Images & File Size: Why has the Image Compression no effect in file size?

The “Compression Settings” in the Reduce file size section in the compile menu have no effect at all. My pdf file stays at about 9 MB, whatever options I chose.
I have project with about 300.000 characters and about a dozen of images.

Thanks for any answer!

Hi. I don’t know the Mac version. Perhaps the reduction depends on the parameters used. Would you know if you are applying a reduction of, for example, 300 dpi? Do you have some options selected?


Yes, I tried several options, also 72dpi (the lowest), but none of them have any effect: in other words, the file size stays the same wether I select 72 or 600 dpi.

Have you opened the file in an external program to see if there has been a reduction in the resolution of the images? How do you know the size is still 9 Mb? Through Finder?


Yes, I opened the file in preview and I cannot see a loss of quality.
Yes, both finder and the ‘file information’ panel in preview show me the same file size of 9MB.

It’s strange. It could be an bug where your settings are not being applied. Try to see if it happens with other .pdf or with other project. Wait until someone in charge can help you further.

By the way, I am assuming that this functionality applies to embedded .pdf instead of exported .pdf. Are you checking if it works with images inserted in your documents? You’d have to check the Mac manual to find out. I will look at it. :slight_smile:


Sorry, I think there was an misunderstanding. As I wrote, I am talking about compiling a scrivener project containing text and images. No embedded pdfs.
The 9MB pdf I am refering to is the file compiled by scrivener, and it stays the same size, whetever compression setting I chose.

Thanks for the report. In testing the Scale and Set options, as well as the Max Pts setting, I also see no effect on the output. It could be at some point Apple changed the API for this and at this point they are hooked up to nothing.

What version of macOS are you using, by the way, so we can have that on record?

By the way, I wouldn’t generally use these settings for most things. I prefer to keep separate sets of images for different purposes. Having a set of highly compressed and low-res images for proofing is really handy, as well as one that is balanced between quality and size for distribution, or another at max quality where it matters. Here are some further thoughts on how that can be done.

The main problem with crude settings like these are that they treat all images the same, by and large. If you’re really going for the best possible result at the target size, treating each image in a way that works best for the content of that image is my preference. One thing might get away with a large amount of compression and save a lot of space while another might need to use some of those savings to avoid blurriness or compression artifacts.

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Like @AmberV, I recommend a more flexible way of dealing with images. Here’s my nifty way of doing it:

managing images in Scrivener

Apologies for the long silence and thanks for the answer. I use two computers, one with Ventura (13.x), one with Mojave (12.6.) – both do not produce any effect on output.

Maybe some context is helpful, regarding why I wanted to use this feature. I am writing a long document (PhD) which contains some graphics. But I want to care later of the proper quality of the images, as I am now focusing on writing. The images vary a lot in their resolution/file size. However, for giving some chapters out for feedback, I want them in the pdf, therefore the “reduce file size”-option came in handy, as I do not care so much about the quality by now.

No worries, I am just getting back from a holiday so I’m late in responding as well. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the update on which systems you’ve observed it on. For me I tried the older 10.14 and 10.15 as well, so this issue may have been around for quite some time.

Thanks also for the update on your workflow. I would say that how you describe using it is precisely what this feature was designed for! Sometimes we just need an “email sized” copy without a lot of hassle.