I have this PDF file which is just 1Mb - 30 pages .

So when I send it to printer ( HP 1320 ) i see that computer sends almost 50Mb to the printer. How is that possible ? I know that PDF is compressed format, but when i try command line program pdf2ps - i can generate postscript that is just 2.5Mb . I don't think it's so compressed 50/1 that would be something .. Any ideas ?

The file is generated by php tcpdf can it have anything to do with it. Does PDF have any magical features ?

  • Images perhaps? – Nathan C Apr 24 '14 at 13:13
  • @NathanC That's what I'm thinking. OP, is this PDF of images, perhaps? Such as scanned pages that were not OCR'd but essentially just JPEGs? – MDMoore313 Apr 24 '14 at 13:16
  • What operating system are you using and which driver is in use for the HP 1320 printer? – ewwhite Apr 24 '14 at 13:23
  • Are you using the PostScript driver? The default is usually PCL5 or 6... – Chris S Apr 24 '14 at 13:44
  • I tried both drivers - it's pretty much the same. There are only few images - mostly it's text. – Kubber Apr 24 '14 at 14:57

I've seen this before, and it was solved by this KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/919543 (assuming you are using Windows)

When you print a document that contains lots of raster data, the size of the Enhanced Metafile (EMF) spool file may become very large. Files such as Adobe .pdf files or Microsoft Word .doc/.docx documents may contain lots of raster data. Adobe .pdf files and Word .doc/.docx documents that contain gradients are even more likely to contain lots of raster data.

This problem occurs because Graphics Device Interface (GDI) does not compress raster data when the GDI processes EMF spool files and generates EMF spool files.

This problem is very prominent with printers that support higher resolutions. The size of the raster data increases by four times if the dots-per-inch (dpi) in the file increases by two times. For example, a .pdf file of 1 megabyte (MB) may generate an EMF spool file of 500 MB. Therefore, you may notice that the printing process decreases in performance.

  • This option is disabled for most of HP printers. – Vladimir Panchenko Dec 14 '18 at 10:11

Does it matter how much data is sent to the printer?

The HP 1320 is a low-end laser printer. It doesn't support native PDF printing, but does support PJL and Postscript.

Often times, generated documents like this are not optimized. Unless you have a networking complaint, you should only be concerned with the space that the print files consume on disk and that your print jobs complete in a timely manner.

I deal with Postscript production printing on a large scale, and have found that the data file size (after PJL, Postscript, formatting options) doesn't matter as much as the printer's ability to process the data stream.

See my answer to: Shell command slow when using pipe, fast with intermediate file

  • It wouldn't matter if it was just this document. This document will print correctly, but i also have such document merged 30 times. So it's 30Mb PDF that becomes 500Mb in data and printer dies ... So i'm just looking for any reasons or optimizations. – Kubber Apr 24 '14 at 14:59

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