28 Replies Latest reply on May 25, 2014 5:28 PM by Sean novice Branched to a new discussion.

    PDF exported too Large!!!


      I am working from an .indd template that was sent to me by a co-worker that is 1.4 MB. After changing one line of text (that is editable), when I export to high quality print PDF, it becomes 9 MB!!!

      I cannot figure out what is wrong.

        • 1. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
          hellogodzilla! Level 1

          also, we tried CS5 and older version, got the same results.

          • 2. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            What else is in the file?





            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
              hellogodzilla! Level 1

              One image, one rounded corner rectangle (blue) and our co. logo, but all are not editable in this template. Just the text headline (it is an ad, we just change the location)


              It is 8 x 11.5, image takes up 75% of document.

              • 4. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                Well, that image is likely the culprit.




                In short, you can’t compare the size of the INDD to the resulting PDF.





                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                  hellogodzilla! Level 1

                  Thank you! I wish I understood why.

                  • 6. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    The PDF contains the actual image data (including vector data that does not get compressed). In ID you store only the pointer to the linked files.

                    • 7. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                      daevaux Level 1

                      How many pages is the file? If it's one page and there is only one image on the page, and you are using the high quality print default settings then something else is  wrong. When you export the pdf at the top where it says"Adobe PDF Preset" does it say "modified" next to the setting? because if you left the compression settings for High Quality Print on one image on a 8.5 x 11 page it would not result in a 9mb file.


                      So, check your compression setting... because the file should not be that large.

                      • 8. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                        winterm Level 5

                        After all, even with right compression settings on export, pdf file, generated by ID, is larger than it could be...

                        if you have Acrobat by hand, you can use PDF Optimizer function on exported file - it does the trick, without loosing any useful data.

                        This function has it's own settings (some of them are essential), but I won't be specific on it right now...

                        • 9. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!

                          I think we're missing the bigger issue here: InDesigns' fat PDF exports, which is a completely valid complaint.


                          I export our studio's WIP (two page .indd file with two text boxes, paragraph underlines, Myriad Regular and Bold, Black, white and 50% grey 'colour') and it weighs in at 3mb; up to 3.5mb if I use the wrong PDF settings.


                          If I print a greyscale postscript and distill it, it's 36kb.

                          • 10. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                            Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                            On behalf of Adobe, I'd be very interested in seeing the source .INDD file (and assets) as well as the resultant PDF files, both from PDF export and distillation of PostScript. Although serious PDF file size bloat was a problem with earlier versions of InDesign, recent InDesign versions appear to have resolved any such issues.


                                      - Dov

                            • 11. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                              Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              @DrGroove – Nothing unusual here.


                              I would think that ICC profiles may add substantial weight to the PDF if you choose PDF-X-3 for export.




                              One page with one text frame and one empty rectangle frame: PDF Export to PDF/X-3 = 1.5 mb


                              Printed to PostScript and distilled to PDF without using  PDF/X joboptions: 25 kb


                              Tested with InDesign CS5.5 v.7.5.3 on Mac OSX 10.6.8.



                              • 12. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                DrGroove_phd Level 1

                                Uwe, I think you misunderstand me. Using PDF/Xx standards OR NOT, I couldn't get the PDF under 3mb using InDesign native export. In fact, using the PDF/X standards seems to add about 300kb

                                • 13. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                  DrGroove_phd Level 1

                                  Dov, I'll get on to it.

                                  • 14. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                    Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    @DrGroove – I don't think so.
                                    It's possible to add ICC profiles to a PDF by Export, even if you do not use a PDF/X setting.



                                    • 15. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                      DrGroove_phd Level 1



                                      The original indd file, fonts, and a sample of PDFs made from both InDesign export and PS/Distill methods. I've included the PS files (both RGB and CMYK) for just in cases.


                                      I'll state again the original premise:

                                      - PDFs made via distiller are all about 20kb for this document, regardless of setting in Distiller (it's just fonts, so there's not much to compress/downscale)

                                      - PDFs exported directly from InDesign are no smaller than 2.8mb, WAY too large for such a simple document. Including ICC profiles seems to add 300-400kb.


                                      I'm using CS5.5 on a Mac running OS 10.5.8. PS files are made using the Adobe PDF 9.0 driver.


                                      Good luck and Merry Christmas to all ;-)


                                      Thanks for your help, looking forward to whatever solution you might suggest for us.

