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I have a TIF image created from a flattened PSD file. It is presently sized to 20"x 20" image size, resolution is 300 and pixels are 6000 x 6000. I sized it this big so when I take it to the printer, he won't have to resize (I want it 20 x 20).

However, the file is huge (210 mgs). What can I do to make the file size smaller so I can save it and bring it to him? Will I lose image quality if I save it as a jpg at the same resolution? I thought I could do that but not sure how much quality would be lost. Thanks.

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    Do you mean 210 mbs? Milligrams doesn't seem like the appropriate unit :P – Zach Saucier Jan 12 '15 at 1:42
  • Why is 210mb too large to save? What kind of image is it? What are you printing? – DA01 Jan 12 '15 at 5:07
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The real answer is to check with your printer about what exact file format and file size they would prefer and provide that.

But back to your specific questions:

You may be able to reduce the pixel dimensions of your file - I mean 20 inches is pretty large and you might be able to go down to 150 PPI without loosing much quality.

And as for JPEG, yes, you will lose information when using JPEG. JPEG is a lossy file format - the whole point of JPEG is to compress a file by throwing away information while retaining a "photo" quality image for web use.

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With print design the file size (kb) should never be a concern.

For raster images such as a tiff, Pick any two:

  • [Small file]
  • [High quality]
  • [Press-ready]

You can't have all three.

The answer to your question, is honestly -- Stop looking at the file size (kb) it is irrelevant for print design work.

If you need to transport the file, use a mechanism which supports the file's (natural) size, don't try and squeeze the file into some inappropriate delivery method. 210mb easily fits on a CD, a thumb drive, drop box, etc.... If you are using some online print service that won't allow a 200mb file upload... find a different service. Any service placing that restriction on uploads is not a quality service.

The notion that all files need to be small in kb/mb comes from web development and the transfer of digital images to end users. This doesn't translate to the print world. The print world has always used files at whatever size they naturally end up being. Print production has different technical restrictions than web production. It is imperative that files meet the technical requirements for print. It is not imperative that print file sizes be small.

  • To be pedantic, certainly you can have all three. It all depends on the type of image being printed. :) – DA01 Jan 12 '15 at 3:40
  • Amended, @DA01 :) – Scott Jan 12 '15 at 3:50
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I agree the file size is not the most important issue this days. But if it really affects you I would check some things:

1) When saving my tif file, Am I using LZW or ZIP compression? (don't use jpg compression inside a tiff file) Can my provider decompress the tiff file using it?

2) If it is a ink jet printing probably you can send it on rgb format. Am I saving a 16bit per channel rgb file? Can I use just the normal 8bit per channel rgb (24 bits) format? (Be sure to include the colour profile)

3) Cmyk files usually can can not be compressed as much as rgb ones.

4) Can I send a flattened psd file? Does it work better?

5) Contrary of what many people think, a High quality jpg file has a verey low data loss on 24 bits images. There are several jpg compression algorithms. The one inside Photoshop that you should use is "Save for the web" Quality 100 or 99, blur 0 and including the icc profile. The data loss using this settings is about 0.5%*

*(You can see the analisis I made on this here: http://otake.com.mx/Apuntes/PruebasDeCompresion2/1-CompresionJpgProceso.htm) It is in spanish, and a little outdated on the software versions I used, but it is pretty clear)

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I would like to suggest to save it as JPEG and PNG formate and then use this online tool. hope you'll get your desirable site of file..

http://compressor.io/

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