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This is a question just out of curiosity; I hope someone familiar with the "under-the-hood" parts of TeXLive can answer my question.

I have a LaTeX source file for a presentation using Beamer, which I compiled on my Laptop and my Office Computer. I noticed that the document generation seems to take much longer on my laptop (a little longer is expected, but my laptop is not that under-powered). What's most surprising, however, is the resulting file-size: the file generated on my laptop is less than half the size the one on the office computer!

Here be the output from pdfinfo

On the office computer

Creator:        LaTeX with beamer class version 3.01
Producer:       pdfeTeX-1.21a
CreationDate:   Mon Jan 31 18:25:27 2011
Tagged:         no
Pages:          136
Encrypted:      no
Page size:      362.835 x 272.126 pts
File size:      1742603 bytes
Optimized:      no
PDF version:    1.4

On the laptop:

Creator:        LaTeX with Beamer class version 3.10
Producer:       pdfTeX-1.40.11
CreationDate:   Mon Jan 31 20:43:37 2011
ModDate:        Mon Jan 31 20:43:37 2011
Tagged:         no
Pages:          136
Encrypted:      no
Page size:      362.835 x 272.126 pts
File size:      572179 bytes
Optimized:      no
PDF version:    1.5

Three obvious differences: different beamer version, pdfetex-1.21a versus pdftex-1.40, and different output PDF versions. Does anybody know what accounts for the drastic file-size savings?


Edit As requested, output from pdffonts

Office computer

name                                 type         emb sub uni object ID
------------------------------------ ------------ --- --- --- ---------
WVPACK+NimbusSanL-Regu               Type 1       yes yes no      70  0
PAHDZS+NimbusMonL-Regu               Type 1       yes yes no      97  0
MWNYAU+NimbusSanL-ReguItal           Type 1       yes yes no     185  0
FUFSQV+CMSY10                        Type 1       yes yes no     188  0
RIQINP+CMSS10                        Type 1       yes yes no     514  0
KJHURB+MSBM10                        Type 1       yes yes no     517  0
RLPCEA+CMSS8                         Type 1       yes yes no     520  0
GKWRKQ+CMMI10                        Type 1       yes yes no     523  0
FNSGBY+CMSY8                         Type 1       yes yes no     526  0
ZULBEX+EUFM10                        Type 1       yes yes no     529  0
EGCPYN+CMEX10                        Type 1       yes yes no     532  0
AQNXQD+MSBM7                         Type 1       yes yes no     535  0
DBUPMR+CMMI8                         Type 1       yes yes no     863  0
ZLJTDB+CMSY9                         Type 1       yes yes no    2269  0
UVPNAP+CMSY6                         Type 1       yes yes no    3138  0
XWDUKW+MSAM10                        Type 1       yes yes no    5351  0

Laptop

name                                 type              emb sub uni object ID
------------------------------------ ----------------- --- --- --- ---------
ZDCYDU+NimbusSanL-Regu               Type 1            yes yes no     120  0
DXSMAM+NimbusMonL-Regu               Type 1            yes yes no     122  0
ZSHOJP+NimbusSanL-ReguItal           Type 1            yes yes no     208  0
FWRRDZ+CMSY10                        Type 1            yes yes no     209  0
NIDXKV+CMSS10                        Type 1            yes yes no     536  0
TZDOHW+MSBM10                        Type 1            yes yes no     537  0
QLIKDK+CMSS8                         Type 1            yes yes no     538  0
LJZIEY+CMMI10                        Type 1            yes yes no     539  0
HZTDAS+CMSY8                         Type 1            yes yes no     540  0
BJBQRD+EUFM10                        Type 1            yes yes no     541  0
WMELZR+CMEX10                        Type 1            yes yes no     542  0
GCAWWC+CMMI8                         Type 1            yes yes no     872  0
UOMENF+CMSY9                         Type 1            yes yes no    2289  0
JKSUUE+CMSY6                         Type 1            yes yes no    3165  0
TMHVPV+MSAM10                        Type 1            yes yes no    5398  0
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2  
What does the font list say? pdffonts file –  Herbert Jan 31 '11 at 21:11
2  
You don't have different settings of \pdfcompresslevel, maybe somewhere in a configuration file? –  Martin Scharrer Jan 31 '11 at 21:18
5  
Well, you probably have TeXlive 2010 on your laptop, and a much older TeX installation on your office PC. In TL2010, the default pdf output is version 1.5, which allows for much greater compression (which is also enabled by default). –  Villemoes Jan 31 '11 at 22:18
    
@Villemoes: I thought something like this applies. The compression explains both the longer compile time and the smaller file size. –  Martin Scharrer Jan 31 '11 at 23:12
    
@Martin: where should I check for the pdfcompresslevel? –  Willie Wong Feb 1 '11 at 2:35
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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Well, you probably have TeXlive 2010 on your laptop, and a much older TeX installation on your office PC. In TL2010, the default pdf output is version 1.5, which allows for much greater compression (which is also enabled by default).

The discussion on http://web.archiveorange.com/archive/v/sK0ydxTMTCFjdc96HimC may be of interest.

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you for that useful link. It also introduced me to the -draftmode option, which looks like it will save some time because right now the bottleneck is in PDF generation, and for Beamer I almost certainly have to compile twice or thrice to get all the links correct. –  Willie Wong Feb 1 '11 at 18:04
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