                                      • 16. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                        Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        @DrGroove – I just downloaded your files and tested.


                                        You are right.
                                        There seems to be a lot of overhead in an exported PDF from your original InDesign file.


                                        I loaded the PDF (3.2 mb) into Acrobat Pro and did a inventory with the Preflight function there. It's getting quite large (561 pages!!) and taking about a couple of minutes to generate.




                                        What I can say after inspecting that report:
                                        There is a lot of XMP information that is bloating your exported PDF!
                                        557 of the 561 pages refer to XMP statements like that:


                                        xmpMM:History[998]/stEvt:action: saved
                                        xmpMM:History[998]/stEvt:changed: /
                                        xmpMM:History[998]/stEvt:instanceID: xmp.iid:2815F109092068119109FD5257E76C12
                                        xmpMM:History[998]/stEvt:softwareAgent: Adobe InDesign 6.0
                                        xmpMM:History[998]/stEvt:when: 2009-06-19T08:15:44+10:00
                                        xmpMM:History[999]/stEvt:action: saved
                                        xmpMM:History[999]/stEvt:changed: /
                                        xmpMM:History[999]/stEvt:instanceID: xmp.iid:F87F117407206811ACAF849773FB8E58
                                        xmpMM:History[999]/stEvt:softwareAgent: Adobe InDesign 6.0
                                        xmpMM:History[999]/stEvt:when: 2009-06-22T08:05:58+10:00


                                        Whereas the distilled PDF is stripped from that information.


                                        I cannot say where this bloat is exactly coming from.
                                        I can only say it's unusual…



                                        • 17. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                          Adobe InDesign 6? That's CS4



                                          • 18. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                            MW Design Level 5

                                            The ID file is 10 megs. Save As from CS6 reduced the native file to a 1.25 megs. Exporting to PDF using the stock High Quality Print profile, the resultant PDF is 25k.


                                            Take care, Mike

                                            • 19. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                              There you go. Probably a whole lot junk in that file from years of file>save without so much as a save as or export to IDML.



                                              • 20. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                                Yeah, that's strange since the file was exportrd from CS5.5 according to the metadata.


                                                I checked the ID file history, though, and this file started life in CS3. It crashed at least three times in CS4, and the version of CS5.5 used to edit was only 7.5.2. I expect that's part of the problem.


                                                I exported the file to.idml (after substituting Times New Roman for Times which isn't currently installed) opened and esported that to PDF/X-1a and the file size is still 3.1 MB, so .idml is not cleaning the file.

                                                • 21. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                                  Moving the pages into a new file and re-exporting brought the size down to 497.7 kb...

                                                  • 22. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                                    MW Design Level 5

                                                    Exporting my Save As copy to PDFX-1a or PDFX-4 results in a 400k PDF. Which is pretty much to be expected.


                                                    Odd about the IDML. Did you do a Save As once loading the IDML Peter? In any case, my PDFX-1a export is identical at 400k when using the IDML I saved out of the original ID file. The IDML file itself was only 133k.


                                                    Take care, Mike

                                                    • 23. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                                      Mike, I did not do a save as after opening the .idml (which I exported from 7.5.3 to be as close to what DrGroove is using as I could get). Didn't try anything except the x-1a, either.

                                                      • 24. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                                        MW Design Level 5

                                                        Well, I was using CS6. Just tried CS5.5 and yep, large files for both the saved IDML import (ID file about 6.5 megs) and PDF using the PDFX-1a profile and Smallest File profiles (over 3 megs and 2.7 megs, respectively).


                                                        And I also tried the new pages/file while I was away and got similar results (EDIT: similar to your results).


                                                        So in CS5.5, it seems to me that not enough info is being stripped compared to CS6.


                                                        Take care, Mike


                                                        Message was edited by: MikeWenzloff

                                                        • 25. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                                          David W. Goodrich Level 3

                                                          At least for IDCS4, Exporting to IDML preserves file history via the XMP Media Management, as discussed by Dave Merchant.  It happens that metadata in these categories prevent certification for PDF/A, a problem with Acrobat only resolved with Acrobat XI.


