When I used Preview's "Export" feature to export a 1.4MB jpg file to a one page pdf file, the resulting pdf is as large as 14MB, which is really surprising and annoying. I tried to reduce the file size, for instance by "reduce file size" quartz filter, but the pdf became so reduced (56KB) that the result was not readable at all.

Is there anyway to remedy this? A built-in solution is greatly appreciated.

2 Answers 2


PDF supports JPEG encoding, so the size should not increase very much at all. It should be able to wrap some header info around the jpeg stream and call it a day.

Unfortunately, Preview is very good at viewing PDFs, but when writing PDFs tends to use a subset of PDF that is easy for it to parse, but not space-efficient.

I'm sorry to say this, but you will need to look for a different program that can leave the JPEG alone and shove it in the stream. Acrobat can do this, as can pdftex or convert from ImageMagick. There are probably others.

  • Oh, I use LaTeX nearly everyday but did not come up this easy solution... Thanks, I'll give it a try.
    – 4ae1e1
    Mar 5, 2013 at 4:29
  • Finally got it. Not that easy—I never thought of including full page graphics before. hspace and vspace, which are bad practices in general typesetting come in handy here—creating custom boxes pains.
    – 4ae1e1
    Mar 5, 2013 at 4:48

"Save as PDF..." from Preview's printing menu does the trick.

The export function blew my original JPG file (293 KB) up to incredible 2.7 MB. With the PDF printer, it only takes 295 KB. Just 2 KB more for that header info Alan talked about. :)

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