Useful Stuff to Know » article » Word 2008 for Mac OS X Creates Huge PDF File Size » Feb 17, 05:44 PM

Word 2008 for Mac OS X Creates Huge PDF File Size

Problem: Word 2008 for Mac takes forever to print to PDF, and creates a HUGE file up to a couple hundred megabytes — all this from a .doc or .docx file that is only a couple megabytes large at most.

Solution: Select All of your text, then go to Tools -> Font and uncheck “Enable all ligatures for this document.”

Explanation: Word has a bug that of version 12.1.5 has not been fixed. Every time there is a ligature in your document (meaning letters like f and i in “find” are joined nicely together for typographic flair) Word embeds your font again in the PDF. So you can end up with your font embedded a thousand times or more, once for each ligature.

By doing this, my PDF went down from 175MB to 1.7MB

Yes, this is a truly stupid problem since you won’t get to use ligatures for your PDF. I couldn’t find this solution on “teh internetz” so here it is for search engines to spider and hopefully someone out there with the same problem can spare themselves the trouble I went through.