PDF very big!

It’s normal after compiling my notebook (3 pages) that the PDF file is very big?
Amount 5000kb?
This append with “print” compiling and “save” compiling.

How big is the output when you compile to a different format?

Thank you for answer.
With “Paperback novel (with parts)” the file are 29kb…
Where I’m wrong?

I found the problem.
I set font compiling to “Ashbury Light” -> fontsquirrel.com/fonts/ashbury
Could it be that?

Did you try compiling with a different font? If the size goes down, then I’d say the pdf compiler is having to include extra information that it wouldn’t have to for a document compiled with a more standard font.

Sounds to me like for PDF—which is intended as an exchange format to send to others—it is embedding the font, as it’s not a standard font and the recipients probably wouldn’t have it on their systems.

Mr X

Yes, “embedding.” I couldn’t think of the word.

With standard fonts (Times, Georgia, etc) the file is 30-40 kb…
Is this the problem?

p.s.: excuse for my english…

Good morning.
Sorry if I open even this post after so long.
I see that if I choose certain fonts, the compile pdf is very big.
How do I know what font to use?
There is a way to not include fonts in compile pdf?
Thank you.

Good morning.
I upgrade my Scrivener from 1.9.0 to 1.9.5 version, but this problem (pdf very big) is always present.
The isn’t a solution?

The solution is to use a font that doesn’t create the large pdf size. You stated in a previous post that it compiles to a small file when you use Times New Roman or Georgia, so I would recommend using one of those fonts to make your pdf.

Good morning.
If anyone can give me a hand …
Attached I put the back up of my story. If anyone can do the pdf render so I know if my system is wrong.
I also put the font Simoncini Garamond and the file with render-settings.
The pdf comes out of 3000kb!
Thank you very much.
custom-and-font.zip (27.8 KB)
prv.bak.zip (43.5 KB)

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. This means that the person who views the file must see EXACTLY what you see. The viewer cannot be relied upon to have the fonts you are using so the fonts are embedded. I just looked at a pdf file I compiled from Scrivener and it embedded 4 fonts only, because I used Georgia and Tahoma and two sizes and an italic. All 4 fonts were embedded. A good pdf viewer program will let you see what fonts are embedded. If you do not use a lot of different fonts, sizes etc. then not many will need to be embedded. If you are only embedding a small number of fonts in a small number of sizes, then the file will remain small.

What normally causes files to be large is pictures. If Scrivener was forced to output graphics instead of fonts, then each pixel will be output and the file will be huge. It may take a thousand words to describe a single picture, but a single picture is the size of many many thousands of words.

Hi I was just about to post about this when I saw it had already been mentioned here.

I have a 45-page document (13,500 words) and the pdf comes out at 55.2mb, compared to 189kb if I export it from Open Office!

The only fonts embedded in the document are TimesNewRomanItalic, and TimesNewRomanRegular.


There is something wrong for me.
I would like to know if the same thing happens on the Mac version…

Why not try this:

  1. Compile just the first page to pdf. Is it big?
  2. add a few more pages. Is it big?
  3. Continue process until you find out where in the document you have an issue.

If even the first page is big, then is the third page also big? Does a new document also compile to pdf big? My guess is that after 15 minutes of testing you’ll find out where the issue is.

I compiled a version using the standard proof template (Format as --> Proof Copy, Compile for: PDF) and the pdf came out at 901kb (approx 160,000 words).

I changed nothing except the body text font (to Adobe Garamond Pro), and the file increased in size to 372MB!

It appears to be adding a little under 2mb for each text section in the binder.

Everyone who is showing large PDFs, which PDF export engine are you using? Under Tools, Options, Import/Export, there is a setting that allows you to choose which exporter to use for various file formats.

Do you mean under Export Converters?
They are set to default.
They are:
DOC via RTF-Based
ODT via Scrivener
PS via Scrivener

If I change the body text back to Courier New the file reverts to 901kb. Change it to Adobe Garamond Pro, it compiles back out at 372mb.

Yes, right place, but you should also have an option for PDF. Here’s mine:


Since i have Office 2016 on my machine and use it for most post-processing, I want Word doing the conversions on my machine. I have found in the past that the converter that comes with Scrivener does not always produce a PDF that handles the way I want it to. Word’s PDF handling isn’t the best, but it’s a known devil.

Within each converter, you can then get file size increases and decreases (such as you experienced) depending on which fonts you use.