Richard Tallent’s occasional blog

Word for OS X and Huge PDFs

I saved a PDF file from Word for Mac 2011, and noticed that this tiny 3-page Word file (some text and a logo, a prospectus for the Beaumont Art League) was weighing in at 2.2MB!

Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this until after I sent it as an attachment to board members and staff.

After bumbling around online, I found this solution on Eduardo Valle’s blog. His solution didn’t work for me, but an alternate solution offered in the comments worked perfectly — saving the file as an old-school DOC file, and exporting to PDF from it instead of my DOCX master. This brought my PDF back down to the expected size — 191KB.

Apparently, Word for Mac does some terribly inefficient things when saving from DOCX to PDF. I’m not sure what exactly, but my suspicion is that it has something to do with font embedding and/or Unicode.

Hopefully this smaller file will still work correctly for people who don’t have Lucida Sans or Georgia installed on their computers. Either way, I can’t justify us posting 2MB files for a call to entry form.


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