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If you need to compress PDF files, you can get a headache with the available choices. In addition, it’s hard to say if you’re doing it right or if the quality of the PDF file will be affected by the shrink.
This article will show you how to compress a PDF file properly and what to look for if you want to reduce the file size of a PDF file.
Reduce PDF file size on Mac
One by one, shrinking a PDF file on your Mac shouldn’t hurt the document, and it shouldn’t take long. If you need to shrink PDF files and take longer than a few seconds (for most files), that’s a problem.
Compression may corrupt the file, which could have devastating effects.
It’s best to find a reliable app that compresses PDF file sizes without harming the document. One of the best options is PDF Squeezer for Mac. The app can reduce the size of PDF files by up to 90 percent. It also has an option to limit the image quality of a PDF file. Thus, you can specifically reduce the quality of an image to reduce the file size during compression. This is handy if you have, for example, a text document that doesn’t have to be pixel-accurate.
You can also choose the final resolution of a PDF file, convert its color profile, remove annotations, choose a sample rate, and convert the file to a bitmap if desired. PDF Squeezer has a lot of fine-tuning that you can make to find the sweet spot for a reduced PDF file that retains as much (or as little) quality as you want.
1. Reduce PDF file size on Mac using MAC App
A handy feature of PDF Squeezer is the check for reduced files. If you’re trying to reduce a file below a certain threshold — say, the final file size should be 80 percent smaller but has only been reduced to 40 percent of the original size — the app allows you to cancel compression and start over. At this point, you could, for example, fine-tune the image quality of the file to reduce the final size further.
For those who need a powerful, free PDF compressor, PDF Squeezer also offers a batch reduction of PDFs. The app can record multiple files, shrink them individually, and give you the same granular fine-tuning options!
With PDF Squeezer, you can even compress entire folders and subfolders full of PDFs. It is the most powerful app we’ve found to reduce the file size of a PDF file.
Your Mac also has a built-in way to shrink PDF files. The Preview app provides a straightforward way to compress PDFs. We’ll show you how to do it.
2. The Most Popular Way: Shrink PDFs with Adobe (Paid)
If you’re wondering how to shrink a PDF file using the most popular method, Adobe Acrobat is the answer. It is by far the leading name for PDFs, including for reducing file sizes.
However, there are good reasons why we don’t recommend the tool. Adobe Acrobat is very expensive. If you want to reduce the size of the PDF files, there is no reason to use Adobe Acrobat. It’s also a cumbersome process. To reduce the file size of a PDF using Adobe Acrobat:
- From the Adobe Acrobat Pro menu bar, choose File.
- Select Open.
- Select the file you want to open.
- Select File from the menu bar of this document.
- Select Save As Others.
- Select Reduced Size PDF.
- In the pop-up window, in the “Make compatible with” selection, select “Keep existing”.
- Choose a location to save the file.
- Click Save.
3. Compress PDFs online (Free)
There are many, many ways to reduce a PDF file online. One of the better options is SmallPDF. It’s a pretty straightforward, free process – but there are drawbacks.
To download a file, you need to upload it to SmallPDF’s servers. In this way, the program can compress the file; there is simply no way to compress a file remotely. So if you don’t feel comfortable with your file being on a foreign server, don’t use an online service. They all work similarly.
SmallPDF.com says that your file will only remain on the server for an hour. That seems like a way to keep the file handy in case you should retrieve it later for some reason.
You’ll also need to download your compressed PDF file from the server, which means you’re reliant on an internet connection. Even if the download is not large, you may not be able to download the file if your connection is not good.
Tips for compressing PDF files
If you keep a few things in mind when compressing PDF files, you can save a lot of time:
- Delete everything unnecessary. If your file doesn’t necessarily need the images or graphics you’ve inserted, eliminating those images or graphics can really help you shrink a PDF file. Images and other visual materials take up a lot of storage space.
- Remove superfluous pages. Consider why you are exporting the file. If someone is to read through a white paper, they may not necessarily need to look at the three pages of positive customer feedback at the end of the document. Consider which pages you can remove.
- Create multiple files. If you want someone on the team to view a specific part of your PDF file, you can create a separate PDF file with only the content you need and send it to that person. That’s exactly what batch reduction was made for!
- First, try exporting to other formats. Sometimes it works best to open a file in Word and then save it as a PDF – and then work with PDF file compression.
There are several reasons why you need to shrink a PDF file. One of the more common reasons is that you want to send them as a mail attachment. Email services can be compassionate when it comes to how large an attachment can be, so it’s beneficial to reduce the size of a PDF file.
You may also need to save space on your computer. If your “documents” storage should ever become excessively full, reducing the file size can help.
Regardless of your specific reasons, we recommend PDF Squeezer. The app is fast, easy to use, and has a robust feature set suitable for all users. It’s the best PDF downsizing app we’ve ever used.