Problem: Files exported to PDF, EPS, and AI in ArcMap 9 are much larger than at 8.x


When maps with multiple raster layers, or vector layers with transparency, are exported using ArcMap 9.x, the resulting file size may be much larger than the same map exported from ArcMap 8. This is especially true for map layouts on large page sizes and multiple raster layers.


The Output Image Quality slider control in ArcMap 9.x is set to a default of 'Best'. In the 8.x versions of ArcMap this control was set to a default of 'Normal', which resulted in automatic downsampling of the map's raster layers on export.

Solution or Workaround

ArcMap provides several ways to control output resolution and to downsample raster layers:

  • Decrease the setting of the 'Display Quality' slider for each raster layer. The Display Quality slider is located on the Display tab in a raster layer's Layer Properties dialog. This setting provides layer-by-layer control of raster downsampling.
  • Decrease the setting of the 'Output Image Quality' slider in the print dialog. Changes for this setting persist even if cancel is clicked in the Print dialog. This setting downsamples all raster layers and vector layers with transparency. Non-transparent vector layers are not downsampled. For vector-based export formats like PDF, use the Output Image Quality slider provided in the Export File dialog to achieve the same effect.
  • Decrease the resolution of the export.

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