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Exporting PDF as smaller file size / downsize for reviewing only


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Hey all,

I'm looking for an efficient way to export my Affinity Designer 2 projects in two ways. 

1. As a much Lower File Size for client revision only 

I don't want to go over 5MB - these can be lower quality as they are only for client revision. I've tried exported using the settings: 

Raster DPI: 144
Rasterize everything
Downsample images above: 30 DPI

Jpeg Compressions Quality: 15
Colour space: CMYK (so they produce closest to colours we will print) 
Unchecked: convert image color spaces, honor colour spots, hyperlinks, layers, bookmarks
Allow advanced features - checked 

This still produced a file size of 45MB which is huge and not necessary for client revisions by email. 

The export process is super slow too and takes ages. 

image.png.a5295b7a4959dfbbedf06e01e4bd3948.png

image.png.a61f1826301f2fd8a15ea80b05abed86.png

 

2. High Quality file to specs for suppliers/printers 

I also want to export this same project as the current specs for supplier/printers. Happy to have these highest quality for print output. 

 

Maybe there are others out there who have tips on what they do as a work around. I'd like to avoid having to use any 3rd party programs to compress, this very time consuming. 

 

Most of our projects also include High Quality images, so heavy files. Just hoping we have more flexibility on file size when exporting! 

 

thanks! 

 

JNS - test file.afdesign

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FYI I'm also happy to export the client revision file as a different file type if possible if I can do it as one file. I stick with PDF because it creates one file from the get go. JPEG is great but these get saved as individual files - im wondering if there's a way to save artboards as JPEGS in one document as pages like a PDF? 

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  • Staff

Hi @Beck,

If you go to File>Export>PDF and select the Preset PDF (Digital small) then untick the options you don't want to be applied and export.  That will export a PDF which is 6.4MB in size. 

You can export all the artboards to 1 JPG, on the Export window and once you've selected JPG change the Area to Whole Document and that will export all artboards to 1 JPG file.

10 hours ago, Beck said:

I also want to export this same project as the current specs for supplier/printers. Happy to have these highest quality for print output. 

 

For this, I would always advise speaking to the print shop and seeing what PDF they prefer to work with and any special settings they might require.

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11 hours ago, stokerg said:

Hi @Beck,

If you go to File>Export>PDF and select the Preset PDF (Digital small) then untick the options you don't want to be applied and export.  That will export a PDF which is 6.4MB in size. 

You can export all the artboards to 1 JPG, on the Export window and once you've selected JPG change the Area to Whole Document and that will export all artboards to 1 JPG file.

For this, I would always advise speaking to the print shop and seeing what PDF they prefer to work with and any special settings they might require.

Thanks! I've tested your way!

Exporting JPEG creates one long image, which I dont want to present to client - I would rather individual pages like a PDF for each artboard. 

For PDF, I was first exporting in CMYK which was still giving a file size of 13MB then i tested exporting as RGB which gave 5.5MB file size - so I'm assuming this is what is making the file so large!

Usually with our projects that will be printed (shirts, flyers, promo products etc) I export the client's revision mockup as CMYK so colours stay as "true" or as close as they can be when printed. In the past, I've noticed RGB colours can look very different to CMYK and the final printed item looking much different to what the client's revision was. I'm curious to know what other designers do here? 

In this instance, the document is CMYK (because it will be printed) and the RGB export isnt showing different in colour. 

Do most designers export client revisions as RGB and export finalised print files as CMYK? 

JNS - test file.afdesign JNS - test file.pdf JNS - test file-rgb.pdf

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20 hours ago, Beck said:

Exporting JPEG creates one long image, which I dont want to present to client - I would rather individual pages like a PDF for each artboard. 

Are you wanting individual JPEGs, one per artboard? You already have that setup in the Export Persona. Changing the preset to Low Quality will give you four JPEGs each under 5 MB in size.

The other thing is that the artboards are huge, almost 5 metres wide by more than 3 metres high. Are they for Billboards?

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 12.7.2 
Affinity Designer 2.3.1 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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On 11/17/2023 at 5:10 AM, Old Bruce said:

Are you wanting individual JPEGs, one per artboard? You already have that setup in the Export Persona. Changing the preset to Low Quality will give you four JPEGs each under 5 MB in size.

The other thing is that the artboards are huge, almost 5 metres wide by more than 3 metres high. Are they for Billboards?

I'd prefer to export in one PDF, just wanting a much smaller file which I can get if exporting in RGB. Im just not sure if the colours will look very different than CMYK as they are for printing. 

I have these artboards set up to match the specs of the printer's garments. That's one thing I thought was to downscale the file size :)

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On 11/15/2023 at 1:19 AM, Beck said:

Rasterize everything

The more you rasterize, the larger the document!
To reduce the file size, you want to rasterize as little as possible, at as low resolution as possible, and with the highest compression as possible. (Been there done that since decades when email file sizes still mattered because… analog modems over landline; anyone here old enough to remember?)

That said, the PDF library that Affinity is using (pdflib) is not as effective and smart as Adobe PDF. In Affinity I was never able to match the size/quality ratio compared to corresponding draft exports from InDesign or Illustrator, applying approximately the same settings. The main reason being how PDFlib handles transparencies, layer effects and adjustments: poorly, i.e. it goes by "if in doubt just rasterize everything".

MacBookAir 15": MacOS Ventura > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // MacBookPro 15" mid-2012: MacOS El Capitan > Affinity v1 / MacOS Catalina > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // iPad 8th: iPadOS 16 > Affinity v2

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6 hours ago, loukash said:

The main reason being how PDFlib handles transparencies, layer effects and adjustments: poorly, i.e. it goes by "if in doubt just rasterize everything".

One big reason for bigger production file sizes is that Affinity apps miss the InDesign option for "Automatic (JPEG)" compression, which means that the program [i.e., InDesign] determines the compression / quality ratio by analyzing each image and varies the compression rate according to image properties. Affinity apps, by default, need to use very high quality setting of 98% for ALL images, to avoid an issue where a random (lower-quality) file, when compressed, will show clear artifacts. Affinity apps also miss separate handling for color, grayscale and monochrome images (the last mentioned are not actually even supported in Affinity apps). 

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