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Publisher file size increased unexpectedly


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I've been working on a book project for months and my file was about 10MB. It was small because every image is linked. The size fluctuates because I just choose Save and not Save As.

I was making a fresh archive copy and noticed today that the file has unexpectedly grown to 112 MB. Disk space isn't an issue but I can't figure out why this happened. I assumed I'd simply embedded 

  1. I chose Save As and it made no difference, there doesn't appear to be unused space in the file to recover.
  2. I checked the Resource Manager and there are no embedded images, all linked.
  3. I removed as much content as I could recall adding since the last archive, including the new photos, and then chose Save As. It's still big. I'll have to do a page-by-page review to ensure I've removed it all and I might do that but not yet. It's such a dramatic change that it feels like an image is embedded even though it's not reported as such.
  4. I opened the archived copy, added the new content and images to it and chose save as but it's still small.
  5. I did upgrade from an Intel Mac running Big Sur to an M1 Mac running Monterey since my last archived copy but editing the archived copy should have repeated whatever triggered the file size change so I think this can be ruled out.
  6. I did upgrade from Publisher 1.10.3 to 1.10.4 since my last archived copy. I don't have the previous version available to test with but I did open the big version with the previous beta and chose Save As without any improvement.
  7. Save History with Document is disabled.

I'm not particularly concerned about this but I am curious because I prefer to understand how my tools work. Are there any other tests anybody could suggest? If not, I will review the document page by page and attempt to re-apply all of my changes.

Thanks

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo for macOS Monterey, MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)

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Hmm, sounds like the "Save" might now have added an additional amount of data which a "Save As" before probably didn't.

I recall that the Affinity file format is build-up partly in a similar manner/fashion like backup software formats, meaning here that it saves the initial file and then also the incremental changes made to that. Further there is the build-in history function (which you already named and don't have activated), which when activated should store much more data, in order to be able to step back & forth between history states.

Hard to tell what causes this, but honestly I have to say that I'm no Publisher user and thus others can tell you for sure better. - However, Publisher has a bunch of glitches too and it might be actually version dependent, especially also in terms of M1 and Monterey support here.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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6 hours ago, v_kyr said:

I recall that the Affinity file format is build-up partly in a similar manner/fashion like backup software formats, meaning here that it saves the initial file and then also the incremental changes made to that. Further there is the build-in history function (which you already named and don't have activated), which when activated should store much more data, in order to be able to step back & forth between history states.

Yes it does. Most complex document-centric apps save documents in this way and don't attempt to recover unused space until you do a save as. But this was an extraordinary increase, a file that saves to 7MB with Save As might jump up to 8, 9, or 10MB while you do incremental saves. To see it go up to 112 typically means you embedded some data in it instead of linking which I didn't do.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo for macOS Monterey, MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)

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9 hours ago, thomaso said:

Just in case: Are there assets in the Assets Panel of the larger document + activated Assets Panel's burger menu option "Embed in current document"?

Good question but no, the panel is empty, I've never used Assets.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo for macOS Monterey, MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)

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5 minutes ago, MikeTO said:

the panel is empty, I've never used Assets.

Empty in all its categories? (so you deleted the default assets?) – Actually it would be sufficient (and more relevant) if you check whether the embed option is ticked, it appears to refer to all categories anyway.

 

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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Just now, thomaso said:

Empty in all its categories? (so you deleted the default assets?) – Actually it would be sufficient if you check if the embed option is ticked, it appears to refer to all categories anyway.

I had never opened Assets until today - it is empty and has no categories. I did not delete default assets as far as I know. I also opened the previous beta and it's Assets panel is empty, too. It appears that the Embed command is disabled because there are no assets or categories to embed.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo for macOS Monterey, MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)

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Hi @MikeTO,

This post explains about how our File Format works, so it possible this is what you are seeing when using Save As.  However, i will run this thread by our QA team and see if they can of anything else that may cause the file size to jump from 10MB to 100MB.

If you could also upload both files, the 10MB and 100MB one to our Dropbox here, i'll then have the files to show the QA team as well :) 

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4 hours ago, stokerg said:

Hi @MikeTO,

This post explains about how our File Format works, so it possible this is what you are seeing when using Save As.  However, i will run this thread by our QA team and see if they can of anything else that may cause the file size to jump from 10MB to 100MB.

If you could also upload both files, the 10MB and 100MB one to our Dropbox here, i'll then have the files to show the QA team as well :) 

I recreated the issue and uploaded the before and after files with a screen recording and a readme.txt to explain the issue.

