PDFwriter produces huge pdfs from Word?

Subject: PDFwriter produces huge pdfs from Word?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "'Mark Dempsey'" <dempseys3 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 08:21:11 -0400

Mark Dempsey wonders <<... whether making pdfs bigger than the .doc files
they come from is normal for Acrobat's pdfwriter (maker?). I don't know much
about it and also wonder whether I'm missing some setting. (There aren't
graphics in the files I'm converting, but they do use Tahoma TT font).>>

If the file is small to begin with and you embed one or more fonts, the font
information may actually be larger than the file content itself. So even
after compression, you'd end up with a bigger file. It's also possible
you're using a 4.X version of Acrobat Distiller, which has a known (and so
far unresolved) bug in its compression algorithms that can greatly increase
the size of certain graphic types (.tif files for one) rather than reducing
them. If neither of these applies, it's pretty tough to walk you through all
the possible setting; there are so many different tweaks you can do to
Distiller that any one of them could be wrong. My best advice for the moment
is for you to go through all the Distiller options (there are many pages of
them), and experiment a bit with selecting options that sound like they'd
reduce the file size. For example: make sure the graphics are compressed,
that you're not embedding the font unless you need to, that the graphics and
text resolution is suitable (e.g., 72-96 dpi for onscreen and 300 dpi rather
than 600 dpi for print). You might also want to consider using a Postscript
font instead of Tahoma, since Acrobat doesn't always get along well with
Truetype fonts; it's a Postscript-based application, and though TT fonts are
supposed to work just fine in a PostScript system, they don't always. Have a
look at www.pdfzone.com for a good source of additional information on all
things Acrobat.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Technical writing... requires understanding the audience, understanding
what activities the user wants to accomplish, and translating the often
idiosyncratic and unplanned design into something that appears to make
sense."--Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer

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