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Reduce PDF file size when exporting from InDesign

Explorer ,
Jul 08, 2020

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I have a 16-page landscape brochure that uses quite a number of high res photography images. I can't get the PDF file size below 15MB no matter what I do. 

 

I've tried all the below:

 

  • Smallest file size export
  • Compression down to 72
  • Images the smallest size they can possibly be without losing quality

 

The reason I want the file size lower is so it can be emailed to clients.

 

Even in this day and age, sending a link to where a document is hosted (ie Dropbox), is beyond some people 🙄

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Luke Jennings3 | Adobe Community Professional

Try using Acrobat, Save-as-other> Optimized PDF. Select all clean up and discard options (unless there is something you need to keep). If the PDF is still too large, there may be some complex vector or pattern information that is unaffected by downsampling, if so, you will need to replace this art with a raster version to make a small PDF. This PDF will be for on-screen proofing only (not for printing). You can use Acrobat to extract the PDF into 16 individual pages, if you are lucky, one page will be much larger than the others, helping to identify the page with complex vectors.

Also, you can share a link to a high res PDF directly from Acrobat (buttons upper right corner), although I see you are trying to avoid that.

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Reduce PDF file size when exporting from InDesign

Explorer ,
Jul 08, 2020

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I have a 16-page landscape brochure that uses quite a number of high res photography images. I can't get the PDF file size below 15MB no matter what I do. 

 

I've tried all the below:

 

  • Smallest file size export
  • Compression down to 72
  • Images the smallest size they can possibly be without losing quality

 

The reason I want the file size lower is so it can be emailed to clients.

 

Even in this day and age, sending a link to where a document is hosted (ie Dropbox), is beyond some people 🙄

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Luke Jennings3 | Adobe Community Professional

Try using Acrobat, Save-as-other> Optimized PDF. Select all clean up and discard options (unless there is something you need to keep). If the PDF is still too large, there may be some complex vector or pattern information that is unaffected by downsampling, if so, you will need to replace this art with a raster version to make a small PDF. This PDF will be for on-screen proofing only (not for printing). You can use Acrobat to extract the PDF into 16 individual pages, if you are lucky, one page will be much larger than the others, helping to identify the page with complex vectors.

Also, you can share a link to a high res PDF directly from Acrobat (buttons upper right corner), although I see you are trying to avoid that.

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Jul 08, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 08, 2020

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The size is normal for a high res file. Make a low res file or stop trying to email it.  Emailing PDFs is never a good plan, and emailing design work is rarely possible. I've never found any recipient to have a problem with wetransfer, but your mileage may vary. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 08, 2020

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Try using Acrobat, Save-as-other> Optimized PDF. Select all clean up and discard options (unless there is something you need to keep). If the PDF is still too large, there may be some complex vector or pattern information that is unaffected by downsampling, if so, you will need to replace this art with a raster version to make a small PDF. This PDF will be for on-screen proofing only (not for printing). You can use Acrobat to extract the PDF into 16 individual pages, if you are lucky, one page will be much larger than the others, helping to identify the page with complex vectors.

Also, you can share a link to a high res PDF directly from Acrobat (buttons upper right corner), although I see you are trying to avoid that.

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Jul 08, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 08, 2020

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There is an ancient out-dated way to make a pdf which does usually produce a much smaller pdf than more modern methods. To do so you must first save the document as a postscript file. To do that go to InDesign's Print dialog window and at the top where it says "Printer" pull down that menu and choose "PostScript® File". Then make all of the choices that you would if you were about to print the document in regard to page size, crops, bleed and individual pages/spreads. Then click on "Save" in the lower right corner and save the postscript file to your desktop or other convenient location. Now go into your Acrobat application folder and launch the Acrobat Distiller app that will be there (you might want to brush it off for cobwebs as it probably has been sitting there gathering dust). When you launch Distiller you will see at the top of the dialog window a pull-down menu called "Default Settings" with options for file size. Pull that down and choose "Smallest File Size". Now drag the postscript file right onto the Distiller dialog window. It should begin distilling the file. When it is finished it will leave the pdf in the same location as the postscript file. This pdf should be significantly smaller than what you have been getting.

Now, as I said, this method is not approved, modern or even tolerated by many. So, if you tell anyone I told you about it, I will deny it.

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Contributor ,
Jul 08, 2020

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Something doesnt quite seem right here, i've literally just exported a 36pp brochure that has over 100 high res medium/large size images in it using smallest file size and that PDF was 3.6MB....on PDFx/1 full high res the pdf size was 25MB ! if you're able to send me a packaged copy via WeTransfer i would happily take a look for you!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 08, 2020

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I agree with Andy, I tried a 40 page doc with full bleed, placed images totalling 1.5GB, and [Smallest Size] exported to 2.5MB.

 

There can be a problem with image history Metadata being brought into a document, which has been discussed:

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign/file-size-is-too-big/td-p/9370587?page=2#10084949

 

Also, try doing a Save As or an Save As to IDML and see if that has an effect. If there are placed vector files check how complex the drawings are. Vector art with complex paths, or high number of points could bloat a PDF

 

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