I spent a couple of hours testing the issue with a backup copy of the file today and didn't find a specific trigger - sometimes I'd repeat the same series of steps, choose Save As, and the file would be 9MB. Then the next time it would be 50MB, 300MB or 500MB. Then 9MB again.

Once the file has expanded in size I can't find a way to get it back to 9MB again with Save As. It seems to have accumulated some permanent baggage.

Thanks!

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo for macOS Monterey, MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)

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Hi @MikeTO,

We are still looking into this and we have even had another report of this where the file size is growing on an M1 Macs but not on Intel ones, which we've been able to confirm with the users file.

I've not been able to replicate the problem with the files you uploaded, but i suspect that's due to missing most of the images.  Would you mind create a package of your Publisher (File>Save As Package) and zipping up the package folder and uploading it our Dropbox here and i'll try replicating it again.  I just want to make sure the 2 issues are the same :) 

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4 hours ago, stokerg said:

Hi @MikeTO,

We are still looking into this and we have even had another report of this where the file size is growing on an M1 Macs but not on Intel ones, which we've been able to confirm with the users file.

I've not been able to replicate the problem with the files you uploaded, but i suspect that's due to missing most of the images.  Would you mind create a package of your Publisher (File>Save As Package) and zipping up the package folder and uploading it our Dropbox here and i'll try replicating it again.  I just want to make sure the 2 issues are the same :) 

Ugh, the package is over 7 GB because I need to optimize the images before I go to print. Let me see if I can first create a smaller test document first that would be easier to upload and easier for you to play with. Thanks.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo for macOS Monterey, MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)

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6 hours ago, stokerg said:

Hi @MikeTO,

We are still looking into this and we have even had another report of this where the file size is growing on an M1 Macs but not on Intel ones, which we've been able to confirm with the users file.

I've not been able to replicate the problem with the files you uploaded, but i suspect that's due to missing most of the images.  Would you mind create a package of your Publisher (File>Save As Package) and zipping up the package folder and uploading it our Dropbox here and i'll try replicating it again.  I just want to make sure the 2 issues are the same :) 

@stokergYes, I was the user that reported you this file size problem :)

I hope you can find a solution very soon because working on big photo books gets really frustrating... Not only that the file size is huge is a a problem, even the speed of the App gets slower and slower over time...

@MikeTO you can temporary get the file size small by first embedding all pictures and then linking all pictures again in the resource manager. But you have to do this step before every saving action because the file size gets up again with the next saving action. In my case the file size gets up to several GB because of that many pictures...

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5 hours ago, stokerg said:

Hi @MikeTO,

We are still looking into this and we have even had another report of this where the file size is growing on an M1 Macs but not on Intel ones, which we've been able to confirm with the users file.

I've not been able to replicate the problem with the files you uploaded, but i suspect that's due to missing most of the images.  Would you mind create a package of your Publisher (File>Save As Package) and zipping up the package folder and uploading it our Dropbox here and i'll try replicating it again.  I just want to make sure the 2 issues are the same :) 

I've just sent you a simple test file. It's a single page with one linked image. The file is 17MB which is obviously larger than it should be.

  1. If I open the document with the image missing and choose Save As, the file size will be unchanged at 17MB.
  2. If I open the document and relink the image and then choose Save As, the file size will shrink to 1MB.

I created this test file by copying this image from my book while the images were missing so the image preview would have been previously generated. I was unable to recreate the problem by drawing a blank picture frame and placing the same image file.

I came up with this test file by realizing that having the images present wasn't necessary to duplicate the problem with the >100MB file I had sent you. Using that file, I could simply choose Save As and the file size would be unchanged. I deleted all but a dozen images and the file size was 23MB. I then deleted each remaining image one by one and found that this one image that was responsible for the size of the file. Deleting the other images had minimal impact. I assume there were a few more like this image in the original book file given the file size.

I thought that since the problem was likely the preview for this image and a few others that if I deleted this image and placed it again that the file size might shrink a bit but no luck - if I do that with the test file the file shrinks, if I do that with my book it makes zero difference. Hmm.

Good luck!

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo for macOS Monterey, MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)

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16 hours ago, Fabian89 said:

I hope you can find a solution very soon because working on big photo books gets really frustrating... Not only that the file size is huge is a a problem, even the speed of the App gets slower and slower over time...

 

I'm sure the Dev team will be able to work out whats going on here and get a fix made :) 

 

@MikeTO Thank you for the files and for your clear and detailed replies, they really do help :) 

I've been able to replicate the issue here on my M1 MacBook Air and will update the report with a link to this thread.

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Hi together,

I have the same problem with file size on a M1 MacBook Air. I also started a task about it in this forum. So I will follow this discussion here also. Hope the Affinity team will find a solution. My file is more then 700 MB now (magazine with 30 pages) and every time I will safe, it takes a lot of time now.

