I am writing a paper using PDFLaTeX. In this paper I insert few .eps pictures I export from ArcMap. These images have been exported in format .eps with a dpi of 600.

My problem is that when I build the .pdf and go to the pages with these .eps images, the pdf requires almost one second to display the image and then show the text surrounding it. Furthermore, this resulting pdf, containing 6 .eps images, 15 pages and a few raster images, is 50,000 kB, which seems a lot to me.

I suppose the problem is due to the excessive weight of the .eps images (which ranges according to what I am exporting in ArcMap, some of them are few MB, others also hundreds of MB), therefore my question is: what should I use as export dpi to have a lighter and faster-loading pdf avoiding quality loss in my images?


1 Answer 1


You define the ppi of an image based on what output you need. 600 ppi is excessive if you need them to print.

If you are exporting that resolution because you need to interact with the image on screen and see some extra detail when zooming it is probably ok. (notice the word "extra")

The maximum resolution that is normally used for print is 300 ppi

But as you are trying to reduce the file size try 200 ppi, and see if you have enough detail at that resolution when viewed on screen and zooming in. The minimum resolution I would use on this case is 150 ppi.

Depending on the content, I would convert to a diferent format.

  • If the info is like a satelite photo info, I would convert it to JPG.

  • If it is like a drawn map I would convert it to png.

  • If it is to be used only on screen I would leave them all in RGB mode.

There are some configurations you should check in your pdf export settings. Mainly the compression mode. Be sure you have one. To be viewed online try jpg compression on images, and turn off resampling inside the export. If you decide the correct resolution when preparing the images the resampling is unnecessary.

  • Let's say it is a drawn map and it must read on a A4 paper, but also zoomed from a someone reading the paper from a monitor. So if I turn into .png format, which dpi should I use? Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 11:30
  • I edited the post accordingly with some extra recomendations, and I corrected the unit. It is not dpi but ppi. My bad.
    – Rafael
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 11:38
  • Ok thank you very much. I see you are now talking about ppi, while in my "Export" window it asks me about the dpi to choose. I am surfing the internet now and I do not see a clear relationship between dpi and ppi, but it seems 1 dpi = 1 ppi. Is this correct? I am trying to use the dpi/ppi you are suggesting and it seems to work Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 12:20
  • A lot of aplications use the dpi notation but technically it is a diferent unit. For this case yes, use the dpi.
    – Rafael
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 15:31

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