Why are pages files so large?

jwolf6589

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
1,559
216
Colorado
I typed out a letter of only 1 page and saved and the file is 713KB! MS Word files of 1 page are like 113KB for the .docx format. Why are pages files so large? I remember in the old days of 3.5 inch floppy disks. I would use ClarisWorks or MacWrite and fit a ton of files on a floppy disk. No reason why pages files have to be so large.
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 65816
Apr 27, 2003
1,408
771
Arizona
Depends on several factors, such as fonts you use, formatting, compatibility settings, etc.

I created a Pages file with a full page of solid text and saved it in several ways. The size differences were amazing.

Standard Pages doc using Helvetica Neue font: 909KB
Standard Pages doc using Arial font: 907KB
Standard Pages doc using Times font: 873KB
Exporting as a .docX file: 9KB
Exporting as a .rtf file: 4.3KB
Exporing as a plain .txt file: 3.9KB

The reason(s) are simple. Pages saves a fully formatted-aware document... even if you haven't formatted it. It saves the page layout metadata, preview images and more.

Here is a screenshot of the Helvetica Neue file I used. Pages documents are actually package files that you can open and view.

Since all I did was paste a bunch of text in my file, I have no idea what this "tile_paper_medgray-9.jpg" file is or where it's being used, but it is responsible for 443KB of that 909KB file size.
Screen Shot.png
 

MC6800

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2016
369
123
BTW, if you want to see for yourself (do what MacGizmo did), simply duplicate your .pages file, rename its extension to .zip, and double-click it to unzip.
[doublepost=1508601040][/doublepost](actually MacGizmo used another tool, but either works)

My test .pages file has six "PresetImageFill" images in it, similar to the medgray jpg, but different shades. Looks to me like an intentional waste of space: easily regenerated but uncompressible image files.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,361
8,729
Prescott Valley, AZ
I typed out a letter of only 1 page and saved and the file is 713KB! MS Word files of 1 page are like 113KB for the .docx format. Why are pages files so large? I remember in the old days of 3.5 inch floppy disks. I would use ClarisWorks or MacWrite and fit a ton of files on a floppy disk. No reason why pages files have to be so large.
I believe that the file size is much larger with the latest version of Pages because it needs to contain information for cross platform support. The document is editable in iOS, macOS, and on the cloud via a web browser and supports team collaboration. (none of that is possible with the '09 version)

I created a sample 1 page letter in Pages '09. File size= 74KB That very same letter in new Pages=601KB.
 

jwolf6589

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
1,559
216
Colorado
I believe that the file size is much larger with the latest version of Pages because it needs to contain information for cross platform support. The document is editable in iOS, macOS, and on the cloud via a web browser and supports team collaboration. (none of that is possible with the '09 version)

I created a sample 1 page letter in Pages '09. File size= 74KB That very same letter in new Pages=601KB.
OIC. It is nice to be able to edit on my iPad and iPhone.
 

MC6800

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2016
369
123
I believe that the file size is much larger with the latest version of Pages because it needs to contain information for cross platform support. The document is editable in iOS, macOS, and on the cloud via a web browser and supports team collaboration. (none of that is possible with the '09 version)

I created a sample 1 page letter in Pages '09. File size= 74KB That very same letter in new Pages=601KB.
Except that, at least for small text-only documents, it's hard to see how the largest contributor to the file's size, those jpg files containing nothing but a field of noise, add to cross-platform support.

Maybe they're encoding information as a watermark in the images?
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,361
8,729
Prescott Valley, AZ
Except that, at least for small text-only documents, it's hard to see how the largest contributor to the file's size, those jpg files containing nothing but a field of noise, add to cross-platform support.

Maybe they're encoding information as a watermark in the images?
It’s probable. Just like they rename a .zip file to .pages, it is possible that what appears to be a .jpg file is something else.