Elements 14: Can only create bloated large PDf files?

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
I have noticed that if I take a jpg file (no layers - 8 1/2" x 11", 438k), and try to "Save As" a Photoshop PDF file, the resulting file is about 15X larger than the original jpg (6250k).  This makes no sense.  I have tried selecting low quality...  Nothing seems to work.

   I have discovered I can import the same jpg file into Microsoft Word, and save it as a PDF file there, and Word can make the file even smaller if I want it to.  Photoshop ought to be able to do something like this better than a word processor.  That's kind of ridiculous.

   Anyway, I would suggest Adobe consider adding some kind of improvement to this feature.

Thanks,
Lee
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Lee Loomis

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Posted 2 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Hi Lee, what is the use case/reason to save as a PDF? PDF's will be larger because you're wrapping a JPEG, plus a preview, plus color profile, plus full metadata (including raw processing instructions, if any), inside another file (PDF wrapper).

If you're simply looking to create the smallest files possible, using save for web to save a JPEG will result in the smallest files (no embedded preview, no color profile (unless checked), and minimal metadata.
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Lee Loomis

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PDF files are not ALWAYS larger.  As I said above, even a text editor (Microsoft Word) is able to make PDF files that are equal in size or smaller than the original jpg.

   My reason "why" to use a PDF - I have several reasons:

1) I often send photos to customers.  Sometimes my customer know almost nothing about computers at all.  I have sent people JPG files in the past and the customer was not able to print the file "correctly".  PDF files pretty much always print the way I intend them to, so I can determine that ahead of time for those customers.

2) I often scan signed documents or drawings to send to customers.  In addition to #1 above (with PDF I can make sure the documents will print well for my customers), PDF files are also more difficult for customers to edit or manipulate than jpg files...  This can be helpful in some cases.

   I guess for now I'll just continue to use a text editor (Microsoft Word) to produce PDF files since Photoshop Elements does not work as well as Microsoft Word does.
(Edited)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Certainly not always larger (if you compress the pixel data more than you compress the raw JPEG file). But if the JPEG is compressed the same but includes a preview, plus color profile, plus full metadata (including raw processing instructions, if any), inside another file (PDF wrapper) it will be bigger.
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Lee Loomis

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I suggest adding extra features to Photoshop to allow more control over how the PDF is generated.  I have a 438k jpg, and the smallest pdf I can make right now with Photoshop is 6250k???  As a Photoshop customer, I find this very disappointing.
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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To get small pdfs from Elements 14, I simply use the 'Print to pdf' feature of Windows 10, by specifying that option in the print menu. Typically, I get a file size which does not exceed the double of the original jpeg size.There are also a number of free or affordable competitors softwares which can do the same.
Yes, it's a pity that Elements does not give more control over pdf output.
Assuming that a typical Elements users will subscribe to Acrobat for that purpose is a joke.
The missing ability to create multipage pdfs from Elements 14 is also a serious drawback requiring using competitors software. Note that there is a workaround: you can send a multipage pdf from a selection of files when sharing by email... but you can't save it on your computer! You simply recover it from the received mail...
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Two things I did not know when I wrote that answer:
1 - Elements saves pdfs only in Photoshop pdf format: a format wrapping both an image file (jpeg, psd, tiff - even layered or 16 bits...) together with a regular pdf format, hence the size, which may be huge if you save a layered file.
That obvious drawback is compensated by the fact that the Photoshop pdf files opens directly in the editor without the rasterizing step, with all layers including text and shapes. It opens like a normal pdf with any pdf managing software.
2 - Elements 15 organizer no longer supports managing pdf files, except Photoshop pdf files. You can no longer create a multipage pdf with the email workaround. You can't output pdf slideshows...
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JEA

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Yes, i believe the reason is the enabling of  Preserve Photoshop Editing Abilities really bloats the pdf file size even with Jpeg Low is selected.

The difference is dramatic in photoshop when one unchecks Preserve Photoshop Editing Abilities even with a flattened document.

How i arrived at this is by recording an action in pse 14 as shown below.

I apologize that i can't publicly disclose how actions can be recorded in photoshop elements.

The action as shown is much easier to read than the script listener code.

However, i'm sure adobe can check photoshop elements and verify that Preserve Editing bloats the pdf files.

(Edited)
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Yes, i believe the reason is the enabling of  Preserve Photoshop Editing Abilities really bloats the pdf file size even with Jpeg Low is selected.

The difference is dramatic in photoshop when one unchecks Preserve Photoshop Editing Abilities even with a flattened document.
That's exactly what Jeffrey Tranberry explained and what I said in other words. The 'prevserve photoshop editing' option is only present in Photoshop, not in Elements where there is no choice: Photoshop pdf format or nothing.
It may be easier to consider the Photoshop pdf format as a psd format together with a pdf one in a single wrapper...

The question for Elements users is which 'case use' they are after.
- opening (rasterized) pdfs in the editor? Yes, still available.
- Saving 'normal' pdf format for easy viewing and printing by other users? Only via external printer drivers. The advantage over jpeg format is that you can 'print' a batch of files in a multipage pdf. Useful for sharing and creating mini slideshows.
- Saving in Photoshop pdf format instead of saving both a psd or jpeg as well as a pdf one instead of saving two files. Not a current requirement, but you can keep vector layers (text, shapes, selections). With PSE15 organizer, that format is the only one supported. You can also take advantage of the pdf format to exchange comments when you are sharing the single file.
- Keeping a library of vector cliparts for scrapbooking? That's was expected since the eps format has been dropped. No longer realistic since you can't manage it in PSE15.
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JEA

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As i see it, there's no reason adobe can't put a check box in the pse save for pdf options, so that one can turn off Preserve Editing, which is what saves the layers, vector data, etc.
Then one could get a small pdf file size if that's what one is after.
(Edited)
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Yes, obviously they could do it just like in Photoshop.
But do they want to provide this feature in Elements?

If nobody cares, there is little chance for a positive change. By curiosity, I asked the question in another forum with varied Elements users profiles, including scrapbookers.
http://photoshopelementsandmore.com/thread/3364/important-pdf-format
I am disappointed by the lack of interest with the pdf format.
Same for the few answers to your other post:
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/pse-15-organizer-pdf-support