# Compiling speed and output: \includegraphics vs \includepdf - what are the differences?

I made a .tex file and compiled it via pdfLatex in two scenarios:

1. (1200 pages long)

\includegraphics*[scale=1]{example.pdf}

added some text here and there

\newpage

(repeating this with example2.pdf, example3.pdf, example4.pdf etc.)

1. (1200 pages long)

\includepdf[scale=1]{example.pdf}

added some text here and there

\newpage

(repeating this with example2.pdf, example3.pdf, example4.pdf etc.)

In the firs scenario, the compiling took about 5 seconds (output ca. 650 kb). In the second scenario, it took about 60 seconds (output ca. 373 kb). (-> less size took more time)

My question is: why and what are the differences?

My goal is to print the 1200 page document with the best possible quality. Do one of the methods suffer from quality (like sharpness, color, overall, details etc.)?

Thanks a lot!

• includepdf uses internally includegraphics but adds stuff around it. So it will be always a bit slower. The large difference looks odd, but perhaps you didn't told everything. But beside this: includepdf includes pages, so use it if you need this. Sep 3, 2020 at 9:03
• thanks. What do u mean with "includes pages"? Sep 3, 2020 at 9:14
• \includepdf always creates a complete page. Sep 3, 2020 at 9:48
• @JohnKormylo it is documentated in grfguide: "page Page of a multi-page PDF file. (by default the first page will be used.)" Sep 3, 2020 at 17:51

`includegraphics` will place a space in the text, to which it will superimpose the vectorized PDF image. The `includepdf` will put the vectors from the PDF in the document, that implies handling larger data structures.