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PDF Size Gets Huge


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I have a project I'm working on. The last published documents had two floor plan sheets, two elevation sheets (hidden line), and one sheet of some axo views. File size for the pdf was 17MB. Just sent some new documents where the elevation views were done with OpenGL as the background render (textures and colours turned on) with hidden line as the foreground render. File size for the pdf was 71MB. This seems ridiculous. With Archicad or Revit, this doesn't happen. Any suggestions for reducing the file size?

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What vw version?

IME VW doesn't not clip raster data, e.g. if you have a vp with say a tiny bit of a 10Mb .jpg in it, and two vector lines, you're going to have a >10Mb pdf rather than a <1K pdf.


I don't render in vw so IDK what the impact is from base images used for textures etc.


With images in VW i ALWAYS have to post pro inserted images in some way to reduce final pdf size.

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Some answers -


1) VW 2021, current version. I only have Renderworks textures, no funky 3D imports. No good reason for the file bloat.


2) Used ilovepdf. File size is now 4.2MB. I opened the file and I can't see any difference from the 71MB version. Great tip. I will use this in the future!!!


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Still a good idea to try and find where that size is coming from tho' VW need to be told where they are writing software that makes huge files, it's inefficient, also these tools above are just online tools, not to be relied on, I've used web since '97 and few online apps last long - just sayin.

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Not quite sure where to look for the problem. The only difference between the 17MB file and the 71MB file is that in the first file, I had the elevations in hidden line view (no textures and no colours) and the the 2nd file had OpenGL (textures and colours on) with hidden line over. I have used only normal VW objects and Renderworks textures.

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A couple of things maybe worth trying:


-Try publishing to PDF/A and check the DPI setting (max. 200 or 300) in the publish dialog, too. Sometimes exporting to PDF/A  alone greatly reduces the file size.


-Viewport class overrides can really bloat the PDF file size. Not sure why though.


In general, PDF file size is something that really requires attention from the VW programmers. While there are Dropbox etc. to enable downloading of large files, council e-permit systems have a file size limit, usually 25 of 50MB. These files need to be in certain format as well, usually PDF/A.


External helper programs like those mentioned above are great, but they may disappear from the web any moment or stop functioning - not an ideal solution.


In some other thread there was discussion about VW not flattening the PDF at export, maybe on option for this would help.



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  • 1 year later...
On 2/8/2021 at 11:36 PM, twk said:

To add to this discussion, we have found that unchecking 'subset fonts' reduces the file size quite a lot.

Approx. file size reductions i'd say 8Mb to 200kb.





I just found out that the exact opposite can help, too 🙂


The file size went down from 3MB to 300KB...after checking the box.

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