I just got some labels from a contractor, and they were designed in Illustrator. I started working exclusively in InDesign last year because I noticed the files sizes seem to be smaller and large projects end up being easier to work with.

I'm sure if I were to rebuild these labels in InDesign, using the same links from the Illustrator files, they would be much smaller, but I'm not sure why. Can anyone explain this?


Usually Illustrator users will check the option to enable editing of a .pdf in Illustrator — this essentially includes a second version of the publication (AI) in the .pdf.

If you open a file in Adobe Illustrator and save out to a PDF-X/4 or some other standard press-ready file, disabling that option, the result is a much smaller file.

  • Ah, I think I'd noticed that on one AI file I worked with long ago. Thanks – daraul Apr 18 '16 at 15:25

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