Have you ever made a PDF file and wanted to email it but it was just too big and took forever? Or maybe you just wanted to store files on a flash drive but your PDF files were taking too much space. Whatever the reason may be at one point in time you’ve probably wanted to reduce a PDF file to a smaller size.

Even though Adobe and other PDF file editing programs automatically compress PDF files when saved, it may still be too big at times and this will make it hard for you to upload to your website or email, especially when it comes to long documents. There are many methods outlined to help you reduce PDF size, and it is up to you to choose what is most convenient for you.

Adobe Acrobat Size Reduction Feature

One of the simplest and most available method to reduce PDF size would probably be to use Adobe Acrobats built in size reduction feature. To do this you must launch Adobe Acrobat and from the file menu safe the file as a “Reduced Size PDF” through the Save As option.

Adobe Acrobat PDF Optimizer

To get into more detail and have more control over PDF file size reduction, the PDF Optimizer tool is a great way to reduce PDF size. The PDF optimizer lets you adjust your settings and tune it to the option you want. You can remove embedded fonts, compress images, and remove unwanted items.


PrimoPDF is a PDF application that lets you print to PDF files straight through your browser. When you print any file or picture it gives you the option to save the file as a PDF file. To decrease PDF size using PrimoPDF just open the PDF file you wish to reduce through any PDF reader, then through the print menu select PrimoPDF as your printer. After you have done this select the “custom” option and change the down-sampling and save.

Windows Compression Method

One of the simplest ways to reduce any file size is to compress it into a zip file which will reduce the file size by a substantial amount. Compression works especially well with a PDF file and it is very easy to reduce PDF files to a smaller PDF size. Just locate the file, right click on the desired PDF file and select “send to” and “Compresses folder”. This will convert the PDF file into a ZIP file instead of a PDF file, which can later be unzipped and made viewable in its original format.

For MAC users

For those who have MAC and want to use a built in program to reduce PDF file size, a simple and efficient method is to launch preview and select the file you wish to reduce from the Open menu. Select “export”  and then set the export options. In order to reduce the size you must Click the “Quarts Filter” menu and choose “Reduce File Size”. This will save your file as a smaller file. Almost as much as half the file size will be reduced.


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