Exporting to PDF from ArcGIS Pro is producing large file sizes

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07-08-2016 12:19 PM
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New Contributor III

Hi all,

I've reproduced some of my old map documents in ArcGIS Pro, believing there would be some efficiencies in this.  When I export these layouts to PDF, the resulting files are about 5x larger than the same maps exported out of ArcMap (~5MB vs < 1MB).  The export options are set-up the same in both Pro and ArcMap and I've also experimented with Resolution (dpi) & Image Quality, to no avail. Even at a 96 dpi and "Fastest" imagey quality, I'm getting 5MB PDF's.

Any thoughts? I've looked all around and cannot find any articles addresses this issue.

Thanks!

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Esri Regular Contributor

ArcGIS PRo maintains the vector content in your maps, whereas ARcMap rasterized things that were below transparent or rasterizing features.  This means if you've got a lot of vector content, you may see a size increase versus an ArcMap export.

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New Contributor III

Thanks Jeremy,

Are there any future plans to allow users the option to rasterize exports to a PDF?  The majority of my maps are vector based and most of my maps need to be in PDF format.  If Pro continues to export vector based maps resulting in large file sizes, utilizing Pro for cartographic based outputs won't be a practical option for me.

Again, thank you for your quick response.

Sarah

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MVP Esteemed Contributor
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Esri Regular Contributor

Sarah,

If you have a map which has this problem (e.g. exports at same dpi to PDF in ArcMap are significantly smaller than exports to PDF from Pro 1.3) please package it up (File->Share As-> Map Package) and send it in to technical support so we can get a developer's eyes on the issue.

As to your question - it is something we have considered and discussed at length on the dev team for a future release. 

Pro (and ArcMap actually) attempt to create "rich" PDFs - they have layers, geospatial info, etc.  If you want a really small PDF, one workaround is to use Adobe Acrobat's "optimize pdf" option - which strips out all the rich info and creates a small, "just for viewing/printing" PDF.

Regards,

Jeremy W.

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New Contributor III

Hi Jeremy,

I've just exported a map from ArcGIS Pro v 2.0 and the size of my pdf is 33x (!!!!!) bigger than the size of the same map exported from ArcMap.

As a part of our GIS project I have to create 76 of these PDF maps every month and the size is going to be a big issue.

You mentioned in your post above that your team has considered allowing rasterization. Any update?

Regards,

Monika

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MVP Regular Contributor

Monika,

I really doubt this 33x difference is caused by just the difference between ArcMap and Pro. In my experience, with both pure 100% vector maps, and mixed raster & vector maps, the difference between ArcMap and Pro PDF file size output is more likely to be in the 2-3x range max.

I therefor recommend you to carefully review your export settings. E.g. if your map contains raster data, changing the output dpi from e.g. 300dpi to 600dpi, will already cause an approximately 4x times bigger file size. This is unrelated to the difference between ArcMap and Pro, but purely because of a doubled raster image resolution in the PDF output.

Considering you have a 33x times larger file size, suggests you may be using a dpi export value about 5,75x bigger, e.g. instead of 300dpi, something like 1800dpi.

Generally speaking, you should never need a higher value than maybe 600dpi. Even at 300dpi, print quality should be acceptable for most applications. At 600dpi, it should satisfy even the most demanding printing processes. This is especially true for Pro, as text halos are better handled than in ArcMap. In ArcMap, with lower dpi values, text halos (e.g. white background behind black text) may be of lesser quality, as the halos are not stored as text, but as vector graphics using a vector coordinate snapping grid equal to the dpi value. The higher the dpi, the smoother and more accurate the text halos become in ArcMap. This is not the case in Pro as far as I can tell from reviewing maps. Pro will output good quality text halos even at the relatively low recommended base dpi setting of 300dpi.

Marco

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New Contributor III

Hello,

thank you for you reply.

The DPI export value is 100 in both cases - ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro. 

I'm only using vector data. I also removed any labels and marginalia (scale bar, logo, legend, copyright, ... ), exporting only polygon features. The size of the PDF file exported from ArcMap is 382 KB, same map exported from ArcGIS Pro - 33,109 KB.

Any idea?

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MVP Regular Contributor

Monika,

Are you absolutely sure you don't have one of ESRI's basemaps in the bottom of your Pro TOC checked ON?

By default, Pro seems to start out with the World Topographic basemap for any new map created in Pro project. This is an image service. If you don't explicitely check it OFF, it will be incorporated in the output PDF, even if all of the surface of the view extent is covered by vector layers on top of it. You may not even be aware it was incorporated because of this.

As a consequence, I have seen some of my exported PDF maps where I forgot to check that layer off, also explode in size. Checking the basemap OFF (setting it invisble) before exporting, solves this though. It will also lead to faster exporting, as it will no longer need to download all the background basemap data.

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New Contributor III

Hi Marco,

absolutely sure - no basemaps on... I'm happy to share Map packages.

http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=284d5eda304043e48ecd4b2fa48ab5c0 

http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=d3750bce4a4a4357be469a3ac6a7fcc1 

Thanks, Monika

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