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Huge size of PDF file from Affinity Publisher


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The AFPUB file of my brochure is 27MB, when I generate the PDF it comes out as a huge 203MB using a resolution of 192px. I don't really understand why the PDF is so much bigger.  The brochure has a lot of images in it, how do I reduce the size of the PDF without compromising on the image quality

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It might be a good idea to check first that you do not have 16-bit images placed in the document, and that the document format itself is not 16-bit but 8-bit. 16-bit images will become (stay) big in PDF exports as I think they would not be compressed (I am not sure if they would be downsampled, either).

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This is going a bit over my head - I thought you only got 16 bit images if you shoot photos in RAW format?  The pictures in the brochure are either photos shot in JPG or photoshop files  which have been saved as jpgs. The odd thing is that I have just changed a few pages of the brochure by replacing some old images with new ones (approx 15 images) and the size has shot up from 43MB to 203MB.  I think I must have missed a setting in the export bit.  I have ticked downsampling above 120 and JOG compression.  Is there anything else I should set?

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28 minutes ago, weddingsue said:

I have ticked downsampling above 120 and JOG compression.  Is there anything else I should set?

That should work with placed 8-bit JPG and PSD (RGB) files, as long as your document DPI is "standard" (something like 300 dpi or below) -- do you have RGB files placed (and not CMYK, as CMYK profile conflicts would trigger conversions which might ignore downsampling settings and be converted to document DPI, or worse, to source size)? 

Basically downsampling everything over 120 dpi should guarantee small file size. But in Affinity apps, it is not that simple: e.g. cropped images (using Vector Crop tool) would be upsampled to document DPI and -- according to my recent test -- ignore any downsample settings specified in Export options. I'll have a test run to confirm this, but if you have lots of images cropped this way, this could explain the problem at least partially.

Which PDF export settings did you use as the base of the export?

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3 minutes ago, weddingsue said:

The DPI on the document is set to 300. Is this too high?   I dont want the images to appear fuzzy.

If you are going to print, 300dpi is fine. You should downsample only images above that. 120 dpi as the trigger would certainly make your images fuzzy, but it seems that for some reason the images are not downsampled (and that is probably why you have set the trigger so low).

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3 minutes ago, Lagarto said:

...But in Affinity apps, it is not that simple: e.g. cropped images (using Vector Crop tool) would be upsampled to document DPI and -- according to my recent test -- ignore any downsample settings specified in Export options. I'll have a test run to confirm this, but if you have lots of images cropped this way, this could explain the problem at least partially.

wuuuut.jpg.2b761f119c3727835cf1955fff83afb4.jpg

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Exactly. Need to double check.

EDIT: Yes, it happens:

a) In layout (300 dpi CMYK/8 document), 128 x 181px RGB JPG placed at full A4 portrait size so that placed PPI is 15, then cropped with Vector Crop tool:

restest_01.jpg.c076c13c65cd2ba5f07b2f3a956ee3e0.jpg

b) Exported with PDF/X-1a:2003 setting downsamplng DPI trigger to 120 just to check whether it could prevent upsampling: it wont:

restest_02.jpg.33c6a9c6141fd4f592b404e4be3c6c2e.jpg

.…so what you have is 109KB low-res JPG bloated to 4.8MB PDF export, and when checking with preflight tool, it can be confirmed that the image is really upsampled to document DPI:

restest_03.jpg.87dbf93c1016408cbee3aa54a93a588b.jpg

EDIT: This is more to demonstrate oddities of Affinity apps, but I do not think that this explains OP's issue, as it is unlikely that images would be placed at such low PPI values in the document.

UPDATE: Here is the absurdity of this "feature" taken to extreme. A 2x2px TIFF file in a 2x2m document, first clip cropped (the bottom right black pixel), then vector cropped (masked). The latter produces a 18.111MB blurred image of the 3 pixels that were given, without user consent or ability to prevent this, and not honoring export settings with the DPI downsampling trigger.

upsampled_bilinear_silent.jpg.3f7d9a4a9eca4f7a46fb0134bdc25e94.jpg

absurd.afpub

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7 hours ago, weddingsue said:

The brochure has a lot of images in it ...

In the afpub file are they embedded or linked? If linked then I think they will not contribute much to the size of the afpub file but will make the PDF export much larger.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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12 hours ago, R C-R said:

If linked then I think they will not contribute much to the size of the afpub file but will make the PDF export much larger.

Logically export size should not be dependent in any way on the way the source is available (as long as it really is available), and as I briefly tested this with an 18MB image at full A4 size, and copied it on another page at half size, first both instances linked, then embedded, the export sizes (PDF/X1-a:2003) were identical.

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9 hours ago, Lagarto said:

Logically export size should not be dependent in any way on the way the source is available (as long as it really is available), and as I briefly tested this with an 18MB image at full A4 size, and copied it on another page at half size, first both instances linked, then embedded, the export sizes (PDF/X1-a:2003) were identical.

I am talking about comparing the size of the afpub file to the size of the PDF export file. If the former has a lot of large linked images in it then its size would be much smaller than the export, would it not?

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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1 hour ago, R C-R said:

then its size would be much smaller than the export, would it not?

Typically yes, though .afpub file size could get large also for other reasons, e.g. having much stuff in layers which would be flattened or only partially used at export time. But embedded bitmaps would certainly increase its size. Export sizes, however, should stay identical, also when using multiple instances (including with different sizes) of the same image resources.

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  • 6 months later...

Instead of exporting to a PDF, which does create a huge file, try going to 'Print' and then print to a PDF (a feature in Windows, or you can download free apps to create this option.). I've done this with another program, and have gotten a much smaller file. eg 40MG instead of 200+MG.

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