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Convert Indesign file to pdf - out of memory error message

Posted on 2011-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am creating a large (1700mm square) graphic that involves a very large photograph that I have edited in Photoshop. This image itself is over 350MB - I am using TIFF format as this is considerably smaller than psd (1,684MB!). I need transparency as it has to be put over the top of a background image underneath, so cannot use a format that doesn't support transparency. The finished indd. file is 33MB but when I try to convert it to a pdf I get a message "Out of memory". I have closed all other programs and have tried increasing the virtual memory allocation in the control panel - all to no avail.  Can someone tell me either how I can reduce the size of the photoshopped image file without reducing its quality and/or how I can increase the memory available so that the pdf can be created. I am using a pc, Windows XP SP3, Adobe Indesign and Photoshop CS3. Thank you.
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Question by:Fionder
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Expert Comment

by:WBGames
ID: 35216015
Did you simply try to reboot the PC ?
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Author Comment

by:Fionder
ID: 35216040
I have rebooted the PC several times but it hasn't made any difference
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Expert Comment

by:Sigurdur Armannsson
ID: 35216199
A square 1700x1700 mm psd file in 300 dpi would be 1100MB or so. Check your pdf file to see if you are using unnecessarily high resolution. Or maybe you need to use it so high?

You can use .psd instead of .tif.  A native psd file does respect transparency.

Psd also can be saved as a PhotoshopPDF directly. So it would be possible maybe to export the InDesign stuff as a jpg in 300 dpi and assemble the file in Photoshop and then save as PhotoshopPDF. Text would be fine in that resolution too.

How much memory/RAM do you have on that machine?
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Author Comment

by:Fionder
ID: 35216366
3.25GB of RAM. The space available on the C drive is 399518MB and the virtual memory is set at 4990MB (initial size) and 8000MB (maximum size).
I assume that the reason the file is so big is that it has several images superimposed on one another. I have merged the layers but don't know if there is any other way of reducing the file size without affecting the quality of the image.
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Author Comment

by:Fionder
ID: 35216385
PS the .psd file is several times larger than the .tif file, which is why I used the latter. I will try doing the whole thing in Photoshop as you suggest.
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Assisted Solution

by:Sigurdur Armannsson
Sigurdur Armannsson earned 100 total points
ID: 35216515
If you put the file together in Photoshop, do a Save as... and check Copy in the next dialog box. You will want to keep the workfile.

Resampling down is usually far better than up. Little Unsharp might help if you see any blurring.

I am also wondering: What PDF setting are you using when you make the pdf?
Could you also tell for what kind of printing the file is for?
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Accepted Solution

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LAwaters earned 400 total points
ID: 35218961
ID has a long history of out of memory printing issues with image transparency especially when the images overlap. I've also seen posts stating the issue came down to mixed color spaces (RGB & CMYK) that is resolved by making all of the images CMYK TIFFs.

Whenever possible, it's best to do the image transparency overlap work in PS. Then save a flattened image. Just because ID *can* do transparency, doesn't mean it is the best tool for the job. Large, complex image building seems to be beyond IDs capability. Transparency calculations get very complex and memory intensive in a postscript stream.

So you let PS do what it does best: do that image build and transparency blending work *before* sending to print, rather than leaving that processing to be done during the print job. Place the image in ID and finish up the layout, and printing should sail through.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Fionder
ID: 35226335
Thanks for your help. I achieved the pdf by converting the background image to TIF - the foreground image (with transparency) was already CMYK TIF. ID then managed to convert it (albeit it took a long time to think about it). However if that had failed I was going to use PS as suggested. Useful information that has improved my understanding - thanks to LAwaters and siqurarm.
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