If you work with PDF files, you know how they can get very large very quickly if they contain graphics and images. Fortunately, you can compress PDFs just like any other file type, which can mean significant savings in the size of your PDF.
In this post I will try to show you several ways to reduce the size of a PDF file. If you have Adobe Acrobat (which is not free), you can try methods 4 and 5, which actually work. There is also a way to reduce PDF file size specifically in Mac OS X, this is method 3.
Method 1 – SmallPDF.com
The easiest way to shrink your PDF is to use the free online tool SmallPDF.com The site is very clean (no spam, etc.) and does a pretty good job of reducing the size of large PDFs.
The nice thing is that you can use it anywhere and on any operating system, and it even supports the new drag and drop functionality in HTML 5, which is great. He was able to take a 500KB file and shrink it down to about 368KB. However, it’s nice that on Mac (Method 2) I was able to reduce the size of the same PDF to 82KB.
Another online tool that I use to compress PDF files is Neevia Compress PDF It has many options and some presets like high compression, low image quality or low compression, high image quality, etc.
In addition, you can remove bookmarks, remove PDF layers, remove annotations, remove page labels, and manually adjust the quality for color and monochrome compression.
Method two – PDF compressor
PDF Compressor is a free downloadable program for Windows XP / Vista / 7/8 that allows you to quickly and efficiently reduce the size of one or more PDF files.
It supports lossless compression, so you shouldn’t see any degradation in PDF quality. It also supports encrypted PDF documents and can handle batches of hundreds or even thousands of PDFs at the same time.
Method 3 – OS X PDF Filter
If you have a Mac, there is a great and easy way to significantly reduce the size of a PDF file using the built-in preview application. First, open the PDF in Preview mode by simply double-clicking it in Finder. By default, PDF files open in Preview mode unless you have installed Adobe Reader or a third-party PDF viewer. In this case, just right-click and select “Open With”.
Now click “File” and then “Export”.
You will see a pop-up dialog box that displays one of the options – Quartz Filter at the bottom. Click the drop-down list and select “Reduce File Size”.
Click “Save” and you’re done. With this filter, I was able to get a PDF between 500 and 82 KB in size. If you want to customize it more precisely, you can open the ColorSync utility. Just press Command + Space and start typing color sync. Then click Filters and click Reduce File Size. Note that changing the settings here is only useful if your PDF has a lot of high resolution images.
Here you can remove all values ??from the image sample and enter a value for the resolution. If you only need a PDF for viewing on a computer, 72ppi will drastically reduce the size of your PDF if the images are large. You can also play around with image compression and see what benefits you get.
Method 4 – Print to Adobe PDF
The easiest way to try and compress a PDF file is with a little trick that basically prints the PDF document to a PDF file. Sounds strange? It. Typically, you open a PDF file in Adobe Reader and print it to an Adobe PDF printer.
This works really well in most cases and reduces the size of your PDF significantly. When you go to File – Print, select Adobe PDF from the printer dropdown:
Oddly enough, I was able to reduce the 20MB PDF to 3MB just by using this method Not really sure what it does to shrink it, but it works especially if you have a lot of images taking up a lot of space.
Method 5 – Adobe Acrobat PDF Optimizer
Starting with version 7 of Adobe Acrobat, there is a new option called PDF Optimizer in the advanced menu.
You will now be taken to a screen where you can adjust many parameters!
Click the Audit Space Usage button in the upper right corner for a detailed listing of each component of the PDF file and the exact amount of space used:
As you can see, there are six different ways to reduce the size of a PDF file, including optimizing or reducing the image, re-adjusting scanned pages, adjusting fonts, adjusting transparency, deleting objects, and cleaning the PDF file. P>
For example, in the Images section, you can reduce the resolution and compress images to save space. This is really useful, especially if your images are really high resolution. If the PDF does not need to be printed, you can reduce the quality and pixels per inch. It only needs 72 pixels to be viewed on screen.
If you’ve scanned a bunch of pages into your PDF, click on the Scanned Pages option and fiddle with the slider that changes the size from small to high quality. Adjust if necessary.
Discard Objects and Discard User Data are two really useful options for cleaning up PDF files. You can practically get rid of all the unnecessary junk that is usually stored in every PDF file. You can remove tags, flatten form fields, etc.
For Discard User Data, you can get rid of comments, document information, metadata, object data, file attachments, data from other applications, etc.
Finally, the Cleanup tab does a few more housekeeping tasks such as compressing the entire file and optimizing the PDF for fast web browsing.
It’s best to experiment with all the settings to see what works best for your particular PDF file. Hopefully, one of the five methods above will reduce the size of your PDF, which you can attach to an email or publish to a website. If you are using a different method not mentioned above to compress PDF files, please let us know in the comments. Enjoy!