6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 10, 2017 12:07 PM by Scott Baugh

    LARGE PDF files when exported from SW

    Scott Baugh

      We have an assembly that consists of more than 4000 parts. When its put into a drawing and exported out on a few sheets (2-6) which is a building layout for a customer the file size is huge. Average size is around 14 MB. That size of file is not easily emailed. I wonder if there is some sort of bug that is boosting the file size. The reason I am thinking this is because I found a way to reduce the file size. To do that I opened the PDF in adobe, then I did a File\Print as PDF and the file was reduced from 14 MB to 4 MB.


      Yes I found a workaround, but why is SW exporting such huge PDF file sizes?? I don't recall this problem in the past. Anyone else seen this or know of an SPR?



      Scott Baugh

        • Re: LARGE PDF files when exported from SW
          Jose Lalic


          Have you tried lowering the quality of your export? Capture.JPG



            • Re: LARGE PDF files when exported from SW
              Scott Baugh

              Thanks for the reply!


              I did some tests with the options before I found the workaround solution. The original file was set to 200 DPI. So I changed it to 600 DPI for a test size and it was larger. So I moved it down to 96 and though it did reduce it some it still wasn't enough. So I then removed all options and just left "export PDF in color" and 14 MB was still the final size. I also tried removing tangent edges, and turned the drawing image quality all the way down, removed high quality views and unfortunately there was no change in size.

                • Re: LARGE PDF files when exported from SW
                  Tom Gagnon

                  Unfortunately, you've already done what I would've also suggested to simplify it. Have you tried printing the drawing instead of Save_as..? I've been using Save_as instead of a PDF print driver since the PDF printing process had some bugs in it in SWx 2016, so I'm not confident you'll get good results there, but it may be worth a try.


                  Another bad idea would be to try taking a high res screenshot or capture via Snipping Tool, crop it, and try creating a PDF from that image. I say this is a bad idea because it will lose all vector graphics, and instead create mere rasterization in the result. Results will vary widely on the complexity of the represented design, so I can't imagine that this would be adequate for the scale of your assembly.


                  Your findings are significant. Thank you for bringing this up. I'll likely adopt similar workaround procedure for our PDF outputs as well, or at least a potential check if it could be reduced easily.


                  Does your secondary PDF contain the contents Tabs: Layers, Attachments, or Model Tree? The stripping of this potential data pile by simplifying it through a secondary print could be the source of data bloat. Even if appearing empty, I imagine that there is some additional storage for the additional information outside of the page image. I just tested this out, and found that printing to Adobe PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro retained the empty attachments and model tree tabs from source to output, but still reduced file size by roughly 30%.


                  I tried printing from Adobe Acrobat through a Microsoft XPS Document Writer printer to create an *.xps file, from which I was going to print a PDF file from XPS Viewer. It failed to create a valid XPS file, crashed Acrobat, and maybe I'll try again after a PC restart. This is (hrm, usually) a reliable method of stripping security settings from a PDF file, so that you can insert, extract, or rotate pages, edit content, or do anything else disallowed by initial PDF security settings such as merge this document with other PDF files. I use this commonly to sanitize a vendor's document for inclusion in our O&M Manuals or to run a single page through a PDF to DWG converter. I expect that, similarly to stripping the PDF of its security, that it would also strip it of its metadata that cannot be handled by XPS files, resulting in a smaller file size as well.


                  Edit: Corrected some names and values. Also, I was more patient with the XPS creation which finished after about 50 seconds. It lacked accurate page sizes in C, D, and E size papers. The tertiary PDF result was additionally smaller than the secondary PDF, with an additional 10% file size reduction. The tertiary PDF still contained the same content tabs: pages, bookmarks, attachments, signatures, and model tree. The pages naturally had the page in it, and the empty attachs, sigs, and model tree remained empty, but the bookmarks were removed.

                    • Re: LARGE PDF files when exported from SW
                      Scott Baugh

                      Thanks for your reply Tom.


                      No we usually don't use the print to PDF, just the save as. The idea of making Jpegs into a PDF turned out very poor. which is why I was tasked to finding an alternative means of reducing the file size. Saving as a DWG file was not any better. The PDF files don't contain any special items like tables etc... its just a PDF of the drawing as basic as we can get it.


                      I wonder why the save as PDF is so much larger... what is SW adding to the file to make it so large, when there is nothing special that is being exported. It just seems odd to me.

                    • Re: LARGE PDF files when exported from SW
                      Deepak Gupta

                      Print as PDF from SW and file size should be good/small (since it does a screen capture).


                      When you do SaveAs PDF, SW captures much more information that a screen capture. And hence the large size.