I just saw this and it didn't answer my question, so I started a new thread rather than dig the old one.
I am making a document in Photoshop. The psd file is about 8MB in size, contains 1 (one) photo and 4 (four) icons. The rest is text and only text. And despite that, the output PDF weighs > 13MB and takes loads of time to display.
I made sure it isn't exported as an image, because all of the text in the output PDF is selectable. The only images are the photos and icons I mentionned above.
I tried rendering it as a high quality picture, which weighs ONLY 1MB (this is incredible compared to the PDF size), and perform OCR on it with Acrobat. But then the text just gets all crappy, pixelized and ugly.

I just don't know what to do, I can't send a 14MB document that takes over 5 minutes tu display properly. Do you know how to fix this ?
Thank you in advance.

  • There's really no way for anyone to answer this without seeing the actual PDF. Raster images within PDFs are generally not very compressed. A 1mb jpg used in a "high quality" pdf could easily multiply in size by 10 times.
    – Scott
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 18:40
  • Why it occurs is answered in the question you linked. How to fix it ... is barely on topic as its less about design and more about file size which is generally viewed as tech support by the community. If you have the entire Creative Cloud you'll want to make it in InDesign not Photoshop.
    – Ryan
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 18:41

3 Answers 3


It's because you are maintaing photoshop options while saving. Un-tick preserve Photoshop editing capabilities and also all of those in the options.

  • Oh I missed that check box, unckecing it saved me. The size went 14MB down to 2MB. I didn't think it would affect the ouput size that much o_o Many thanks !
    – qreon
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 19:20
  • Not really surprising, as this option essentially embeds the whole PSD file in the PDF, plus some needed overhead.
    – Max Wyss
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 9:12

Have a look here.

Smallest File Size

Creates PDF files for displaying on the web, an intranet, or for email distribution. This set of options uses compression, downsampling, and a relatively low image resolution. It converts all colors to sRGB and embeds fonts. It also optimizes files for byte serving. For best results, avoid using this preset if you intend to print the PDF file.


Had the same problem - supplied with a pdf apparently made in InDesign, roughly 5Mb in size, which needed some editing. Opened in Illustrator (we use CS6), made a small change, re-saved and was amazed to see a new pdf file size of over 60Mb. Eventually solved the problem by opening the large pdf in Acrobat, then saving as an 'optimised pdf' with image compression set to 300dpi not 72dpi. Worked a treat - back to a few Mb in size with no loss of resolution.

Hope this helps someone.

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