PDF file format reduces size of file

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Is it always the case that PDF file format reduces the size of the file one has? And does the word PDF came from the fact that it is potable in terms of file size or what exactly is the meaning of the word PDF?


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  • TheRealRaven
    "...reduces the size of the file..."

    Reduces the size of what file? Printer output suitable for .PDF generally isn't available as a 'file'.
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  • guidouhinga
    I meant when you print a file as a Pdf sometimes a file size get  reduced sometimes not. Was wondering! was it not supposed to be reduced always?
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  • TheRealRaven
    Size reduction has no relevance to printing with .PDF. It's easily possible that a .PDF generated from a file can be much larger than the source file because the .PDF contains the data PLUS all necessary printer formatting and control characters that must be added to the file. Also, any number of data elements might exist in efficient formats in the file; but they can be converted to external character formats in the .PDF. Other size expansions might also be needed to make it work.

    The primary purpose of .PDF is to achieve consistent printing formats regardless of which physical platform or printer creates the printed document.
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  • guidouhinga
    Okay - TheRalRaven,

    So what might be the case that I am getting reduction of the file size to almost half the original size after printing using .PDF? Or because of the contents?  I  printed a file with text and images.
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  • Brijesh
    Hopefully as said depends an the content the file size will reduce.
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  • TheRealRaven
    What file is the source? There's no way we can guess why sizes would be less (nor more) if we don't know anything about the source files.

    Different types of files hold very different contents. A word processing file contains lots of hidden data that describe fonts, paragraphs, page layouts, word flows and other elements. Spreadsheets contain similar data to describe cells, columns, rows, formulas and other things. Other file types have their own internal data.

    Much of the descriptive data is not needed when a .PDF is generated. It's replaced with other data that describes how each segment of pages should look when printed. Whether that descriptive data is larger or smaller than the original file's data is completely dependent on what the original type is and how much has been added to it for its formats.
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  • guidouhinga
    The source file was a word document which contained some text and maps. When printed as .PDF the size became half of the original. The other time the story was vice verse, though I don’t remember what the source file was. That's why was wondering, which is which?
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  • AndreaF
    My files generally increase size considerably, when I save them as a PDF - which stands for portable document format. There is an option with the full Adobe Acrobat software to save files as Reduced Size PDF, but that would be the only thing I could think of that would make a file smaller.....?
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