of needed fonts in your PDF, I think something else is going on. When you optimize your PDF in Acrobat, under fonts, choose subset all embedded fonts and see if that helps. If you are the only one printing your PDF, than it's OK to unembed your fonts. If you are sending your PDF to someone else, there may be font substitution. Also, under discard objects and user data, select all options and do the same under clean-up. This should give you a small PDF suitable for printing.