Pages and iCloud: File Size Issues

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by paulbee, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. paulbee, Sep 22, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012

    paulbee macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2011
    I'm seeing horrific file size bloat in my Pages files stored on iCloud, and I think syncing with Pages for iOS is to blame. Pages docs that I work on with both devices end up around 5.5 MB, which seems ridiculously large for simple text-only documents of one or two pages. I've searched about this issue and can't find anyone else who's having it (but searching for "Pages" is hard because it's such a generic term); I'd welcome any insight anyone could offer. I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in the iOS forum; I finally chose this because I didn't know which iOS Apps forum to pick, and because the desktop app seems to be where the problem is actually manifesting itself. For testing I used Pages '09 4.2 (1008) on Mountain Lion 10.8.2, and Pages for iOS 1.6.2 on iOS 6.0 on the iPad -- although the problem was occurring on earlier versions of Mountain Lion and on iOS 5 as well.

    Basically, the deal is this: a file only used on Mac Pages has a minimum file size of ~50 KB; a file that's created or edited on Pages for iOS has a minimum file size of ~300 KB; a file that has been created or edited on Pages for iOS and is subsequently edited on Pages for Mac jumps to a file size of about 5.5 MB, which it will keep forever. This seems to be because something about editing an iOS Pages doc in Mac Pages is filling the package with needless image files. I'll give some more details about what I've found below, in case they help anyone.

    I created a test file in Mac Pages with a small amount of text in it. It was 43 KB. Then I opened it up on my iPad, with the iCloud dialogue open on my Mac so I could watch the file size. Immediately it jumped to 336 KB. I made an edit on my iPad and closed the document; it stayed roughly the same size.

    Then I opened the document in Mac Pages again, made another edit, and saved again. I went back to the open dialogue, and lo and behold, this file (which contained 10 words and which I had not formatted at all) was 5.4 MB.

    I dragged this file (and some other files I created for testing purposes) out of Pages to try to figure out what's up. When you look at the package contents, the >5 MB files contain a bunch of image files. Most of them are .jpg files starting with the term storyboard; the first file name is storyboard_paper_blue_flat-Layer0Image.jpg. There's also a file called tile-noise-whiteblack_v2.png. The jpg files are 300-500 KB a piece, and there are twelve of them, which accounts for almost the whole size of the (rather large now) package.

    The smaller increase in size that happens after I open the file on the iPad for the first time is harder to account for, because the iPad open dialogue doesn't show the same file size I see when I drag it to my desktop. After opening the file on my iPad, as I mentioned, the file size in the open dialogue jumped to 336 KB, but when I dragged the file to the desktop its size showed as just 53 KB. After I made a small edit on the iPad, the size in the iCloud dialogue stayed the same, but when I dragged to the desktop it showed 111 KB. The 111 KB file no longer showed up as a package, just an openable file. I'm guessing all this has to do with the format differences between desktop and iOS pages, and I can live with it.

    But >5 MB per file is a problem for all kinds of reasons -- mobile data use, storage space on my iPad, storage space in iCloud. None of the images that get added to bloat the Pages file are used, so they're totally wasted space. I know there are issues in working with Pages on the two platforms, but I'd think not filling my files with useless image files would be easy enough achieve.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts anyone has on this problem.
  2. Cinematographer macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2005
    far away
    I run into the same problem. It was the main reason I skipped Pages alltogether and decided to work with MS Word and SkyDrive instead of Pages and iCloud.

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