How can I open an oversize PDF? (35m x 20m)

Client has supplied a PDF that is 35m x 20m. I suspect it comes from a map making programme.

Adobe Acrobat size limit is 5m x 5m. This means I can only view a small portion of the file. I just need to open it so I can shrink it. Dropping the PDF into an Indesign doc places a 4.9m x 4.9m blank box into my doc.


I didn’t realize there was a size limitation in Acrobat. Have you tried opening from Photoshop (at a fraction of the size) or Illustrator?

Try making an image box in Indesign that is 1:10 of the PDF file (35mx20m = 3.5m x 2m
Place the PDF file in the box. It should place with the upper left corner of the image in the upper left corner of the box. Using the white arrow, select the image and set the scale corner selector at the upper left dot. Then tell the image to be 10% (be sure to check the aspect ratio link is on.)
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
I’d try that first before trying to use the Fitting commands.
It may be that Adobe won’t even read an oversized PDF.
Sometimes in those map programs an .eps or a .svg might be available as an export option, along with a scaling factor. You might try requesting that if the image box in Indesign thing doesn’t work.
Something that large is going to choke Illustrator though.

Opening the file in Photoshop (at a reduced 10000 x 10000 pixels) gives me a blank white box.

That sounded hopeful @PrintDriver! But it placed a blank white square at 10%. Tried exporting a JPG of this just to see if it was a preview issue but didn’t work.

I’ve requested a <5m from the client. Fingers crossed.

Did you wait a bit (like a cup of coffee’s worth of time) for the image to populate? If it’s an intense vector image, you are gonna need a bit of ram time for the image to render.
It may just be too much though.
Smaller image is probably the best option.

Hmm…I didn’t wait that long, once the rainbow beach ball disappeared it was a blank image (which I exported as another blank image) but I’ve just tried it again. I will just leave it for a while in the background to see if anything pops up.

Lol. I left it a couple of hours (kinda forgot about it, went out and had lunch) but didn’t load.

I would use Corel draw, it has a 45x45 workspace. You can download a free trial version of you don’t have it already.

You can view a small portion in Acrobat? Does this means it opens in Acrobat? If so try exporting from Acrobat as a jpeg or whatever. You may get the whole file not just what you can see.

If that doesn’t work, try the Chrome browser thing - drag n drop your PDF onto a new browser page and zoom out (Cmd - ). If this lets you see the whole thing then you can take a screenie.

You didn’t say what quality you need, or if you need to edit this or print it, so I’m assuming the lower quality produced by these methods will not be a problem.

Schmick has the key here.
CorelDraw has a 150’ x 150’ artboard.
Its PDF function is not 100% Adobe’s.
There are reasons printers hate Corel.
This would be one of them.

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Thanks Schmick, this is a great idea. I downloaded CorelDraw but it wouldn’t run on my Mac. Could only find a trial for Windows, so now I’m getting some with Windows to download it. Fingers crossed!

I can open it in full in Chrome browser. I still needed it print res though. Not 35m wide, but still a few m wide.

Success! Thanks Schmick for the CorelDraw suggestion. Phew!

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Glad to hear it worked out for you mate :slight_smile:

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