[poppler] PdfToCairo question

Matthew Jones matthew.hartley.jones at gmail.com
Wed Apr 15 08:43:07 PDT 2015

Occasionally, pdftocairo creates an output pdf that is 5 to 10 times larger
than the input pdf. That causes processing time and file transfer time
issues for us when the pdf was already several megabytes in size. I’m a
link to an example pdf that starts off as 2 MB but balloons out to 10 MB
after running through pdftocairo. I've done some research on the cairo
format and examined the output using the Acrobat 9 filesize audit tool, and
I think a lot of the extra size is coming from the vectorized version of
some very complex images. I am using poppler-utils version 0.18.4 on Ubuntu
Is there any workaround you can suggest that would decrease the filesize
without visible drops in quality? It’s not a requirement that the output be
in the cairo format, so a solution may involve somehow undoing the
vectorization. I've gotten some success with running "pdftops" then
"ps2pdf" on the document before running "pdftocairo", but I don't
understand why the resulting document is smaller and if it is actually
solving my problem.

Original 2MB pdf:
The same PDF, after going through pdftocairo -pdf, not 10MB:

Any input would be helpful, thanks for your time.

Matt Jones
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