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Photoshop automate PDF massive file size difference compression rates

Explorer ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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I am producing an A4 image brochure which includes one page of text.

There are 46 images (includes text page), all 12 compression jpegs, a total of 456 megabytes in one folder.

If I save the images to a PDF file in Photoshop using the 'maximum' bicubic sampling jpeg setting option the PDF file is only 371 megabytes.

If I choose the option 'Do not Downsample' and compression setting to 'None' the file is a whoping 1.8 GB

Why is there such a large difference in PDF file sizes?

Does Photoshop's PDF maximum jpeg compression setting option save an image using the same 12 compression algorithms as Photoshop's 12 compression setting for images that are not saved to PDF?

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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Hi @Nick Walker the issue is you are not creating a true PDF - you are simply saving an image with a PDF "wrapper" that allows it to be opened in other program.

Compression rates will vary since there are not other items to compress - live text, vector objects, etc. Your file is just one big image when saved and pixel information varies.

 

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Explorer ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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Hi Kevin,

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I will compare the two PDF's to see if the image quality is different - no compression PDF versus maximum jpeg compresion PDF, I suspect not. Optimised for fast Web viewing is always off.

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Community Expert ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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Is there any reason these cant be produced in InDesign for better compression?

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Explorer ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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Hi Kevin,

I don't have any dedicated PDF software - for docs I have used Mac Pages for many years. I tried Acrobat Pro the other day, whilst some ways of working were intuitive I spent hours watching online tutorials which left me non the wiser for certain tasks so I cancelled the free trial.

 

I have been using Photoshop professionally since the late 90's, comopared to Acrobat I found it easier to composit an image perfectly centrally onto a plain background by using the shift key but for the life of me couldn't find a similar method in Acrobat Pro.  

 

Is InDesign a less steep learnig curve than Acrobat?

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Community Expert ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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... but for the life of me couldn't find a similar method in Acrobat Pro.  

By @Nick Walker

 

Acrobat is not for for creating pages — the original purpose of PDF was to replace the FAX machine and send an electronic copy of a completed document. It's changed since then, but is still not intended for page layout.

 

Does InDesign have a learning curve? Yes. But so does Photoshop, and you got through that! You are given a blank page and use File > Place to place images and text, then use the Selection tool (similar to PS's Move tool) to move objects on the page. If you can't take a live class, try LinkedIn Learning.

 

Jane

 

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Explorer ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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Hi Jane,

 

Thanks so much, fascinating to learn that the purpose of Acrobat was to replace the FAX. Transitioning from slide film to digitising film and using Photoshop was a very steep learning curve, the late Bruce Fraser was my saviour when it came to colour management in those days.

 

From your reply I have made an elementary error trying Acrobat Pro for my tasks and instead should have used InDesign. I wondered why it was so much easier to use Mac Pages to rearrange text and images than Acrobat Pro - for me anyway!

 

I will try inDesign.

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Community Expert ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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hi @Nick Walker InDesign is the page creation tool, not Acrobat. It may be more intuitive/familiar for you with your experience in Photoshop. I wouldn't say it's a "steep" learning curve but it will take some time to adjust.

The outcome however, IMO, will be a better produced PDF with improved compression/accessibility.

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Community Expert ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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Optimised for fast Web viewing is always off.

By @Nick Walker

 

Is your PDF going on the web? This is what fast web viewing means:

  • if it is off, the first page will not be viewed until all pages are downloaded
  • if it is on, the first page will be viewed as the remaining pages continue downloading in the background

To turn fast web viewing on, open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat > Save As > keep the same name > Okay

If the PDF is not going on the web, it's a non-issue.

 

Jane

 

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Explorer ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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Hi Jane,

Thanks for your reply. It's not going on the web - I always turn off 'Optimised for fast Web viewing.' The images started off as either RAW files or scanned to 16 Bit Tiffs Pro Photo RGB, CMYK soft proofed and converted to the printers CMYK profile. 

 

I have just received back the first brochures and I have been very impressed with the colour accuracy and quality of the paper stock - I used to print my exhibition prints on pro wide format printers.

 

My issues are:

1. Compression rates is there a quality hit saving a 12 compression Photoshop jpeg compared to a Photoshop automated PDF using jpeg maximum (fast web viewing off).

 

2.VERY slow broadband, sending the first non compressed 1.8GB PDF took nearly 3 hours to send.

 

In an ideal world I would prefer to save a PDF using Tiff files but this is a non starter due to poor broadband speed.

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