13 Replies Latest reply: Mar 23, 2012 9:25 AM by brightmedusa
Calamity Jane Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I  upgraded my MacBook Pro to Snow Leopard last weekend and a whole horrible story has now unfolded which impacts my work significantly. The issue is around printing to PDF from Office products. It used to be so easy to control the ouput PDF in terms of resolution but now? From a 3mb Word document an 18mb (!!!!!) PDF was generated using the Save to PDF function (the ONLY one available now) in Word (2011). There is way now to control the output resolution.  Talk about fixing something that ain't broke. Any suggestions anyone?

  • FrenchToast Level 3 Level 3 (645 points)

    Please don't shoot me!!!

     

    Jokes aside, do you mean the "Print to PDF" option in the printing dialogue is gone? Have you tried adding a virtual printer in System Preferences (see here: http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=2007082812233971)? Maybe you should see this, too: http://indesignsecrets.com/acrobats-adobe-pdf-printer-replaced-in-snow-leopard.p hp

  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,660 points)

    Calamity Jane wrote:

     

    It used to be so easy to control the ouput PDF in terms of resolution but now?

    You don't say so, but presumably you used Adobe PDF Printer, which has been replaced by the Save as Adobe PDF command. You probably need to update your version of Adobe Acrobat (Pro) -- not necessarily upgrade; depends on which version you're using. See

     

    <http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/509/cpsid_50981.html>

     

    Alternatively, you could try CUPS-PDF

     

    <https://bitbucket.org/codepoet/cups-pdf-for-mac-os-x/downloads>

     

    Additionally, you should be aware that Preview features a PDF size reducing filter. This info is from Preview's Help file

     

    <http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Preview/5.0/en/9827.html>

  • Calamity Jane Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much FrenchToast and fane_j for your replies. However, the more I dig around in this hole the bigger it gets. Here's the details

     

    File is 4.4mb Word 2011 file

     

    Colleague using Windows, Word 2010, can get 3.5mb PDF using Word to PDF.

    As it's Windows I'm not sure how that works.

     

    When I use use the "Save as Acrobat PDF" (print dialog box, bottom left) in Word and choose something from the presets I get the following results:

    Smallest 93.5mb PDF

    Standard  93.7mb PDF

    High Quality 95.1mb PDF

     

    Preview was able to reduce one of the files to 16mb.

     

    (I cannot get CUPS to work. It appears to be doing something but no file is generated - not sure why and don't have time just now to find out.)

     

    I really need to get as close to 3mb as possible. Does anyone have any ideas or maybe even answers?

  • boink boink Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)
  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,660 points)

    Calamity Jane wrote:

     

    Colleague using Windows, Word 2010, can get 3.5mb PDF using Word to PDF.

    This is a tough one. I don't even use Word 2011; but the real problem is that it is very difficult to determine the cause of the size difference when one knows nothing about the files in question. Maybe theirs don't include pictures, while yours does; maybe their pics are downsampled to 96 ppi, while yours are at 300 or even 600 ppi; maybe yours are not compressed and theirs are; and on and on. Fonts, and especially advanced features, can also increase, sometimes dramatically, file sizes.

     

    Since you have Adobe Acrobat, you should also try Acrobat's PDF file reduction (Save As… > Adobe PDF Files, Optimized > Settings…). This gives you much more control than Preview's filter, including an very useful feature, "Audit space usage…", which provides an overview of disk space used by items within the document.

     

    Also, in Word, before printing to PDF, do a compatibility report. This might catch some problems which could contribute to the bloat.

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (74,950 points)

    You might also want to search/ask on the forum devoted entirely to Word problems:

     

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/mac/forum/macword

  • Calamity Jane Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks boink boink. I managed to get CUPS working (great how-to). However, it generated a 141mb file!

  • Calamity Jane Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Tom. The site was very useful if only to confirm that I am not the only one with this problem. Whether it is for the same reason is anyone's guess. What I got from it though is that Microsoft do not believe it is their problem as the don't control PDFing as once you start the process it is handed over to the OS to produce the PDF.

