How To Reduce PDF File Size

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When it comes to sharing documents, PDF is an ideal format that offers compatibility with multiple operating systems (including Windows, Mac, and Linux). In addition to being nearly universally compatible, PDF files offer an additional layer of security, allowing users to assign passwords to sensitive documents.

One notable downside to PDF files is their size. PDFs can often be bulky, making it difficult to share them via email. Fortunately, there are a number of techniques that you can use to reduce the size of your PDF files.

How To Reduce the Size of a PDF

One way is by using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Open the program, then open the PDF file that you'd like to make smaller. Select Document > Reduce File Size.

PDF File Compression Software

In most cases, a simple compression program, such as WinZip, WinRAR or 7ZIP can help to create lighter versions of your PDF files.

Reduce PDF File Size on Mac

Mac users can compress PDFs using functions available in Preview.

Open your PDF file with the Preview application, and go to File > Export.

Select the Quartz filter, and then, choose Reduce file size. Click Save to complete the file compression.

Compress PDF Files Online

There are many free tools that exist online to help you compress your PDF files.


Smallpdf, a free PDF editing site, allows you to simply reduce the size of your PDF files. The site includes an automatic compression feature that makes the process very quick. You, then, have the option to download your newly compressed file.

Smallpdf simplifies the process of file compression into a two-step process. Head to Smallpdf, and drag and drop your file or select Choose file to upload your PDF:

Next, wait for the compression process to begin automatically, then download the finished file.

PDF Creator

PDF Creator is a software that offers interesting features that can help you easily create PDF files. During installation, PDF Creator creates a virtual printer that allows you to save your documents (Word, Excel, etc.) in PDF format.

Once installed, open your file with Acrobat Reader. Click Print, and choose the PDF Creator virtual printer.

Next, head to Properties > Paper/Quality, and click Advanced.

Select Print quality, and reduce the file's DPI. Upon launching your print job, a new and lighter version of the PDF file will be created.

Image: © Oleksandr Yuhlchek -