Exported PDFs are huge


I would like to use MarginNote not only to generate summaries and mindmaps but also to annotate PDFs that I can then import into DevonThink. However, the exported PDFs, even with margin notes and mindmaps removed, are huge, and much larger than the original PDF (e.g. 2.6 MB to >20 MB after annotation). The original PDFs are scientific articles. Trying to use tools to decrease PDF size does not work. Would it be possible for exported PDFs to not be so huge?


I can confirm the issue.
I would like to adopt a workflow like the one described by @jhbarker but that’s not possible as long as exported files are so big (a 6.4 MB pdf resulted in a 116 MB exported file).

I can alse see another problem with exported pdf: MN3 notes aren’t converted to PDF annotations understood by Preview, PDFexpert, and all other PDF viewers. E.g. a portion of highlighted text cannot be selected/deletd/modified with the highlight tool; it’s simply a spot of colored background on the page.


thanks for following up. It would be nice if the export included MN annotations as standard PDF annotations.


I agree. It’s difficult to integrate mn3 to my workflow due to this.


I’m adding a +1 to this. I worked with a PDF in MarginNote and it went from 500k to 15MB.

I really like this app and would love to use it, but the exported file size seems unsustainable.


I totally agree: +1 on this. The notes need to be exported along with the pdf, in a readable, common format (we only get a shadowy image of the note, which is unreadable both in Acrobat and Preview (or Skim or Highlights for that matter). And the size issue should be addressed ASAP.


Another +1 here.



Yep, another plus one. Simply too big.


+1 - for huge size file on pdf export

this shouldn’t be +1; the +1 is for feature request usually. This is a problem, when i have 7 MB pdf… and after export… i get 150 MB :frowning:

also… +1 for standard pdf annotation export ( when i open the exported pdf on an android phone or windows device… i want to be able to modify the pdf annotations with any pdf software )


The annotations are flattened before export. I suspect they are flattened to a high enough resolution to allow that handwriting is somewhat legible at common zoom levels. The white space is likely flattened with any drawing. Hence, a lot of extra bits and bytes get put back in the PDF on export.

In the meantime, when you want annotations to carry forward to other apps, use a different annotation tool. Be aware that even so, inconsistencies exists from one to another. By way of reference, at least MarginNote (iPad) does not kill off annotations when it imports documents from other apps (PDFExpert) as does one of its competitors (LiquidText)l.