Edited by Benjito
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  • 1 month later...

I am having a similar issue and looking forward to a reply from Serif.

Working on a photo book - at 5 pages, maybe 50 images, all linked.

When I first looked at the file size, it was at 1.84GB. Tried some of the previous solutions - ensured I wasn't using Save History, tried Save As - still 1.84GB.

Using the Resource Manager, I embedded all of the image files, then switched them back to linked and suddenly the file size was down to 3.2MB. Made a couple changes (because during this process, a bunch of the images suddenly appear like they have a white semi-transparent overlay on them and I wanted to make sure that wasn't the case), and the file size immediately climbed back up to several hundred MB. 

Of course, Publisher quickly slows to a crawl - opening, saving, working on the file... when I did last year's photo book, I ended up doing 10 separate files of 10 pages each (and they were still each large and slow), which I'd rather not have to do!

M1 MacBook, Publisher 1.10.4

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To add more details about what I'm encountering:

I've continued working on the photo book, breaking it up into 6-page files. This issue is happening with all five files that I have so far, so does not seem to be linked to a particular image. 

The large file is not consistently the same size - I'll save it one time and it will be several hundred MBs, the next time it could be 1-2GB, with few or no changes to the file itself. 

The file size can change dramatically even if all I do is, for example, add a text box.

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2 hours ago, ianeverdell said:

I've continued working on the photo book, breaking it up into 6-page files. This issue is happening with all five files that I have so far, so does not seem to be linked to a particular image. 

The large file is not consistently the same size - I'll save it one time and it will be several hundred MBs, the next time it could be 1-2GB, with few or no changes to the file itself. 

The file size can change dramatically even if all I do is, for example, add a text box.

For me, it is definitely specific images. It's possibly the same for you but perhaps you have one or more of the troublesome images in each of your files.

I have done further tests with the sample image I provided to Serif earlier in this thread. All of my images are TIFF and while most are CMYK, some are RGB because they were created years ago and I will do my photo cleanup at a later time. The test image was RGB so I tried converting it to CMYK and it had no impact. I tried converting it to CMYK with Photoshop instead of Affinity Photo and it had no impact. I tried halving the resolution with only the equivalent reduction, not to a normal document size. I tried cropping the image to see if it was something peculiar about specific aspect ratios but it had no impact.

I then tried converting the TIFF to a JPG. I expected it to work like halving the resolution, a corresponding drop in file size to match the new image size, but converting it to JPG completely solved the problem. I don't want to use JPGs for my book and I can wait for Serif to fix this as I don't need to provide the files to a printer anytime soon so the bloated file size doesn't worry me yet. But I hope this is addressed before the next release as it's an issue for large books.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo for macOS Monterey, MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)

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Same problem here, we have a small APu (Windows) document but weighs in just under 300mb, tried all the above - should be nearer to 30mb

This file has been converted from InDesign to APu - is this a common factor to all who are experiencing this issue?

I have done some preliminary tests on a native APu and it seems ok.

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59 minutes ago, JosephK said:

This file has been converted from InDesign to APu - is this a common factor to all who are experiencing this issue?

No, the problem I've reported can be recreated with a blank document and one image. Your issue might be the same or could be completely separate. I know there's another file size thread on embedded PDF files but I don't recall one for InDesign files.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo for macOS Monterey, MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)

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I've done some further experimentation - for my past files, I've simply been making a copy of the previous file, deleting all the content, and making new pages. This has been so that I don't have to redo my page sizes, guides, grid, etc. for each new file.

But I made a completely new file, put the same pictures and text in and gave them the same treatments, and the file size did not balloon as it has with other files. I then made a brand new version of my photo book master (with the correct page size, margins, grid, guides, etc.) and put in the same pictures and text, and again the file size did not go crazy.

So now I'm wondering if there's something happening behind the scenes with one file that I just kept making copies of...

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I did have an issue with file size bloating on windows 10. There are over 300 images in my book, and they are linked.
Many of the images are mostly placement size. The file size suddenly went from around 17MB to over 80.
Had a play around at the time, and found it was obviously an image that the program did not like.
Can't remember if it was a PSD file or a Canon Raw file, but changing it to a jpg sorted the issue for me at the time.
Hopefully, when I eventually load all of the full size file, I can still work on the file!
Currently it is holding at around 20MB for a 200+ page book.

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The issue I've reported can be replicated consistently with the same images. I can create a document with a single image and get the bloated file size every single time. I sent Serif a copy of a test image that will always cause the problem so I assume they'll be able to track this down.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo for macOS Monterey, MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)

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