                                                          I was curious about the effect on file sizes, and recently found that a 35-page scholarly article, text-only with some CJK text, shrank from 600 KB to 300 after applying Dave's tool in Acrobat 9.  So what's the story back in ID?    I had thought that saving as a template or exporting to IDML would clear out old clutter for a new project, but neither does.  Two ID screen shots show both ends of the very long xmpMM:History structure:

                                                          XMP_History.PNG show the


                                                          Now if PDF/A doesn't allow this extra information in archives, do I really want it in my templates and the ID files I archive?


                                                          Unfortunately, removing this information from an ID file is rather like driving a wooden stake through the heart at midnight.  In IDCS4, as explained by Carl Rambert back in 2009, "xmpMM:History is an 'Internal' property that is specifically 'owned' by the application."; he adds that although "xmpMM:History in the in-memory image of the XMP packet" can be altered via File Info, "the changes are ignored when the file is saved to disk."  (He used AI for his 2009 example, but IDCS4 behaves similarly; he also questioned why one would want to strip xmpMM:History.)  I don't have IDCS6, but I just tried my test-bed machine's IDCS5.5, and found I cannot change this information even in memory.


                                                          Hmm. Dave's Acrobat JSX code provides precise names for the metadata categories in question.  I can find these in the IDML file, but unpacking and re-packing those isn't trivial.  On the other hand, I can open INX files directly with a text editor and empty those fields.  This seems to work just fine, and I've begun doing this for my templates.  And I may yet use Dave Merchant's tool on PDFs to be published electronically.




                                                          Damn, wrote too soon.  Exporting my test file from IDCS5.5 to IDML and looking at that back in IDCS4 I see xmpMM:History has been re-set.


                                                          Message was edited by: David W. Goodrich

                                                          • 26. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                                            DrGroove_phd Level 1

                                                            it's not the solution you guys are now chewing on, but I can confirm that copying the elements to a new document has given me a native PDF export from InDesign of 124kb, which is obviously much better.


                                                            Thanks for your help!

                                                            • 27. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!



                                                              I am also headache with this issue.


                                                              Generally, PDF generate with distiller will produce a smaller file size instead of Exporting direct from indesign. Besides, distilling is more stable and acceptable for most of the RIP from printers.


                                                              There is an issue, for PDF created from distilling, you might get the problem to copy the text from inside the PDF for other use purposes. It is usually occur on Asian fonts. I suspected it is encoding issue on the PDF. For Exported PDF, you won't get this problem. I have been asked by my client :"Why we are not able to copy the text from the PDF(get weird symbols when copy to text editor instead the actual fonts), we need the text to reuse for other purposes" Because of this, i have to stead to Export option. But this create a huge file size even i am using PDF/X-1a:2001, PDF version 1.3 with flatten PDF.


                                                              I noticed that there is a huge % file size different on "Document Overhead" if compare with both Distilled and Export PDF from the same file. I have no idea what it is. Can someone tell me?


                                                              Even i have used PDF optimizer to reduce the file size, it can't really reduce a lot. A 104pp with Highres setting(350ppi) is 900mb but after downsample to 144ppi for E-book, it still get 600mb. It is really huge for E-book.

                                                              Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 11.34.44 AM.png


                                                              Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 11.36.45 AM.png

                                                              Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 11.38.26 AM.png


                                                              I hope to get a solution for the Exported PDF due to my client's editor need to use the text inside the file for future use. We are not advise to generate Postscript version even though it really help in reducing size(in highres settings, we still can get lower if convert to 144ppi).


                                                              Thanks for help!




                                                              • 28. Re: PDF exported too Large!!!
                                                                Sean novice Level 1

                                                                Hi All


                                                                Likewise I'm not finding any solution to massive PDF file export size.


                                                                I'm new to the inDesign CS 6 world, self taught and have been at it for 8 months with a focus on finishing a manual of potentially 400 pages.


                                                                I'm only using basic features on tables and flowcharts (drop shadows, bevelling, rounded corners of text frames) and have resorted to breaking the document into many smaller files as 10 pages will set me back 6 mg. No inserted graphics. Emailing multiple files for state-wide review is becoming laughable, soon I'll be forced to email them a USB stick.


                                                                A 50 page Word document with tables and flowcharts with graphics will only be 1 mg.


                                                                Reading many forums over the last few months this appears to be a consistent issue with exporting .indd files to .pdf


                                                                I've tried all the solutions mentioned here and on other sites to no avail.


                                                                Any help would be appreciated keeping in mind that I'm no publisher and this is my first foray into this wonderful software.


                                                                Cheers Sean