The size of PDFs often exceeds the requirement, and many tools are available to optimize PDF file size. This article shows you how to lower the size of a PDF with four popular options – HiPDF, DocuPub, Preview, and Adobe Acrobat. Plus, it recommends a better alternative — Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor, which is available on macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android.
In this article
How To Check the Size of Your PDF File
To check the size of the PDF, you can hover your mouse over the file and right-click on it. In the drop-down menu, click Properties. Then, the size of your document will show in the Size section in the window.
Lower PDF File Size on Windows
For professional needs on Windows, you can download Adobe Acrobat or PDFelement.
Adobe Acrobat Alternative Friendly for Beginners - PDFelement
You must pay for the compression function on Adobe Acrobat, and you still need time to learn how to use it. To reduce the file size for free with no effort, you can try PDFelement. It supports multiple systems, including macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Here is the step-by-step guide to compress your PDF on Windows.
Step 1 After downloading and launching the file, you can click Open PDF on the home page. Then, select the file you want to process.
Step 2 Click Tools>Compress to start a new task on the top toolbar.
Step 3 The Compress PDF window will show on the interface. You can choose the compression level from High, Medium, and Low. Then click Apply, and the file will be compressed.
Step 4 When exporting the file, click the Save icon in the upper left corner. Select where to save and then click Save.
Adobe Acrobat is a professional application for processing PDFs. However, if you want to compress files with Adobe Acrobat DC or Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, you must upgrade your account to a paid version after your free trial expires.
The maximum of files Adobe Acrobat can compress is 2 GB. Here are steps to reduce the size with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC if you have access.
Step 1 Open the file via Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Then, on the top Tool Bar, you can choose Reduce File Size or Optimize Scanned Pages to lower the size. The former is more direct but with fewer customized options. It is recommended to use the latter one.
Tip: You can also use function choices by choosing the optimization icon in the tool menu on the right side of the interface.
Step 2 Adjust the downsampling method, resolution, compression, and quality in the window that appears on the screen. It also allows you to add more customized settings. When completing the settings, click OK. Then, the compression will be processed automatically. Save the file when the output is done.
Change PDF File Size Free Online
Several tools offer online services to change PDF file size. HiPDF and DocuPub are among these, providing free optimization functions on the website.
HiPDF is a free online tool for editing PDFs. You even don’t need to log in. Its functional designs and intuitive interface allow you to convert, crop, and rotate files and apply OCR easily and quickly. The free version of HiPDF supports every single file within 100 pages. Here is how to compress your PDF on HiPDF:
Step 1 Go to the HiPDF home page first and click Compress PDF. As prompts, click Choose File and select a local file you need to reduce the size. Alternatively, you can drag or drop your needed file directly to the page.
Step 2 After uploading the file, you can choose the level of compression. HiPDF offers you three options: High, Medium, and Low. Choosing a higher option mean sa smaller file size.
Step 3 To ensure the security of the document, HiPDF asks you to do the verification. Click Copy verification code first on the right side, then click Copy code then click here on the left.
Step 4 The exclusive link will lead you to a new page. You need to paste or enter the verification code into the boxes. After that, the file will be downloaded automatically.
The free online DocuPub allows everyone to compress PDF files with it. The advantages of it are that it can set the compatible options, and it offers many professional customized settings to adjust. However, the upload limit is 24MB, and the interface is not intuitive enough. Check the steps below to see how to reduce the size of the PDF with DocuPub.
Step 1 Open the page and change the settings
After entering the DocuPub website, click Compress PDF on the top menu bar. Then, you can adjust the settings of processing as you want. You can quickly set the adjustments with Presets, including Low compression, Medium compression, High compression, and Maximum compression. Also, you can change which version of Acrobat you want the file to be compatible with.
Tip: You can make more detailed changes with Image Settings, Discard Objects, and Misc. Settings.
Step 2 Click Choose File and upload one locally stored file. Then, click Upload & Compress.
Step 3 The website automatically enters the page with the processed file. Click on the name of your file to open it. If you are satisfied with the change, you can save it wherever you want.
Change PDF File Size on Mac
However, as an online tool, you must connect to the Internet, and the functions are less compared with a desktop application. For online uses on MacBook, you can use Preview already in the computer system or download Wondershare PDFelement.
