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Import of PDF modified in AI, why size difference after import

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I am new to Affinity Designer and design in general.  I purchased AD for iPad to do a logo for a friend.  A graphic designer with AI CC traced over my raster heads to vectorize them and sent me the editable PDF she exported from AI.

I had planned to use that PDF as the working file to export transparent png, jpg & SVG files for digital uses.

I don’t understand why the PDF file size is 1.2 mb, but only 283 kB when I import from cloud files.

I am supposed to have these files exported today, so would really appreciate replies, thanks.





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Hi Maxbuys :)

I'm a little confused by your workflow here, the second PDF you've provided appears to have rasterised elements, which could explain why the PDF is smaller in size. What PDF settings have you used here please? I've imported your original PDF into Designer for desktop, then exported using the PDF (for export) preset. The resulting PDF was the same size as the exported file you've provided and contains the same rasterised element (the scale 'arm'). I then reopened the original PDF and moved this curve out of it's group, then exported the PDF again. This now is not rasterised and the file was 283kb. Bichon-Logo-Vector-Original-work-copy-AD-On-ipad ungrouped desktop export.pdf


PDF files exported from AI have an embedded AI file in them for increased compatibility when opening the PDF back into AI or other Adobe apps. When importing a PDF file into Affinity the file is parsed and the embedded document is dropped - causing a reduction in file size. I hope this helps!

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Thank you for your efforts to help me understand this.  I am confused as to why that horizontal arm is rasterized.  When I created it, I used rectangle function with rounded corners using the corner tool in vector persona.

I exported the file as PDF with “rasterize nothing” selected.  My friend redrew my heads in AI CC, then sent her 1.2 mb PDF, the first file, to me (it should not have contained any raster elements).  Only when I imported that file from icloud into AD was the file size displayed as 283kb.  

Could the import into AD have rasterized the horizontal arm? And if so, why?  What is an alternative explanation?

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3 minutes ago, Maxbuys said:

I am confused as to why that horizontal arm is rasterized.  When I created it, I used rectangle function with rounded corners using the corner tool in vector persona.

It appears as though exporting this curve in a group is rasterising this - which AFAIK isn't expected behaviour so I'll log this with our developers now to be investigated further.

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Wow, I really appreciate your trouble-shooting this for me.  I am surprised I did not get a warning on export when I checked “rasterize nothing”. I haven’t been able to find detailed explanations of the various export options (which I may not understand anyway), but I think I am mis-understanding them.

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No problem at all, unfortunately our PDF exporter doesn't currently check for 'issues' and notify you of these when exporting - however the PDF spec doesn't support 'group transparency' on vectors, so the object must be rasterised to be included in the PDF.

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I thought I understood what was happening here, but I am missing something.  The designer who is helping me increased the transparency of that layer to 100% and exported the file from AI as a pdf (shown here as file size of 2.1 mb). When I import this file to AD, it is not as many pixels as I expected (see screen shot) and when I export as a pdf changing options to “rasterize nothing” and “text as curves”, the exported file is only 371kb.

Does AD compress files on import? What alternate explanation is there for why I see a smaller file in AD than the 2.1mb source?

Is there something lost in importing from an AI-created PDF to AD and if so, are there practical implications for printed output?

Is there any practical utility to increasing dpi over document dpi when I export?

I apologize for asking what may be very obvious to designers, but am hoping to gain a better understanding of file handling in AD. Thank you for your patient efforts.









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It's as Dan wrote: the original AI file is embedded in the PDF.

Adobe has this option as a default checkbox when exporting a PDF. The reason is so AI opens the .ai file portion instead of the PDF stream. 

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25 minutes ago, Maxbuys said:

Oh I'M the idiot-in-training--I completely missed that last sentence in Dan's reply!  Thank you for bringing that to my attention MikeW.  Sorry Dan:2_grimacing:

Absolutely no worries. 

And hey, I well earned that idiot thing. It's mine...

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