Portfolio File Size

I am putting my new portfolio together into a single PDF and I want to make the file size as small as possible without reducing the quality too much. Right now I have 10 pages at 422 MB. That’s probably too big and annoying for downloading. I can make it smaller. What do you think is a appropriate file size for a 10 page PDF portfolio?

442 MB? Thats crazy! Even at full press resolution.

Keep it under 5mb. You should be able to get it to less than 2Mb for 10pages. I have 34pages at 5Mb PDF for print quality to email and only 35Mb for digital offset printing.


What are you saving to PDF from? Illustrator? PS?

If either, trying using InDesign instead, file sizes are much more managable.

I have found that the Ebook preset in indesign is a good compromise if you want a file that won’t look to terrible once printed, but isnt too big.

I would agree, try to keep it under 5mb, especially if you want people to download it.

Yeah, what resolution do you put yours at R? I like to keep mine between 150 and 200 but Ive been wanting to squeeze it down a little more.

i think i’ve got mine at 120dpi. good compromise of size and resolution and preints very clearly on a standard ink jet or other printer if need be.

my pages are made in illustrator (though the next version ill do in Indesign), and I print to a PS file that i run through a custom preset in Distiller.


Thanks. I don’t have indesign and I am using illustrator and saving as PDF. I just saved my files as ‘smallest file size’ PDF and now it’s only 646 KB for all ten pages in one PDF file. But the quality is not good enough. How do I save it so its around 5 MB with better quality but still not too big?

im guessing you dont have Distiller either.

try another preset if you have one (print quality is good), or you can manually adjust the compression to about 120dpi for images that should improve the quality.


another option you can try is to print the file to PDF, rather than saving as a PDF.

Out of curiosity, what version of illustrator are you using?

I’m using CS2. I saved them as press quality and it came out to 7.91 MB with pretty good image quality. So is that small enough now?

Thanks for the tips.


I would agree, you really want it to be smaller. However with that said 7mb is not the end of the world. Its defiantly better then 400mb+ !

If your planning to email the file to perspective employers they may not appreciate such a large file unexpectedly in there inbox.

Do you have access to InDesign? If so you can directly Place ai (illustrator) files into InDesign (that way you don’t have to redo all your work) Depending on how you have your Illustrator file set up this could be really easy, or a pain. Essentially what you would need to do is save each page as a separate ai file, and then place those files onto there corresponding page in InDesign. You can then export to PDF with more control and flexibility in both file size, and quality.

I have no idea of your experience and don’t mean to sound patronizing in any way. Hope this helps.

wouldn’t download anything over 4. I’m just going to view it on screen to determine the next step, it’s not like it will be printed out and hung up. 72dpi

good point yo.

Thanks guys. I got it to 1.51 MB and it’s already sent out.