ESEF - Size Matters!

The bigger the better right? Well, not necessarily. The bigger your ESEF file is the slower it loads and the harder it is to distribute. When it comes to ESEF reporting, size matters and small is the name of the game!

Creating a financial report in the new European Electronic Format and making sure the final ESEF report isn’t too large can be a real challenge. Luckily, we’re here to help.

In this article we’ll provide you with a number of tips and tricks to keep your ESEF report nice and small. But first, we’ll tell you why you need to keep an eye on those pesky file sizes.

man presenting the annual financial report

ESEF and File Sizes

Just because the ESEF requirement doesn’t include a specific mention of the size of the final ESEF package, you still need to pay attention to the size of your ESEF package.

When investors and key stakeholders need to download or open your financial report in the new format, you want the experience to be as smooth as possible. Larger files will take longer to load, and while ESMA may not care about the size of your ESEF file, many regulators have limits on the size of files you can submit (usually around 100MB).

Making Sure Your ESEF Package Is Nice and Small

If you use an ESEF converter to achieve compliance, you may experience a large increase in file size of several hundred percent after the conversion is complete – and if you use a dedicated report creation software you can end up with the same huge file sizes.

In 99% of the cases we see, large file sizes are caused by graphics and images. Therefore we always recommend that you review the visuals of your report and make sure formatting and image sizes are optimized for digital screens (a dpi of 72, properly cropped and sized for the document and in RGB).

10 Tips for Reducing the Size of Your ESEF Package

While the images are a good place to start, there are a number of ways you can reduce the size of your ESEF package. We’ve compiled a list of tips you can discuss with your designer/design agency to make sure final ESEF file is nice and small.

  1. All images should be correctly cropped displayed in 100% and RGB
  2. Reduce the dpi of images to 72
  3. Don’t overload the report with unnecessary images
  4. Avoid empty paragraphs when working in InDesign
  5. All content needs a style name when working in InDesign
  6. When creating shapes in InDesign, make sure you use optimal points
  7. Review the font embedding in your SVG’s
  8. Remove unused objects before exporting
  9. Delete unused styles before exporting
  10. Delete anything left on paste boards and any extra master pages.


For many companies the PDF has been the chosen format for publishing annual financial reports. Under the ESEF mandate, however, all annual financial reports need to be prepared in XHTML, and when it comes to size, this makes quite a difference.

When a document is exported to PDF, data such as images and shapes will be included in a reduced size, but the same isn’t true for XHTML. Remembering this is important if you use an ESEF converter to convert a PDF version of your annual report to ESEF, as the PDF will be unpacked and then repacked as XHTML, which will result in a larger size.


Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do, to make sure that your ESEF package stays nice and small, even when you use a converter to convert your PDF report to ESEF. The tips given in this article are a great place to start.

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Kim Eriksen

Kim Eriksen

Kim Eriksen is the co-founder and CEO of ParsePort

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