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Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:15 pm
by asocialis
I can't believe this. I used Firefox until I decided to remove it and start using Chrome. Everything is better except printing (to pdf).
I used same printing settings as in Firefox, meaning no margins and headers and footers, landscape, same sizes.
PDFs look the same, meaning text is text, image is image, and sizes look same. But file sizes are so much different!
I tried using your print drivers that come with PDF-XChange, then I tried internal chrome printing to pdf, and tried Foxit PhantomPDF printing driver. Almost no difference. Even tried reducing DPI from default to minimum, and it makes pdfs with almost unreadable text (worse than firefox of course), yet it still holds larger size! For example when wikipedia article "Herbert M Shelton" is printed from Firefox it is 33,7 KB. But in Chrome it is 691 KB when printed without help of any extension, and with internal chrome printing mechanism, in that case even borders of wikipedia articles are printed, meaning page as it looks on web, which could make sense for increased size. When printed with help of Print Edit WE extension, by simply clicking on that extension and not using any additional option, it looks like normally printed in firefox, meaning without taht useless wikipedia borders, size is 611 KB. What is reason here? I know this is not only in your products, but can I analyze pdfs for what is taking so much space and why? I noticed pdfs printed from chrome are bit wider, but not so much, plus i used worse almost unreadable dpi, so i doubt that that is the only reason. How to detect all differences and figure out the cause? Yes I tried removing background colors in printing options, and I do not want black and white, because i need to see colors like i did use options in Firefox. And I tried printing using system mechanism (ctrl+shift+p) in chrome. Does not help.

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox  SOLVED

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:42 pm
by Dimitar - Tracker Supp
Hello asocialis,

Could you please take a look at this KB article:

https://www.tracker-software.com/knowle ... emChromeem

I think that this explains why the file is bigger.

I hope that this helps.

Regards.

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:23 pm
by asocialis
Thanks, looks like you're right. Looks like I was wrong when I said that text was selectable, I was confused, it was selectable only in internal chrome "save to pdf" pdf printer option. In that case size of article is much less larger than Firefox, 169 KB. But that few additional kB is I think because page were wide a bit and had empty space around which can't be modified in internal saving as pdf, which is why I will not use it probably, because does not rely on external virtual printers, has no additional options. My text was really images or something. I will try either different browser, or some extension that makes pdfs or print them via chrome directly, but optimize/edit them later maybe. Because file size is really important for so much files. And the only advantage Chrome internal saving as pdf and printing via foxit phantompdf have are proper file name saving, meaning they save correctly files with dots in file name. At least I now know the main reason. And you should mention firefox as good alternative too, especially with combination with print edit we, in that kb article.

Now I just tested various combinations of print edit we + ctrl+p printing + ctrl+shift+p printing + different pdf save method (different virtual printer or internal save as pdf). Conclusion is that chrome's internal saving as pdf is closest to small size (around 100 kB vs around 30 kB for Firefox). All other options, meaning external printers gave me file around 1 MB and not searchable/selectable text. Also almost nothing helped for this discussion: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/is ... ?id=103602
So looks like I will also use some Firefox (flavor or portable) for printing only. The worst thing being that Firefox Quantum can't access already saved pages in mht or single html via save page we, which i planned to print to pdf via chrome later, or maybe it can (http://kb.mozillazine.org/Links_to_loca ... o_not_work), but it is not a big deal, I did not save so much pages.. While Chrome can. Even on that bug page some solutions did not work, were not right. But it's OK, I will find some alternative.

And I figured out why even Chrome's internal print to pdf has somewhat large size (3x-4x) than Firefox's. Because besides lacking few settings and making bit wider pages, it keeps all urls (links) in pdfs. That is the main reason!

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:36 am
by Tracker Supp-Stefan
Hello asocialis,

Glad we could help you figure out what was happening!
If you open a file in IE, and use the add-in that comes with our Standard printing drivers - then the PDF generated will also have links, and the file size should be smaller - as text will be preserved as text too!

Regards,
Stefan

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:18 pm
by Willerding
Dimitar - Tracker Supp wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:42 pm
Could you please take a look at this KB article:

https://www.tracker-software.com/knowle ... emChromeem
It seems that Firefox 71.0 (64bit) does the same like Chrome. With Microsoft Edge the letters are letters and not pathes.

Regards, Christian

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:33 pm
by Tracker Supp-Stefan
:D

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:50 pm
by Timur Born
I just experienced the same problem, but the explanation is not entirely satisfying. It is correct that Firefox renders printed output as vectors when printing to PDF printers. There are addons that can create text/fonts PDF files, though.

With Chrome things are more complicated: PDF X-Change prints text as vectors, but PDF24 (Ghostscript based) prints text as text (including embedded fonts). So Chrome is very well able to hand over text and fonts to PDF printers, just not to PDF X-Change.

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:14 pm
by Tracker Supp-Stefan
Hello Timur,

Were you using the "default UI" when printing to that PDF24? Or maybe it has some form of plug-in that integrates with Chrome?
As far as I am aware - there's no way to make Chrome NOT print text as vectors, and as such if I really need a web page converted to PDF - I will e.g. save it as HTML + files on my desktop and then convert it using the Office2PDF (or open IE and 'print' it from there).

Regards,
Stefan

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:56 pm
by Timur Born
Hello Stefan,

there are no extensions/plugins installed in Chrome, I even disabled all the default (Google) plugins. PDF24 is my prefered Ghostscript based PDF printer. You likely know that several GS based solutions exist on the market.

I append two files, one printed via XChange Standard, one via PDF24.

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:07 pm
by TrackerSupp-Daniel
Hello Timur,

While it appears to be text, if you attempt to edit this "text" you will find that it is, "extensively problematic", as you can see in my gif below. I attempt to type "this is a test" into one of the existing lines of text:
FShjlCKivq.gif
Conversely, attempting to convert this to a real font that would allow editing, results in the following:
PDFXEdit_J7IQ6s2MBu.png
It is not chrome sending font information to PDF24, it looks like they are taking the "shape" information and trying to create a font out of it instead.

I am sure most people would rather not have a function that they know does not work, at least our software does not claim to be able to accomplish this. When and if it is possible, we may offer something like this, but until then, I am afraid I do not have a good alternative for you.

Kind regards,

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:42 am
by Timur Born
Well, it is a font, but the image of the characters does not match the content. Typing an "a" might result in a "P ".

This is not very relevant for the original problem, though, because the resulting PDF file is in fact smaller because it does not draw words as forms.

That being said, any browser extension/plugin will do it better. For Firefox I am using the free "Print to PDF" plugin. Adobe Acrobat offers its own plugin that keeps more of the original graphics intact compared to browser print functions, it even keeps links intact. Both result in smaller files than X-Change Standard.

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:32 am
by TrackerSupp-Daniel
Hello Timur,

I have just discussed this at length with our Lead developer, and emphasized the large demand for this kind of conversion. As such we will likely be pushing up our html conversion handling, and if possible looking into a browser plugin-button, similar to what adobe does currently, to generate a pdf from the webpage and open it in the default PDF reader on your PC (hopefully the Editor :D ).

For reference, this is the ticket assigned to the project:
RT#5098: FR: Build Firefox and Chrome function to "Convert with PDF-XChange"

Kind regards,

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:03 am
by Timur Born
Very nice, I am looking forward to this and will have use for it.

Re: Printing in Chrome makes PDFs of much larger size than in Firefox

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:28 pm
by Tracker Supp-Stefan
:D