How to Decrease the PDF File Size From InDesign

By M.A. Helt

Adobe InDesign allows users to export files in several formats. The PDF, or Portable Document Format, is used when you want to send a file to someone who does not have InDesign. PDF files can be opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader and many other third party PDF readers. InDesign comes with several preset PDF export options but also allows the user to customize the settings. If the PDF will be printed, either on a desktop printer or a a professional offset press, higher quality settings should be selected. If you will only view the PDF on-screen, select lower quality settings to keep the file size smaller.

Step 1

Select Export from the File menu.

Step 2

Name your file and select a destination to save the file. Click Save.

Step 3

Select "Smallest File Size" from the Adobe PDF Preset drop down menu.

Step 4

Click "Compression" in the lefthand side menu.

Step 5

Downsample each of the images to 72 pixels per inch.

Step 6

Select the image compression you want to use for the color and grayscale images. Choose low if you are trying to have the smallest file size possible. However, if you want the images to render more clearly, and are willing to have a slightly larger file, select medium.

Step 7

Select the appropriate compression format. If your document contains mostly photographs, select Automatic (JPEG 2000). If your document contains mostly solid color graphics such as logos, clip art, charts or graphs, select ZIP compression.

Step 8

Select Output from the lefthand menu then click on the Ink Manager button.

Step 9

Convert any spot colors to process. You can identify a spot color by looking for a circle inside of a square icon in the left hand column of the ink manager window. To convert to process color, click on the spot color icon. Click the OK button when complete.

Step 10

Click export.