PZT thin films were prepared by pulsed laser deposition on unheated Ptcoated Si substrates. As deposited, the films were amorphous. Films crystallized at 550 - 600 °C to produce predominantly crystalline ferroelectric PZT. Crystallization of the amorphous material was accompanied by a linear shrinkage of ∼2 %, as manifested in development of cracks in the film. Spacing, width and morphology of larger cracks followed a regular progression with decreasing film thickness. For film thicknesses less than 500 runm, much of the shrinkage was taken up by small, closely-spaced cracks of local extent. Implications for measurement of PZT thin film ferroelectric properties and processing are discussed.