Please help me with this. I am saving my resume as PDF. Word makes it into a 2.3Mb PDF file when the original docx is only 136kb. It is a simple one-page document without images or graphics, simply two chosen fonts - Arno Pro and Gill Sans.

I have tried using the normal save as PDF button in the print menu as well at using PDFWriter. All give the same result. When I open the document on my PC and print to PDF via BullZip, it comes out at 36kb.

What is Mac Word 2011 doing!?

  • 2
    It's worth noting that all *x formats (e.g. docx, xlsx) are actually zip compressed files so they will be smaller then some other native formats.
    – Origin
    Nov 11, 2012 at 8:25
  • try if you can select the text and copy paste it from your large pdf file, or if the text has been rendered as an image. Nov 11, 2012 at 12:13
  • everything copies well from the PDF. Even into a text editor. All the letters and words show up nicely. Nov 11, 2012 at 13:11
  • What happens if you save (not print) the document on PC?
    – trolzen
    Nov 11, 2012 at 14:48
  • Maybe this helps: techiecorner.com/1234/how-to-reduce-pdf-file-size-in-mac but it doesn't answer the question.
    – trolzen
    Nov 11, 2012 at 15:01

2 Answers 2


Maybe it embeds fonts into pdf or converts all symbols to curves.

  • Word 2011 for Mac does not support font embedding. The symbols thing I do not know of? Nov 11, 2012 at 8:33
  • By "symbols" I meant characters.
    – trolzen
    Nov 11, 2012 at 14:23
  • aha, I see. I am able to copy and paste all "symbols" from the PDF, so there are no curves involved then correct? Nov 11, 2012 at 14:30
  • That's corrent.
    – trolzen
    Nov 11, 2012 at 14:44

I'm afraid I can't tell you why it happens, but my roommate once had the exact same problem with his couple-page document, only the resulting PDF was something ungodly like 30 MB. He gave me the docx, I simply opened and saved it as PDF using Word for Windows (using the same settings), and the resulting PDF was less than 1 MB. He said the PDFs looked identical and the text was equally selectable. Go figure.

So if you have a friend with Windows and Word 2010 or 2007, you might be able to save yourself a lot of time trying to work around it on your Mac and move on with your life. (I wouldn't say that if it were a more regular occurrence, particularly since I'm now a Mac user myself.) :-)

Alternatively, other things to try:

  • Use Mac OS X's ability to "print" arbitrary things to PDF. To do so, in Word, press Command+P, then clck the "PDF" drop-down menu in the lower left corner of the dialog and select "Save as PDF". I don't believe this performed any better when my roommate tried it, but perhaps it would in the case of your document.
  • If you have a copy of Adobe Acrobat, use it for the conversion. If any piece of software would "get it right", I'd think that would be it.

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