Layout PDF Compression

When you export a Layout file to PDF the resulting file size is very large, even when selecting Low quality. I have found the best combination is to use the Medium setting and then compress the file with online tools like SmallPDF or PDFCompress. When doing this the resulting quality is excellent, but it adds an extra tedious step. It would be nice if Layout could handle PDF compression well, perhaps with a variety of options (that remain persistent from session to session — see my other feature request about session persistence).

For example, my typical template results in a file of 10Mb when exporting a 3-page file with the Medium setting, and once compressed it is down to about 600Kb with little detectable loss in quality.

The only thing that the quality setting does is to affect the resolution of exported or printed raster images, so the impact on PDF file size or print size is limited.

All the CAD/BIM applications I use seem to have this same limitation. Adobe Acrobat can often compress the resulting PDF files by something like 90% with no appreciable effect on quality. It is perhaps that the plugins used by the developers to get this functionality are not very advanced. The plus side is that “optimized” files often are a big nuisance if you need to change them afterwards in any way (by importing to Illustrator, for instance), with page elements combined in a way that is quite haphazard.


Yes, ideally compression would just be an option.

Good news! LayOut 2016 has an image compression option for PDF exports, which leads to dramatically smaller PDF files. You’ll see the most improvement on files that use the ‘high quality’ output resolution.

It’s awesome! Thanks. I just wish settings remained persistent across

Jason Szumlanski
Principal Solar Designer
Florida Solar Design Group