Acrobat SO SLOW...

kdw75

Well-known member
I spend hours daily using Acrobat with Pitstop Pro and FusionPro to work on customer-supplied PDFs and add variable data elements for mailings. Most of the time Acrobat works pretty well, but it does crash a few times per week for no apparent reason. Then we get to the more complicated files customers send in. We do mailings for some Las Vegas Casinos and they love graphics and shading. The files are supplied as native Indesign files that I export to PDF/X 2008. The files are usually only around 30-40 MB, but Acrobat is almost unusable sometimes. You click on an element and you get the Not Responding message in the title bar and it freezes up for 15-45 seconds. Every single move or action causes this. A few months back I switched to Acrobat 64-bit, but it didn't really help much. It really makes me want to pull my hair out working with these files.

My current machine is an AMD 3800XT with 128GB of RAM and an NVME SSD. I put together an AMD 7900 with 128GB of RAM and a PCI Gen 5 SSD to see if that would speed things up at all, but I have almost zero expectations that it will. I think it is just poor coding.
 
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I spend hours daily using Acrobat with Pitstop Pro and FusionPro to work on customer-supplied PDFs and add variable data elements for mailings. Most of the time Acrobat works pretty well, but it does crash a few times per week for no apparent reason. Then we get to the more complicated files customers send in. We do mailings for some Las Vegas Casinos and they love graphics and shading. The files are supplied as native Indesign files that I export to PDF/X 2008. The files are usually only around 30-40 MB, but Acrobat is almost unusable sometimes. You click on an element and you get the Not Responding message in the title bar and it freezes up for 15-45 seconds. Every single move or action causes this. A few months back I switched to Acrobat 64-bit, but it didn't really help much. It really makes me want to pull my hair out working with these files.

My current machine is an AMD 3800XT with 128GB of RAM and an NVME SSD. I put together an AMD 7900 with 128GB of RAM and a PCI Gen 5 SSD to see if that would speed things up at all, but I have almost zero expectations that it will. I think it is just poor coding.
Disable all your startup items unless they are absolutely critical, including Creative Cloud, One Drive etc, I had a Dell Workstation (Xeon processor, SSD, Windows for Workstations) that was performing like a dog, disabled startup items and now it flies.
The machine was going fine until recently, so I suspect one of these is hogging resources following an update. I haven't narrowed it down to which one yet.
 
I have experienced this on the Mac version of Acrobat (with Pitstop but no FusionPro) when the PDF contains images with ridiculously high resolution or when there is A LOT (ie thousands of paths) of vector content. Reducing the resolution of said images usually does the trick. Rasterizing said vector content also helps speed things up.

Best regards,
pd
 
Do you have multiple drives installed on the same system? I've seen this type of a problem before with a harddrive in the loop somewhere accidentally bottle necking the operation. Try "pausing" Google Drive/Dropbox/Adobe Cloud Sync if you are using any service that is scanning your drives for changes and then starting an upload if so.

You can also provide us with a download link to your file and we can share our experience navigating your file.

Also which version of Windows are you running?
 
@kdw75,

From my extensive experience with Acrobat, especially under Windows, I doubt that the slowness you are experiencing has anything to do with your hardware configuration. It is certainly well-enough endowed.

Nor do I believe that the problem has anything to do with any Adobe “start-up” service or Google Drive or Dropbox, or Adobe Cloud Sync.

One thing to check on are your Preferences in Acrobat. Access Preferences (Ctrl-K) and select the Security (Enhanced) category. If enabled, disable the Enable Protected Mode at startup option. Likewise, set Protected Mode to Off. Especially when running plug-ins such as Pitstop Pro, the “protected mode” can significantly degrade performance when plug-ins are used or with some other Acrobat functions such as the built-in Preflight or even simple printing.

So … try disabling the protected mode and let us know if that helps at all.

- Dov

PS: We assume that you mean PDF/X-4 as opposed to PDF/X 2008! ;)
 
Can even just be the complexity of such files. They play nice in Illustrator and Indesign, and then when they are saved as a PDF the output is a really complex PDF which redraws really slowly. Vector graphics being the main culprit in most of the cases I've seen. Every time you do something it prompts another (slow) redraw!
Sometimes there's not much you can do, do these files also rip slowly on output?
 
@kdw75,

From my extensive experience with Acrobat, especially under Windows, I doubt that the slowness you are experiencing has anything to do with your hardware configuration. It is certainly well-enough endowed.

Nor do I believe that the problem has anything to do with any Adobe “start-up” service or Google Drive or Dropbox, or Adobe Cloud Sync.

