Joe_Carrick

Avoiding File Bloat & Slow Printing

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PDFs are relatively large files and when included in a Layout can drastically slow printing.  Sometimes with a large Layout it can even choke the system.

 

Some Render Modes can also have an effect.  I've found that colored water color perspectives with lines on top can also cause bloat and slow printing.

 

So I first print my Renderings to PDF's.  Then I convert them and any other PDFs that I want in the Layout to JPGs.  I then put the JPGs in the Layout.  The result is that the Layout is much smaller and it prints faster by a magnitude of at least 100 times.

 

The moral of this story is to avoid PDFs in the Layout.  Use JPGs whenever possible.

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7 hours ago, Joe_Carrick said:

...The moral of this story is to avoid PDFs in the Layout.  Use JPGs whenever possible.

Just curious Joe, would converting your PDF's to PNG files yield better print quality?

 

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6 hours ago, Rich_Winsor said:

Just curious Joe, would converting your PDF's to PNG files yield better print quality?

 

It might, but PNG files are just about the same size as PDFs and the quality isn't much different because it's just the resolution (dpi).  They seem to print almost as fast as the JPGs but for emailing the size of the file can still be an issue.

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It should be noted that not all PDFs are huge files.  It really depends on the content and how they were created.  I have some that are less than 500 KB but others that are 4.5 MB.

I don't know why there are such large differences in size, but it's possible to use PDFs effectively as long as you avoid the larger ones. 

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To add a couple notes/tips of my own on this subject...

 

1.  Don't forget that Chief actually loads the entire PDF file every time you import one and it's not just that single page that gets loaded.  This alone is a common reason for the slowdown and can have a massive effect on file size.  A quick test with a 40 page PDF Saved In Plan...

All 40 pages being displayed separately:  File size ----> 143,119 KB

One single page being displayed:  File size ----> 6,114 KB

One single page saved as its own single PDF file before importing:  File size ----> 2,899 KB

 

2.  Don't forget that simply saving as a JPG doesn't mean you're going to get the same end results.  They're different file types with different behaviors and as such, they will often display differently.   A very quick comparative example using OOB settings with a common photo editor to convert a PDF to a JPG.  Notice the quality difference between the way the 2 files display and print in Chief...

834979363_Test1.thumb.jpg.5aff3adedc211225602dcfce560eeebd.jpg1648427168_Test2.thumb.jpg.bd2ecfa421f1877fe45e110a5ed59898.jpg

 

3.  Depending on the reason for using a PDF file in the first place and on whether or not you are going to re-use it again later, I would strongly suggest considering just creating your own CAD or text rather than using the PDF at all.  It will look better, the file bloat will be reduced or eliminated, and you get a lot more control over the display.

 

 

These are obviously just quick examples but they're not contrived and just using the first multi-page PDF I saw and using OOB settings. 

 

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