Compared with Preview, other PDF editors offer more functional settings. PDFelement is a better alternative, as it meets all needs of PDF adjustments. It’s offline software, but it also has accessibility to the Internet. In terms of compression, you can complete the task in only three steps without any fee. Follow the steps below to compress PDF with PDFelement on Mac.
Step 1 After downloading the PDFelement from the official website for free, launch the application on your desktop. On the home page, click Compress PDF and select your needed document.
Step 2 PDFelement provides five options, from High to Low. When you choose one choice, you can check the Final size and how much size to reduce. The lower option you select, the more size will be reduced.
Step 3 When you confirm all changes, click Save As. Then, change where to save the file in the Save window. Also, you can click Share to share the file directly with your friends or colleagues.
Preview is a built-in application on Mac, and you can use it to do basic processing without any payment. It is easy to access, with no need to download any other applications. However, as a tool only for simple uses, its functions are limited, and you may need to look for more professional choices.
There is no limit to the file size you can compress with Preview, but it also doesn’t offer you any options but a default one when you want to reduce the size. The steps below are a detailed guide for reducing PDF file size.
Step 1 Launch the Preview first and open the file you need from the list.
Step 2 On the top of the screen, click File>Export…, then adjust the settings.
Step 3 After confirming the file’s name and where to save it, you need to change the Format to PDF. Then, click the drop list of Quality Filter, and select Reduce File Size. Next, click Save.
Change PDF Size on iOS/Android With PDFelement
One of the appealing benefits of PDFelement is that the software supports all devices. Besides PC, you can use them offline on phones, on both iOS and Android. Also, if you update your files in PDFelement cloud space, you can edit your documents simultaneously on both computers and phones.
The following is a guide on how to lower PDF size with PDFelement on iOS.
Step 1 If you use PDFelement for the first time and don’t have this application, download it from the application store. After opening the app, tap the + button on your screen. Then, import your file from Files, Photos, or other Folders. Alternatively, you can scan one document.
Step 2 Tap the More icon in the upper right corner and select Reduce File Size.
Step 3 In the window shown automatically, choose the PDF Quality you want to process. There are five options, ranging from Max to Lowest. If you want the smallest size but with the lowest quality, tap Lowest.
Step 4 Change the document’s name and select where to save it. When you are happy with the adjustments, tap Save.
Tip: By default, there are three folders on the iOS version you can save files: PDFelement-iCloud, Convert, and Downloads. After you save it, these files will also be saved in Recents, which allows you to do more edits next time without worrying about its loss.
Why Need to Change PDF File Size
The compression of PDFs is inevitable on many occasions. Common cases include:
Meet file or server requirements: For some Internet servers, there is a limit to the maximum of files you upload. Also, it’s a commonplace that some admissions or departments in the workplace only accept files within a limited size.
Save the space: You are likely to have many documents if you are an expert in the photography, image, and text editing industries. Your computer may remind you of the lack of storage from time to time. In such cases, you need to compress the size of files to release some space for more content. Plus, it’s a good method to archive your documents.
Improve transmission speed: The larger your file is, the more time you will transfer it. In particular, if there is no high-speed internet, you need to reduce the file size before sending it to others. This way, you can avoid transmission interruptions and increase work efficiency.
How To Avoid Large-Size PDF Files
To save the size of the PDF initially, you can follow some tips below to avoid an oversized file.
Avoid scanning PDFs. Scanned PDFs are often large, as the dots per inch (DPI) for a PDF is 72, while most scanned documents are at 300 DPI.
Reduce the size as you save it in Word. You can save your file in the format of DOC to save storage after editing.
Instead of converting files into PDFs, you can apply the print function to save the file as a PDF.
Various fonts, images, and colors will increase the size of the document. Try to use a simpler format to reduce the size.
Other Things You Can Do With the PDF File Using PDFelement
Apart from compression, PDFelement offers as many PDF editing tools as you need. The popular features include:
OCR PDF to extract editable texts
Convert PDF into Word, Excel, or image
Batch PDF to process multiple files
Edit PDfs and make notes
Add e-signature or digital signature
Encrypt with password
Merge and split the PDF
Online tools are easy and quick to use but not stable. On the contrary, a desktop is an ideal way to process all needs of editing PDFs. PDFelement allows you to compress PDF and enhance PDF’s security, aesthetic, and efficiency and is free to download. Download PDFelement and enjoy an exhilarating experience from now!