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PDF getting bigger when edited

New Here ,
Mar 22, 2019 Mar 22, 2019

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I have a PDF that I was editing recently that got bigger after I edited it, but the edits should have kept it relatively the same size. The changes included replacing a page (put in the new page and deleted the old page, and the only change on the page was changing the word widow to married), and then updating the page #s in the footer (the page # footer was already there. The ultimate size of my PDF increased from 3.3 MBs to 4 MBs, which I know is not large, but these are for new employees who have a 5 MB/doc limit on where they upload their training docs, so size matters, and if those small changes increased the size that much, then the next time we have to edit the document could potentially put us over the limit, and make us have to start all over at the beginning for managing our docs.

So, my primary question is, why is the file getting bigger if I am seemingly doing a 1 to 1 replacement? Is there a recommended way to avoid having this happen?

Or, I do know that I can save the PDF as a reduced size PDF, but was wondering how that will affect the long term quality of the file. Would it still get to a point where we need to re-create the PDF from the beginning? (Our source file is a PPT, which we then convert to PDF and add form fields so it can be filled out electronically.)

Thank you for the help!!

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Edit and convert PDFs

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Mar 22, 2019 Mar 22, 2019
If all you do is save the file in Acrobat, that save option simply concatenates the modified page to the end of your current PDF file as well as fixup some pointers within the file. Yes, every edit will increase the file size, no matter how minor.To cause Acrobat to rewrite the full file, simply use the save as option within Acrobat. You don't need to use the reduced size option because that can degrade quality, perhaps very significantly.     - Dov

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Mar 22, 2019 Mar 22, 2019

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If all you do is save the file in Acrobat, that save option simply concatenates the modified page to the end of your current PDF file as well as fixup some pointers within the file. Yes, every edit will increase the file size, no matter how minor.

To cause Acrobat to rewrite the full file, simply use the save as option within Acrobat. You don't need to use the reduced size option because that can degrade quality, perhaps very significantly.

     - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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New Here ,
Apr 03, 2020 Apr 03, 2020

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So if I  sent out a test to students as a pdf form and they clicked 'Save' several times, that would explain why my 2.5Mb test has come back from some of them at 15-17Mb?!  Is there anyhting I can do now to bring it back down to a manageable size? It takes an age to re-upload this to send it back to pupils... I have tried 'Reduce file size' but that only gets them down to about 15Mb... I am using Acrobat 9.0, by the way. Hoping you can help!

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New Here ,
Mar 25, 2019 Mar 25, 2019

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Thank you so much! I knew there had to be something easy that I was completely missing.

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New Here ,
Apr 14, 2019 Apr 14, 2019

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Hi, I have this same issue, the file size keeps getting bigger for no reason, I tried "saving as", but it does not do anything.

I also tried optimising the document, but it barely gets any smaller. Likely because it is only 3 pages of text and some vector boxes (made in illustrator originally), it really should be under 100kb, but its sitting currently around 3.46mb

After the last update on the 10 April 2019, saving a document that had calculations in them stopped working. All I had to do was delete the calculations and re-add them to fix it. Technically the document should be exactly the same size, however it increased in file size by 1.1mb.

Previously I noticed just before the last Acrobat update, I edited the document to have one more paragraph, which added over 1mb to the file size, that is a lot for 4 lines of text! I feel like there may be a bug or something.

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Participant ,
May 05, 2019 May 05, 2019

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I have just started to notice this with my fillable forms too. Before I could save as and just change the file name having changed one number on the form and the size would remain the same. However, now I had a form which went from 650kb to 2mb in one save!!

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New Here ,
Aug 18, 2021 Aug 18, 2021

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I found a VERY EASY way to heavily reduce the size of your pdf no matter how many edits you have made in it.
When you have your finished pdf, just create a NEW pdf with one blank page.
Next, INSERT in it all the finished pages from your edited pdf and save it.

Thats all!

Size reduction with this simple method at my last pdf: from 247mb --> 156mb

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