How to Manually Compress a PDF to Reduce File Size

This article explains how to shrink a PDF file using free software and resources manually.

PDF files get too big too rapidly. Thankfully, various programs exist to reduce the size and make it simpler to exchange PDF files online. They’ll save you the next time you exceed the PDF file size restriction. Compressing PDFs may be an excellent alternative if you want to make your files smaller, so they take up less space or speed up the document’s load time.

These steps and tools are all you need if you want to learn how to compress PDFs in Adobe Acrobat.

READ ALSO: Use this extension to edit PDFs in your browser

Web Apps


reduce pdf file size

One of the simplest browser-based ways to compress a PDF is probably FreeConvert. Drag a PDF file or upload it to the browser window, then select Compress Now. You can download the compressed PDF file to your device when it has been compressed. Click “Compress More PDFs” to upload and compress more PDF files. From this point, you can upload using a PC, a mobile device, or previously uploaded files.

Compress PDF

reduce pdf file size

A small but valuable set of editing and conversion tools are provided by Smallpdf, a free online PDF editor. Although it falls short of a professional PDF editor’s capabilities, it offers a quick way to make simple adjustments to documents. You may also edit current PDFs with Smallpdf. One can combine many PDFs into a single document or separate pages from one PDF and save each as a separate PDF.

Additionally, you can rotate, remove, and insert page numbers. Smallpdf can compress a PDF that is too large to send via email without losing its quality.

Windows PDF Apps

Printing to PDF is now an option in Windows 10. Advanced functions, such as adjusting a document’s size and quality, are excluded from this feature. The quality and compression settings available on many PDF printers can significantly affect the size of your PDF files.


We feature FreePDF here as a traditional PDF printer because you can make your own compression settings with it. You’ll see it listed as one of your Windows printers after installation (note that GhostScript is required).

By selecting Profiles from the drop-down menu under Edit Configuration in the upper right, clicking New, and then customizing the parameters in the Profile editor box, you may build a unique PDF profile. You can alter the default resolution for images contained in PDFs, change the general quality of your PDFs, or apply a watermark to your PDFs.

reduce pdf file size

Free PDF Compressor

This piece of software is totally free and very easy to use. Hit Compress after choosing the file you wish to compress, then save the new, smaller file. In addition, depending on how you want to utilize the file, you can select from five degrees of compression:

  • Low resolution (72 dpi), best for viewing on a screen only.
  • For an ebook, medium resolution (150 dpi) is appropriate.
  • Ideal for printing, high quality (300 dpi).
  • Ideal for prepress (300 dpi), with color preservation
  • default, great for many different applications

READ ALSO: 7 best free PDF readers for Windows

Mac PDF Apps

PDF Filter

First, open your PDF in preview. Usually, you can double-click the File, but if you have a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader installed, you’ll want to right-click > Open With > Preview).

reduce pdf file size

Then click File>Export, and in the Quartz Filter drop-down box, select Reduce File Size. This only works with large PDF files. Try doing this with a tiny PDF (less than a few MB), and these could increase in size.

PDF Squeezer

There aren’t many reliable, cost-free PDF compressing programs available for Mac users except for the straightforward procedure described above. For example, downloading a program like PDF Squeezer ($5.99) is your best option if you want to manage the output quality, etc., of your compressed PDFs. This program, which is reasonably priced, gives you the option to select your own ow from a variety of established compression settings.

reduce pdf file size

READ ALSO: How to convert any type of file to any format


What you can do with your PDFs goes much beyond this. You can discover the ideal PDF tool to assist you, from reading the text in photos and checking files for viruses to converting PDFs to other formats and unlocking password-protected PDFs.

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