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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?

UPDATE

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

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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
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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, ... –  tohecz Mar 1 '12 at 13:15
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@tohecz: Done.. –  gablin Mar 1 '12 at 19:36
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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
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1 Answer

up vote 7 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.

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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... –  tohecz Mar 2 '12 at 10:32
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