How to Compress a PDF and Make it Smaller

How to Compress a PDF and Make it Smaller

A Portable Document Format (PDF) is an ideal and secure format for sharing, editing, and uploading files invented by Adobe. The main advantage of using PDF files is that they are supported or accessible via most software and hardware platforms. Like any other document, PDF files increase in size when you add graphics and images, which increases the lagging time and buffering when sharing or uploading them. 

However, this does not mean you have to delete any of your content; the solution to large PDF files is in compressing them. Various free and paid software tools allow you to compress your PDF files while retaining their high quality. Such software includes CocoDoc, Adobe Acrobat, PDF2GO, PDF Compressor, and Preview. 

Part 1: How to Compress a PDF Online for Free?

With the help of free software like CocoDoc, you can easily compress PDF files with sizes ranging from just a few MBs to GBs for free. CocoDoc’s uses advanced algorithms to compress a PDF in a few seconds while maintaining the quality of images.

Through its intelligent features, CocoDoc allows you to perform many functions including file editing, signing official documents, merging and compressing files. Moreover, this open-source application allows you to convert PDF documents into different formats such as PPT, JPG, Excel, and Word. 

1.1 Step-by-Step Guide of How to Compress a PDF with CocoDoc

CocoDoc efficiently allows you to compress and edit PDF documents online using any browser, following few simple steps:

  1. Open CocoDoc on your browser and upload the file you want to compress from the computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive, direct URLs, or drag and drop into the software.
  2. Use all editing functions available in CocoDoc to make all necessary changes to your PDF file.
  3. Click Compress to shrink the file.
  4. Save the file once you are done editing and compressing 
  5. Click Download to save the file to your computer. 

Click Here and Edit Your Documents Quickly>>>

1.2 Important Features of CocoDoc used in Editing and Compressing Files

CocoDoc has important features that quickly allow you to mark, track, resize and edit PDF files to your specifications. Explore vast opportunities to make the most of your work and creativity with the CocoDoc editing tool. Some of the beneficial features of CocoDoc include:

  • Merge and Compress Feature

This incredible feature allows users to organize and combine PDF files into a single folder and resize them according to their needs. The merge and compress feature enables you to combine and organize your files with ease without installing other software.

  • PDF Converter

This feature enables users to change PDF files into other desired formats like PPT, Word, JPEG, PNG, and Excel. The PDF converter feature provides work flexibility by allowing your files to be accessible in multiple formats. 

  • Create Form and eSign

CocoDoc software enables you to create a new form in any format you desire and allows the signing of documents using an e-device. This feature has liberated businesses and boosted the predominance of remote working where you share the PDF file to get it signed without physical interactions. 

  • PDF Editor

Users can edit PDF text, copy and paste different texts and also replace texts through the PDF Editor feature. The editor allows you to make changes in the textboxes and transform your content the way you want.

Check CocoDoc Review to Get More Information>>

Part 2: How to Compress a PDF File with Adobe Acrobat

Adobe, PDF inventors deemed it necessary to design their software known as Adobe Acrobat for designing, managing, compressing, converting, and editing PDF documents. 

2.1 Steps for Compressing PDF with Adobe Acrobat

  • Run the program, and select “Open File” to choose the PDF file you wish to compress from your device or drag and drop.
  • Confirm compression needs or settings- go to ‘file’> ‘Optimize PDF’ to see the optimized size and quality. Then click save to begin compressing
  • Adobe Acrobat automatically compresses the file 
  • Download the compressed file to your computer

2.2 Pros of Adobe Acrobat 

  • Easily allows merging and conversion of the file into different formats 
  • Quick access to smart documents that can be modified shared and signed for official purposes. 
  • Easy comparison of different documents 
  • Adobe Acrobat provides document protection and privacy 

2.3 Cons of Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is not free and is perhaps one of the most expensive PDF compressors, offering high-quality service. Users can purchase the standard version for Windows, or the Pro version for both macOS and Windows. Adobe Acrobat has many optimization tools used to control file size and quality after compression.

Part 3: How to Reduce PDF File Size with Preview?

Preview is an inbuilt software program available on macOS often used for document and image viewing. Preview offers document reduction with only one size option, which is good enough when working with simple documents. Target users of Preview are definitely MacOS users. 

Steps to Reduce PDF size on Preview

1.) Run the Preview app and choose the PDF file to compress from your device

2.) From the menu bar click ‘file’ > ‘Export’

3.) From the ‘Export’ menu add a new file name on the option “Export as” or leave the existing file to be overwritten. And choose to save location

4.) From the ‘Quartz Filter’ select the option ‘Reduce file size’

5.) Clicks save to begin compression

6.) Preview with automatically save the compressed PDF version to the selected location

Tap here and Reduce Your PDF Size Online for Free

Part 4: How to make a PDF Smaller with PDF Compressor?

PDF Compressor is open-source software that facilitates easy online compression of PDF files. It is a free web application accessible or targeted to all users of either Mac or Windows. The feature of the PDF Compressor allows you to:

  • Upload up to 20 files simultaneously
  • Share or publish PDF files to the web pages or social networks. 
  • Convert PDF to DOC, Text, PNG, JPG, SVG, and DOCX. 
  • Allow users to combine or merge  PDF files

Steps to Reduce Size of PDF with PDF Compressor 

1.) Select the PDF file you want to compress from your computer or drag and drop 

2.) The file will be compressed and saved on the ZIP archive

3.) Download file from the zip archive to your computer

Part 5: How to Reduce the Size of a PDF with PDF2GO?

PDF2GO is a convenient PDF compressor that offers convenience and ease of resizing your files using Mac, Windows, or your smartphone. Its features allow you to edit, convert, split, rotate, protect and sort your files. The disadvantage of PDF2GO is that one has to pay for a premium package to access more features. 

Steps to Compress PDF File on PDF2GO

  • Upload your PDF file from the cloud, hard drive or drag and drop file 
  • Select the compression method you want (basic, strong, preset).
  • Turn PDF images into grayscale to further compress the PDF (optional)
  • Click “Start” to compress  
  • Download the compressed PDF file


If you are struggling to share your PDF files or upload them to the web because of their big size, you should consider PDF compressor software to help solve the problem. There are efficient free and paid compressions tips that help you edit and resize your files online. 

The list highlights the qualities, attributes and steps used followed in each compression software. Evaluate the compression software highlighted and select the most suitable for your needs and device. These compression sites have vast features that provide a one-stop option to fix all your editing needs.

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