I created a 33 Page PDF file in InDesign where I placed PDF files of AutoCAD drawings and some images. When I export it as the Smallest file size pdf, it saved 13 MB filed, which is to large. It is supposed to be less than 5 mb.

  • What do you mean you created a PDF file in InDesign? InDesign can export its own file type (InDesign documents) to PDF, but you cannot ‘create’ a PDF file in InDesign. And how do you know it’s ‘supposed to be’ less than 5 MB? If the images are large, 13 MB may as good as it’s going to get without completely butchering image quality. May 30, 2021 at 17:37
  • Why do you see the file size as too large? Is it because the exported PDF is larger than the sum of the placed PDFs and images?
    – Wolff
    May 31, 2021 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


I have also worked with Autocad-generated PDF's (line art type of real estate projects). I know these Autocad PDF's are artwork-heavy and generally much larger in size than what we're used to from using Illustrator artwork. For some reason Autocad saves these PDFs in a more complicated way by breaking down the artwork into smaller sections generating a lot of micro-objects.

I found no way to compress the end result, other than to save the Autocad file(s) as raster images, hi-res if needed, and then, there is some control of the resulting file size by playing with InDesign's export settings.

  • Autocad can do nontiled files if you ask it to.
    – joojaa
    May 30, 2021 at 19:49
  • You probably know better than us, but in some cases the Autocad work is done by third parties (architecture firms) and you don't have a direct control over that process. You just get the PDFs to use them in a presentation and these guys in real estate, they don't like delays.
    – Lucian
    May 31, 2021 at 7:31
  • Well its usually archicad that's making the trouble. If it was me i would tipple the price for architects. I had to print a pds that had a hunndredthousand lines, but the catch the same document was in a clipping mask 40 times for 4 million lines total. WTF.
    – joojaa
    May 31, 2021 at 10:35

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