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I Have a Small Background Image – Why Does the Print Process Use That Much Memory?

JPEG or PNG files are often used as a kind of letterhead replacement. In this case a scan of the desired background is inserted into the project to fill the entire page. Even if these background graphics are only a few MB in size, a large increase in memory is evident at the time of printing the project.

The reason is that not all printer drivers can handle the JPEG and/or PNG format. In order to make the output usable on all printers afterwards, such files must therefore be temporarily converted into the bitmap format supported by all drivers for printing. However, unlike JPEG and PNG, this format does not have any compression, so that bitmap files are usually much larger and thus cause a much higher memory consumption at printing time. For a normal sized page on a high-resolution printer, this can quickly reach the process limit for 32-bit processes.

The following workarounds can be used to avoid this problem:

  • Do not use full-page images, but cover only the smallest possible areas,
  • You should reproduce text elements with text objects and not insert them as images - also in terms of output quality,
  • If possible, use a vector-based format for your document, e.g. also a PDF file (if it does not itself consist of scanned pages)
  • The last (not really recommendable) solution is to change the application to 64-bit - but this is only recommended if the use of full page images cannot be avoided.

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