Why is Adobe Acrobat Reader DC so big in size?

Well, the answer is not so simple.

It is equivalent to – if you can live with just food why is your house so big. Because it has an experience and “sets” of “utilities”. Better correlation : Windows OS : 20 GB , Mac OS : 7 GB , Linux : 1 GB. why so?

Someone asked this to me on Quora so sharing here.

First off all you need to know what experience are you looking for. While Adobe invented this, just pdf is not the world today. You might have noticed some PDF viewers breaking things apart when opening a PDF or doesnt print well while Adobe opens its just fine. The appreciation lies in the details. Why did you need pdf if images also showed you the same view and portability. There are a lot more finer details, see below. and broader too.

The DC and Reader versions have different sizes. The pro version even more since it can edit too. It is now not just a reader but a suite in itself. The day you start using it as a offline discussion tool – you will see a difference. When you start using it for business transactions requiring validations of authenticity, you will see the difference.

Finer inclusions.

  1. In the order of increasing sizes — PDF Viewer < PDF Processor < PDF Graphics manager and processor < PDF Graphics manager + embedded flash < with typography engine <…. list gets bigger and bigger when you add projection engine library, a 3D runtime.
  2. You can run forms, digital signatures, annotations and accessibility features.
  3. PDF to word, compliances with broader conversions etc.

Here are more features in DC Pro

Adobe DC Pro features thinkwitty.com

Broad strokes for a software

  1. First of all you should understand that all platforms (OS) have different capabilities on how they handle different things.
    For example, most softwares will be of bigger sizes in Mac than Windows. Reason : As most used OS, Microsoft continued to add some of the required services and capabilities as part of their OS while others did not
  2. Backward compatibility with old OS : Few features that used to be there in older systems may not be needed or low sized implementations in new still needs to be supported. Same reason why Windows or any software size continues to increase over time.
  3. While installing you need more space than the actual installation, msi, dmg, exe contain compressed data which is unusable when compressed. Needs to be opened after installation.
  4. All OS also use “Restore points” i.e. if your OS crashes, it can restore your computer back to where it was at that point. This requires the OS to save the copy of installer or related files. (Some software ask this at the end of installation, whether you want to keep the installer or not).

There is a lot more to it. Readers are welcome to contribute and discuss below.