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Print to PDF through Acrobat now leaves files 10x larger than previous- WHY??

Community Beginner ,
Nov 12, 2018 Nov 12, 2018

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The most recent update to Acrobat DC has left a previously incredibly useful function almost useless.  I work with larger files that incorporate a lot of photos.  I need to reduce the file sizes so that they area easily emailed without any file size restrictions, and open quickly and easily over mobile. 

Prior to the update I would print a 33mb pdf file, selecting the Adobe PDF "printer" when working in Acrobat.  It would routinely dramatically reduce the file size to the 500-600kb range- PERFECT!

After the update, the same file is now only able to be reduced to 3-5mb.  When I have to attach more than one file to an email this is now rendered useless for my purposes. 

Is there a setting adjustment or way to work around, or even better, roll back whatever change was implemented for this function?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Nov 12, 2018 Nov 12, 2018

You should never be using the print to Adobe PDF hack as a way of optimizing / reducing the size of a PDF file. It is a lossy function and for that matter could indeed increase PDF file size depending upon (1) whether transparency is being flattened and (2) the joboptions specified.

What you should be doing is opening the PDF file in Acrobat and using File=>Save as Other=>Optimized PDF and selecting the appropriate options to reduce the size of your PDF file. The images options are the most usefu

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Nov 12, 2018 Nov 12, 2018

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You should never be using the print to Adobe PDF hack as a way of optimizing / reducing the size of a PDF file. It is a lossy function and for that matter could indeed increase PDF file size depending upon (1) whether transparency is being flattened and (2) the joboptions specified.

What you should be doing is opening the PDF file in Acrobat and using File=>Save as Other=>Optimized PDF and selecting the appropriate options to reduce the size of your PDF file. The images options are the most useful for this function, allowing you to decrease image resolution (downsampling) and selecting the type of compression to use. You might need to “play” with these options to see what combination yields desired file size but without totally ruining the quality of the images.

          - Dov

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

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 12, 2018 Nov 12, 2018

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For the lay user without any programming knowledge, this solution is of no help.  I have "played" around with the Image settings for a half hour and have yet to lose a single byte in file size, as  the "playing" with options equates to me sitting in a cockpit pushing buttons and seeing what happens to the airplane.

The print to PDF function worked, it worked well, it served my purpose, and I see that it will continue to serve my purpose, though less  optimally until a more non-programmer friendly solution is introduced into the program.

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Nov 12, 2018 Nov 12, 2018

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The solution we offer is used by many thousands of Acrobat users without a problem and doesn't involve any “programming knowledge” at all. Setting the proper options for Adobe PDF is at least as complex if not more complex than what we suggest and is known to cause problems. But suit yourself. And FWIW, what did change in the most recent update to Acrobat DC is that the standard joboptions were fixed such that all embeddable fonts are embedded and there is not tremendous downsampling of images, resulting in more reliable PDF files when initially creating PDF via Adobe DPF. That is probably the reason why using this method to reduce file size (for which it wasn't designed) is no longer doing what you want.

          - Dov

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

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 12, 2018 Nov 12, 2018

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This guy struggles with the whole customer support idea.

Bill Santelik, PWS

Senior Project Manager

[Personal info removed by Mod]

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New Here ,
Dec 06, 2018 Dec 06, 2018

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At my company, we are also trying to reduce the size of our PDF files so they open more quickly online. We'd like to use the same PDF file for both posting and sending to our printer. Is it better to use "Save as Other" and then "Reduced Size PDF" or "Save as Other" and then  "Optimized PDF" when reducing the file size? I'm mostly concerned about how these reduced-size PDF files might affect the quality of the printing. Will one of these options have a better print quality?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 06, 2018 Dec 06, 2018

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I would instead open the "Optimise PDF". Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 21.03.00.png

If you want simple there is reduce size if you need advanced there is Advanced Optimisation where you can do an audit so that you find out what is using space, you can also create presets for various optimisations. For example Arial, Helvetica and Times often don't need to to e embedded. You can see if files or content streams (vectors) are causing the file to be large. If you have large complex vector graphics rasterising may be the answer. For images usually keeping resolution but going harder on compression will give good file size to quality ratio.

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New Here ,
Aug 02, 2023 Aug 02, 2023

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This doesn't help when I am trying to print to pdf in order to correct the mis-sized pages.  The file size doubles.  What work around is there for that?  My colleagues create a lot of files that have incorrect page sizes.  These files eventually need to be printed and if the page size is not correct they do not print.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 02, 2023 Aug 02, 2023

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You can use the optimizer.

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New Here ,
May 17, 2024 May 17, 2024

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This was soo helpful! 

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