  • Calamity Jane Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi fane_j. The guy who managed to get the small size PDF was using an identical document. However, what is very interesting, that came out of your reply, is the "Audit space usage" in Acrobat. It confirmed what I would have hoped, that images only use just over 1% (I am very very careful with imagery in MS documents – small sizes and mostly PNGs.) However something called "Content Streams" uses nearly 99% of the document. Would you have any idea what this could refer to? There are a significant number of tables, in fact it is probably 85% tables – would that be it and how could I remedy it? Any ideas would be much appreciated. (FYI, Fonts are Arial and Word flags no compatability issues.)

  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,660 points)

    Calamity Jane wrote:

     

    something called "Content Streams" uses nearly 99% of the document.

    That's bad news -- content streams is what you suspect, your document's actual contents, the text and the tables. So you have no easy options, such as re-sampling images or fixing fonts.

     

    This is not going to help you, but, just for my satisfaction, I ran a few quick tests.

     

    Word .docx document: ~1441 pages, ~3MB compressed, ~30MB uncompressed (text and tables, no images)

    Win Word 2007 → PDF (using Acrobat 8 PDF Maker): ~4.2MB

    Mac Word 2008 → PDF (using Quartz): ~11MB initial, ~7MB after size reduction

     

    Mac Word 2008 → PDF (using Acrobat 9): ~19MB initial, ~7MB after size reduction

    Mac Word 2008 → PostScript (using Quartz): ~267MB → PDF (using Distiller 9): ~6MB.

     

    This is in no way definitive, just a quick-and-dirty run, and there are lots of different options and settings which are involved. But it does suggest a problem. Whether it's Mac OS X's treatment of PDF, or that the Mac Word print function is not as efficient as Win Word's, I don't know. Other than Office, I don't use the same apps on Mac and PC, so I can't test it. I understand that PDF Maker (Win) is specifically optimised for MS Office docs, which is not the case with Acrobat Mac settings or workflows; maybe this explains it.

     

    At any rate, it seems to me that, at this point, if you want to squeeze your MS Office PDFs to the lowest size, you'd better do it on a PC, unless you can find another Mac app to do the job. Or perhaps someone cleverer than myself can figure a way of tweaking the settings to get what you want.

     

    Good luck.

  • Calamity Jane Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi all!

     

    Thanks to all of you for your replies and especially to you fane_j - that was above and beyond.

     

    I nailed it! The tables, and there are many of them, had dotted line separators and once it became clear that tables in some way were the contibuting factor, I Googled "Word dotted line tables causing large PDFs" and found this: http://www.jwwalker.com/pages/pdf-faq.html#worddots. I changed the dotted lines to fine lines and hey presto!

     

    Thanks once again everyone - lesson well learnt.

  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,660 points)

    Calamity Jane wrote:

     

    I Googled "Word dotted line tables causing large PDFs" and found this: http://www.jwwalker.com/pages/pdf-faq.html#worddots. I changed the dotted lines to fine lines and hey presto!

    Thanks for the tip. Considering the age of that page, it's amazing that this issue still exists in Word. But it's very useful to know it.

  • brightmedusa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm trying to figure out how to get Word 2008 to create smaller PDFs, and haven't found any solutions yet.

     

    Whether it's Mac OS X's treatment of PDF, or that the Mac Word print function is not as efficient as Win Word's, I don't know. Other than Office, I don't use the same apps on Mac and PC, so I can't test it. I understand that PDF Maker (Win) is specifically optimised for MS Office docs, which is not the case with Acrobat Mac settings or workflows; maybe this explains it.

     

    Is it Mac OS? I can get a very compact and very legible PDF down below 70KB from a 300KB Quark file (is Quark rendering PDFs with its own engine?). But a 205 KB version of the file in Word (relaid out and saved as DOC or DOCX) creates a 213KB PDF. One huge problem is that Word 2008 has no options available when saving as PDF, so I don't know where it's getting it's PDF instructions from. I've added a custom Quartz filter in the ColorSync Utility, but printing to PDF in Word doesn't give you the Quartz filter options, either.

     

    If I use Print > PDF > Save As Adobe PDF > Adobe PDF Settings: Standard, I can get the file down to 127 KB, though the graphics don't look as good as the 70KB PDF from the Quark file.

     

    I'm running 10.6.8 and Word 2008 12.2.6.