PDF export Question

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09-22-2017 07:47 AM
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Regular Contributor II

I have a couple of questions for those who have experience with exporting any map whether they be simple or complex maps..

I have a Abode Acrobat Pro DC version 2017.012.20093 installed on my computer.

it is about Reduce File Size or PDF Optimizer that I want to know about.

When you have that program installed on your computer AND when you have a  map that was exported from ArcMap to PDF .

Do you usually use Reduce File Size or PDF Optimizer to reduce the file size because the PDF you exported are mega file size and are impossible to email to someone.

If that is the case, do you re-do again a couple of times to get under 10 MB ?

What about the quality of the PDF when you reduce the file size ?

What does it effect on the PDF reduce when you print them to the plotter ?

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7 Replies
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MVP Esteemed Contributor

why don't you set up 'cloud' drives like OneDrive or its Google equivalent.  You can share a file/folder with an individual and save the hastle of emailing and email limits.

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Regular Contributor II

Yes I am aware of that but I was asking about the quality of the printing when you reduce the file size.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

And I was saying why worry about file size when quality is more important

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Regular Contributor II

Yeah, but I was just sayin' when others didn't  know about this reduce file size and their email system is pretty limited.. So, I thought about this and sharing with others and see what others suggesting..Just the thought.

Some of us who work in the Government may not allowed to use in the "storage in the cloud" such as Google Drive, so the government tells us which one in the cloud  that we are allowed to use .

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Yes... we have a 1 TB corporate drive since tech got fed up with email clog. Anyone else stuck in old school, I find mailing a USB drive more efficient than wasting hours fiddling around with dpi file formats and the like.  We are lucky, tech support actually works for us to meet our needs and not the other way around.

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MVP Frequent Contributor

Large PDF filesizes can definitely be an issue, as many clients/customers require a PDF that is not huge, so trying to reduce the filesize is an interesting challenge.  There are several easy ways to do the reduction, but the trade-off in quality can be a concern.

It is important before starting a reduction to decide what level of quality will be needed for the final product.

Then, the place to start in the quest to reduce filesize is the export settings in ArcMap.  There are quite a few, so I'd experiment with them all to see what the tradeoffs are.  When doing File, Export Map, be sure to click on the triangle by the word Options at the bottom of the export window to reveal the settings tabs.

Exporting to PDF—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop 

If that doesn't go far enough, consider running a file reduction process in Adobe.  There are several processes available which will "flatten" a file, but at at cost of quality.  Also, most of the processes will greatly limit the ability of downstream users to edit the result, as many of the vectors will be rasterized.  Depending upon which Adobe product you have, these processes have different names, so one may have to poke around to find what the process is called.

Optimizing PDFs in Adobe Acrobat Pro 

https://acrobatusers.com/tutorials/reducing-file-size 

Lastly, in some circumstances one can vastly reduce the filesize by making some adjustments to the layer display in ArcMap.  Specifically, if one forgoes using transparency in the layers in the Table of Contents, one can vastly reduce the filesize.  The ArcMap export process greatly increased filesize of transparent layers by automatically rasterizing the topmost transparent layer and all layers below them in the Table of Contents.  So undo any transparency, or if the transparency is needed, see if the layer can be moved down in the table of contents.  Doing so often results in quite a surprising reduction in filesize.

Chris Donohue, GISP

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Regular Contributor

We always save as Reduced PDF. We were never able to e-mail large scale maps before this option, as we are limited to about 10MB on attachments. Additionally, when we were locked out of our share drive data due to some idiot, we could pull some maps out of Outlook. It is also much easier to open a smaller file, while giant PDFs will only open on one or two machines (not the GIS machines of course).

The option seems to re-expand when viewed or printed, i.e., there is no noticeable loss in quality, and to start printing on our plotters faster. This is based on 3 years' using this option. We usually do not include layers or geo info in map pdfs and export at about 220-250dpi using RGB. I do not reduce for sending to our print shops; they get much higher DPI CMYK exports, which have to be FTPed.

I have never seen any reason to run it twice on the same file, unless it was a mapbook with some page changes.

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