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Today I used PDFCreator to print my document but the resulting file is very big (>50Mb). I expect it to be less than 15Mb as with my normal pdf files. Am I doing something wrong? How can I make the result smaller?

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I only fell into this question because I tried to use PDFCreator with Safari on Windows. Usually I use either Google Chrome or Mac to print to PDF and never had such issue. So, those are other solutions: use Google Chrome or a Mac! ;-) – cregox Jun 19 '13 at 18:04
Not all files can be printed via Chrome you know. – Nam G VU Jun 20 '13 at 0:07
I'd say most files can not be printed via Chrome. But it's sure much better file size when it's one we can. – cregox Jun 20 '13 at 0:18
Yeah sure I agree! i also love Chrome's Save as PDF function – Nam G VU Jun 20 '13 at 1:04
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The full version of Acrobat can Optimize PDFs (with involves subsetting fonts, down sampling graphics, removing old features or data, removing broken things like links and so on). I'm sure other third part programs must as well.

As far as freeware goes, there are some PDF compressors that will repack PDFs using a few different algorithms, but these programs usually don't get better result than Acrobat.

Depending on how the PDF is made and what it contains (graphics/text), it may not have been generated as well as it could, and I would give the PDF compressors a shot.

I couldn't recall the compressor I had used, so I did a quick search and found Free PDF Compressor.

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Use the "Publish as PDF..." command (in the file menu) instead of the print command, and from there you can change the quality settings. "Standard" gave me a <600kB file where "High print quality" gives me about 1.5mb and using the the print command gave me over 7mb!

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Sounds promising, but I can't find that command / menu. And the whole point of using the PDF creator is being able to print pages into PDF. Can you give more pointers? Or maybe that's actually a MS Word converting tool, and when doing that we're not even using PDF creator... – cregox Jun 19 '13 at 17:55

The size of a PDF that comes out of a tool like PDFCreator is largely dependent on how an application prints a document. For example if an application renders everything to a large raster image (sometimes incorrectly called a “bitmap”) internally before sending it to the printer driver, those large raster images will end up in the PDF too. If the application only sends text, vector graphics & fonts to the printer driver, the resulting PDF will be relatively small.

As Scott says: there are tools that can make those large raster images smaller, but (normally) that also means you'll lose quality. It's probably fine to make PDFs smaller that way if they are (mostly) meant to be read on-screen (e.g. presentation slides), but printing them would be ugly...

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PDF Creator itself is built with utilities to make the files in compressed form as possible.

But if you need more tweaks on it then you have to pay attention while creating your PDF file. Don't use imagest with raster graphics, unusual large fonts, use least effects and font style etc. But to give your PDF files, a nice look you have to use these things but don't employ if it is of no use. This is my personal experience.

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