TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When building my master thesis, I've found that the size of the produced PDF differs if I use Tex Live on Ubuntu compared to MiKTeX on Windows; for the latter, the size is about 50% greater (from about 600KB to some 900KB).

I'm just curious why this might be. I mean, the look and layout is the same (as far as I can tell, at least). So where do these extra 300KB come from?


Okay, so on the MikTeX I got pdfTeX 2.9.4225 (1.40.12), and on TeXLive I got pdfTex 2.3-1.40.12. The two versions are available below:

LiveTeX version

MikTeX version

share|improve this question
Do you use different versions of pdftex? What happens if you set the \pdfcompresslevel to the same (known) value? – Marco Mar 1 '12 at 9:28
@Marco: Don't know. Will check that as soon as I get home from work today. – gablin Mar 1 '12 at 10:31
If you published both versions of PDF, others could check the contents of the PDF for the important differences. There can be multiple reasons: PDF compression, font versions, verbosity, ... – yo' Mar 1 '12 at 13:15
@tohecz: Done.. – gablin Mar 1 '12 at 19:36
The TeXlive version has compressed object streams. That indicates that MikTeX and TeXlive have different settings for \pdfobjcompresslevel. – topskip Mar 1 '12 at 19:59
up vote 8 down vote accepted

The TeXlive version has compressed object streams. That indicates that MikTeX and TeXlive have different settings for \pdfobjcompresslevel. compressed object streams is a lossless compression method, where not just a single object is compressed, but a range of objects. This leads to smaller sizes. Why one distribution would set it as a default and the other one not, is beyond my knowledge. And without MikTeX installation to verify, I can only assume that they have different defaults.

When uncompressed, they still don't have the same size:

qpdf --qdf --object-streams=disable report_texlive_version.pdf texlive.pdf

4905818 miktex.pdf
4868473 texlive.pdf

That's still about 1% difference.

share|improve this answer
In my humble opinion, 1%-difference is not a real difference, it can be due to double procession that can add some meta-data or similar stuff... – yo' Mar 2 '12 at 10:32

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.