One thing to check on are your Preferences in Acrobat. Access Preferences (Ctrl-K) and select the Security (Enhanced) category. If enabled, disable the Enable Protected Mode at startup option. Likewise, set Protected Mode to Off. Especially when running plug-ins such as Pitstop Pro, the “protected mode” can significantly degrade performance when plug-ins are used or with some other Acrobat functions such as the built-in Preflight or even simple printing.

So … try disabling the protected mode and let us know if that helps at all.

- Dov

PS: We assume that you mean PDF/X-4 as opposed to PDF/X 2008! ;)
The files are supplied as native Indesign files that I export to PDF/X 2008.
 
Dov,

I was going from memory and you are correct on the X-4 format.

I tried your suggestions, but they didn't seem to help with speed. I am attaching a file showing the document space usage. Not sure if that helps.

The redraws are painfully slow. I have a 3060 nVidia GPU. Ripping time isn't too bad, tends to take around a minute or two.
 

Attachments

  • Casino Capture.PNG
    Casino Capture.PNG
    22.1 KB · Views: 192
Can even just be the complexity of such files. They play nice in Illustrator and Indesign, and then when they are saved as a PDF the output is a really complex PDF which redraws really slowly. Vector graphics being the main culprit in most of the cases I've seen. Every time you do something it prompts another (slow) redraw!
Sometimes there's not much you can do, do these files also rip slowly on output?

Generally speaking, although vector graphics can slow down Acrobat (and any other PDF viewer) page rendering, in practice this is generally not the issue unless one is placing exceptionally-detailed and complex content from CAD software such as AutoCAD or even some mapping software.

One thing that can really slow down rendering of complex vector content is if you have enabled the Enhance thin lines as well as the Smooth line art preferences. Try turning them off and see whether rendering performance improves with exceptionally vector-intensive PDF files.

- Dov
 
Dov,

I was going from memory and you are correct on the X-4 format.

I tried your suggestions, but they didn't seem to help with speed. I am attaching a file showing the document space usage. Not sure if that helps.

The redraws are painfully slow. I have a 3060 nVidia GPU. Ripping time isn't too bad, tends to take around a minute or two.

The output of the Audit Space Usage is exceptionally helpful!

What dramatically stands out are the 22 megabytes of “shading information” representing nearly 50% of the file size. This may be indicative of a tremendous amount of use of smooth-shaded gradients in your original source file (or content placed therein), much more than one would normally expect to see in any graphic arts content.

Quite frankly, if you could post such a file, I could examine it and try to ascertain exactly where the issue is coming from (i.e., what objects are triggering this).

- Dov
 
Refining in Prinergy greatly simplified complex PDF Vector Map files for me.
Those where geographic maps files that were created in Freehand, converted and modified repeatedly in Illustrator with final, minor corrections with Pitstop.
YMMV
 
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I got so caught up in the Dov magic I am just assuming the basic tricks have been tried? I understand how complex vector graphics like intricate patterns with thousands of points can gag things up but I've also gone through placed images and rounded off the scaling and rotation of those down from the 10th (or more) decimal point to make the maths easier, as well as resampling images in Photoshop that are huge and placed small or multiple times on top of themselves. Just a thought.
 
Dov,

I greatly appreciate your willingness to take a look at the file. Our client is obsessively concerned with security, but they approved my sharing it with someone for troubleshooting purposes. I private messaged you a Dropbox link.

This is a variable data mailing that has tens of thousands of recipients, so I will use FusionPro to do all of the variable data layouts. For proofing, I have to put together random samples and send a couple of dozen over to them, meaning scrolling through a few dozen of these and rearranging pages.
 
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Wouldn't mind a look as well if possilbe, we are just about to release a new tool for optimizing VDP files before we impose them.
It would be nice to kick the tyres with this, but I understand the security aspect if it's not possible.
 
Pretty interesting. I ran an Acrobat/Callas inventory on this SINGLE PAGE file.
Resulting report was 12,000 pages long!!

8826 XObjects
3427 Smooth Shades
2 Patterns
149 Images
35 fonts

And Wireframe view shows where those shadings and vectors are used!

Can try a few tricks rasterizing the vectors and blends, but that's going to take a while.

Screenshot 2023-04-21 at 08.50.08.png
 
That's some sweet action. That's like dumping a box of pasta on the floor and saying you "designed" the resulting mess. 35 fonts on one page...really?
 
This was designed by an ad agency used for several of their properties in this area based on the East Coast. They are a pleasure to deal with and always very punctual in getting us art, but I have long felt that their files were overly complex.
 

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