I'm trying to print parts of my thesis (produced by LATEX), but the file being sent to the printer is way larger than my both my pdf, and the memory usage of the pdf viewer. I searched around a bit, and found that if my pdf contains layers, this can cause printing to be slow, but acrobat reader PRO doesn't seem to find any layers in my documents.

I've also tried to print to PDF (using Bullzip), and the file size jumps about 20X, while memory usage jumps another 100X.

Some numbers:

  • original PDF file (11 pages): 247 kB
  • memory usage: 6.8 MB
  • PDF printed to PDF (11 pages): 5.6 MB
  • memory usage: 200 - 400 MB
  • PDF printed to PDF (2 pages): 1.25 MB
  • memory usage: 118 MB
  • original file -> 2 pages to the printer: 12.4 MB sent to the printer

What can be the cause of this?

  • Speculative, so not an answer: vector drawings {graphs and graphics} are mathematical objects and so store very small but must be computed and rasterized in order to output (to screen or printer). For reference, a greyscale 8.5 x 11 inch document at 600dpi is about 30MB uncompressed. A CMYK image 300dpi 6x7 inches can store on disk in jpeg/jfif at 1.2MB, but be 27MB when opened in memory. – horatio Dec 13 '12 at 15:40
  • @horatio You could be partly right. I do have quite a few vector figures, but when I compile my LATEX document without the figures (draft), the result is not significantly different. Could tables also do this when printed? – oyvind Dec 13 '12 at 15:46
  • I don't use latex: my experience with this sort of thing is related to graphic design. I wouldn't worry so much about the memory usage. This is not going to have much impact on print spooling (unless you are low on memory and your swap file is getting thrashed). Your slow document generation on the printer is probably calculation, not memory. Maybe check with the latex stack exchange (tex.stackexchange.com) – horatio Dec 13 '12 at 15:52

I ran into a PDF with a similar issue. It was a schematic, and it used a ton of RAM rendering and then came out with a slightly increased file size. If it's printing properly, I would chalk it up to calculation and rendering and as Horatio says, not worry about the memory usage.

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