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Need to downside a PDF but it won't get any smaller

New Here ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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I have an indesign project that is about 13-16MB.  I'm gone through and decreased the size of all the jpegs so they are all under 500mb in the file.  I have a few pdf's in the file that are 500-1,000 MB. When I export, I have it set to downsize to 72 PPI but I have the quality set at maximum.  If I decrease that too much, than the quality just isn't as good.  When I do all of that my PDF is still about 7MB.  From there I've optimized the PDF and I've also tried to reduce the PDF size and that only gets it down to about 6MB.  Is there something else that I'm missing.  I've looked at some settings and it shows that my content streams are about 50% which is the same as my images.  Is there something I can do to decrease that.  I basically have text, some arrows, lines, and a table in my document and then the rest is jpegs and a few pdfs.  Are the arrows/lines causing that high content stream or would it be the PDF's inside the document.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

More options to play with—enable Optimize for Web View and remember that the higher the Compatibility, the smaller the file. A same file saved for 10 or later is file is smaller that an Acrobat 9 file, which is smaller than an Acrobat 6 file. You can only get so far in InDesign, so try File > Save as other > Reduce File Size in Acrobat.

Acrobat Pross_001.png

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Community Expert ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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There is a limit to how small you make a file. If the PDF optimizer in Acrobat can’t do any more, then you’ve reached that limit.

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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smallpdf.com seems to shrink my files when my standard routes can't do anything.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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If you want to make your InDesign document smaller, do a save as. I don't know if a smaller InDesign file makes a smaller PDF.

I know I should have checked first before posting, but I might not get back to this for a bit.

In this case, Save As reduced the size by 3.3 MB

Before:

After:

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Community Expert ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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More options to play with—enable Optimize for Web View and remember that the higher the Compatibility, the smaller the file. A same file saved for 10 or later is file is smaller that an Acrobat 9 file, which is smaller than an Acrobat 6 file. You can only get so far in InDesign, so try File > Save as other > Reduce File Size in Acrobat.

Acrobat Pross_001.png

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New Here ,
Nov 29, 2021 Nov 29, 2021

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I know this is "old" but thanks fo the golden advice! Brought me from 8MB to 1.2MB.

Thank you 🙂

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New Here ,
Oct 29, 2020 Oct 29, 2020

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I'm having the same issue. It is utterly incomprehensible that this is so complicated. i just want to be able to email a smaller verion of the pdf. unreal.

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New Here ,
Jun 10, 2021 Jun 10, 2021

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I know this is an old thread but I'm having a TERRIBLE issue with this as well. I have a 1 page PDF document that I can't get to shrink no matter what I do to it in Photoshop or Acrobat. "Reduce file size" wont work, Were you ever able to get yours resolved? Any tips for it? Thanks! 

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New Here ,
Dec 31, 2021 Dec 31, 2021

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Thanks Jeepgirl...that tip of your reduced my 10.9 MB pdf to a 459k pdf...cheers!

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New Here ,
Dec 12, 2021 Dec 12, 2021

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I was also having no luck with reducing file size, however as a last resort I just exported a large PDF to Powerpoint and then exported the PPT file back to PDF and reduced it from 16MB to 1.6MB. 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 12, 2021 Dec 12, 2021

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I am always leery of running any document through the MS Office tools — perhaps less so with Word, but PP has never been anything but a layout and file management nightmare that makes CorelDRAW look stable. 🙂

 

I just duplicated your effort with a PDF document at hand, and it went from 292k (original, reduced-size PDF) to 126k PPTX to... 398k PDF.

 

I suggest that only careful management of the export to PDF from the source tool and then Acrobat's reduce file size feature can produce a PDF that is minimum size, maximum stability/compatibility and acceptable quality. After all, if an "outside" tool can reduce the image sizes and overall data set, tools with more control over the components and process should be able to do it better.


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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New Here ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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I expect mine was an edge case, to frame it I scanned a 24pp document with ScannerPro on my iPhone, output to PDF, couldn't get it down more than 3MB using reduce file size (on a Mac).  Last resort tried exporting to other formats and back again, was pretty surprised this worked!  Not for everyday, but thought I'd share my experience, as reduce file size didn't work this time (it usually does).

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Community Expert ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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On the one hand, whatever works in a situation like this, works... and Yay!

 

I'd just be cautious about using this process for anything client-critical; passing along a PDF that's acceptably small but might break in a number of ways for clients or downstreamers is something to avoid.


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Hi everyone! I've got issues with my exported PDF from Indesign. I did every remedies from this thread to no avail. My InDesign file is about 17MB but to my surprise no matter how much I try to reduce it through the Export compression setting I always get PDF file larger than my Indesign file with sizes ranging from 24MB to 34MB. (I tried reducing sizes of the placed images, optimized the pdf file in Nitro PDF, and "saved as" the pdf file but I can't make it to 5 mb which is the target size). Thanks in advance for the help! 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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The size of the PDF has absolutely nothing to do with the size of the INDD file. Without examing the entire package it's impossible to give you any advice, but if this is for print, the LAST thing you want to be looking at is file size. What you want may not even be possible. There's a limit to how much you can reduce a file size without damaging it.

 

That said, this really isn't an InDesign issue and folks over at the Acrobat forum (if you're doing a lot of this, Acrobat remains the gold standard for dealing with PDFs) may be able to offer you some advice.

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New Here ,
Aug 23, 2023 Aug 23, 2023

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This is a huge issue. That is why people leave to other apps for compressing PDFs. They know Acrobat just sucks at it. I have 20 years in the field and this wasn't as bad in previous versions of Acrobat.

 

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Participant ,
Aug 28, 2023 Aug 28, 2023

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I wanted to add a note here because for me, Reduced Size pdf did not work. What worked for me is selecting Optimized pdf with these settings. Worked like a charm and the quality was still very good for digital. Reduced the file size from 22 MB to under 1 MB.

Kathy5FFA_0-1693259378821.png

 

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