What exactly is a file compressor? In the context of PDF files and other file formats, file compression is the process of reducing a file size using various optimization methods. When applied to document workflows, file compressors can greatly reduce file size, thereby making these files easier to share online, archive, and transfer from one device to another.
The answer is to use a file compressor to bring the size down to where it can be sent or uploaded. And how is that done? Of course, you can do it manually by removing excess or unwanted content, but that's a tedious process and not as effective as using a tool for the job.
The right solution is to use an offline or online file compressor so all the hard work is done by the software or web application rather than by you, manually. Here, we look at several ways to compress files online and offline. This includes PDF files, images, and even videos.
Part 1: People Always Ask…
Q1: What is the meaning of File Compressor?
A file compressor is a software application or web service that helps reduce the size of a document or media file while maintaining a certain base quality level for the content itself. In a way, it is like stripping a file of heavy elements or content that's not required in order to bring down the file size to a more manageable level.
Q2: Does file compression reduce quality?
Yes, it does. File compressors are different from archive utilities or a ZIP file compressor. ZIP tools merely store the files in a more memory-friendly format while retaining the quality of the files inside them; in stark contrast, file compression requires modifications that are irreversible, which is why it is highly advisable to work on a copy of your file rather than the original. That way, you're left with a file that has a smaller footprint but the quality will be lower if you compare it with the original. This is useful for many purposes, including web use and online sharing.
Q3: Which is the best PDF compressor?
You can gauge the efficacy of a PDF compressor using two components: compression level and output quality. While some offer high compression with low quality, the best PDF compressor strikes a good balance between the two. As such, the best online PDF compressor is HiPDF, while the best desktop file compressor is PDFelement, which is available for Windows, Mac, and iOS.
Part 2: All-in-one Online File Compressors
Solution 1: Compress2Go File Compressor
Compress2Go is a convenient all-in-one solution that has compression tools for PDF, images, and video files. You can compress files individually or in batches, and each type of file compressor utility resides on its own web page. The platform also offers file archival and ZIP creation, which make it easier to store and send files electronically.
This free file compressor comes with limitations on the number of files and maximum file size that can be uploaded. Anything that's over the limit will require a paid upgrade. There are individual tools for JPG file compressor and PNG file compressor, but there's also a generic image compression page for other image formats such as GIF, BMP, and TIFF files.
File Compression Process Overview
This online utility follows a standard process pattern, as described below. The process might vary by file type but the overall flow is the same for all the tools:
Step 1 Visit the their webpage based on the type of file to be compressed
Step 2 Upload the file to the platform's servers
Step 3 Set the compression parameters as applicable
Step 4 Process the compression using the Start button
Step 5 Download and save the file locally
Solid compression with great output quality
Support for compressing various file types
Offers archival and file packaging solutions
Upgrade to a paid plan for processing large batches or large files
Monthly cost is fairly expensive
Solution 2: Wondershare HiPDF Compressor
Wondershare HiPDF is essentially a PDF file compressor that also offers an array of other PDF tools. In addition, it offers an image compressor module that works with all the popular image formats such as JPG, PNG, BMP, GIF, and TIFF. Once compressed, the files can be saved locally or uploaded to a cloud storage service.
The best part about HiPDF is that it is very user-friendly and responsive. Although there are limitations to using the free version, upgrading to a paid version is very affordable. Moreover, Wondershare has a large portfolio of tools that cover Windows, Mac, and iOS/iPadOS environments and also offers a comprehensive PDF cloud storage solution that comes with a robust bulk electronic signature service.
File Compression Process Overview
Step 1 Upload a PDF or image file to the corresponding HiPDF web page by dropping files into the browser tab
Step 2 Apply the compression settings based on how much size reduction you want
Step 3 Compress the file instantly and download the output or perform further actions to optimize the file
Easy to use
Most affordable file compressor
Fast conversion with excellent web quality even at high compression
Easy to upgrade and access the desktop tools, mobile app, and cloud storage on Wondershare Document Cloud
No batch processing in the free version
Requires high-speed Internet connectivity
Solution 3: WeCompress File Compressor
WeCompress can be used to compress PDF, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, JPEG, PNG & TIFF files online. It doesn't support video compression but it is one of very few tools available to compress MS Office files (e.g. Word file compressor, Excel file compressor, and PPT file compressor), which is very useful when you regularly handle those types of document workflows. The difference between this and most other platforms is that the upload page is unified across all file formats, which means there are no separate pages for PDF compression and image compression. This makes it very user-friendly and easy to use.
File Compression Process Overview
Step 1 Click the + symbol on the WeCompress home page and upload your file
Step 2 The file is automatically compressed after uploading it, after which you need to click on the Download button to save it
A file compressor anywhere and anytime
One URL for all supported file types
No option to control compression settings
No file preview after compression
Part 3: Compress PDFs & Images Offline - PDFelement for Windows
Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor is a robust multi-platform PDF solution with cloud integration that comes with a full range of tools to handle PDF and other document workloads. Operations include PDF creation, editing, annotation, protection, forms management, file conversion, file compression, and file/page organizing, as well as advanced capabilities such as OCR and Batch Process. The user interface is designed for easy navigation, which makes it ideal for first-time users. Experienced users can take advantage of advanced functionality, accurate conversions, multi-lingual OCR, form field recognition, and much more.
Single PDF File Compression
Step 1 Drop your PDF file into the PDFelement interface to open it
Step 2 Click the Tool tab at the top and then the Compress PDF or Optimize PDF option below it in the toolbar
Step 3 Select a compression level in the pop-up window and click Apply
Step 4 Save the compressed file to the desired location once it is displayed on your screen
Batch PDF Compression
Step 1 Launch PDFelement and click the Tool tab
Step 2 Next, click Batch Process in the ribbon toolbar
Step 3 Drop multiple files into the new Compress PDF/Optimize PDF window
Step 4 Set a common compression level for the files, set the destination folder, and click Apply
Step 5 After the compression process is completed, the files will be saved to the designated folder
Step 1 Click the Create PDF option on the PDFelement home page
Step 2 Select one or more images and click Open in the Explorer window
Step 3 Each image will open as a separate PDF in its own tab - now click the Tool tab at the top
Step 4 Click Compress PDF/Optimize PDF in the ribbon toolbar, as shown earlier for Single File Compression
Step 5 After compression, save the PDF as an image using the File → Export to Image option or using the To Image option in the toolbar and click Apply after modifying the settings
One of the biggest reasons that millions of users love PDFelement is that there's a dedicated application for each major platform, including Windows, Mac, and iOS/iPadOS. This cross-terminal functionality is unified by Wondershare Document Cloud, which is integrated into all these versions and allows users to download files from and upload files to Wondershare Cloud. That makes it a highly collaborative feature that brings mobility into the equation. As an example, you can work on a document in Windows, upload it to your cloud account, and then download it on another device running a different OS and continue to edit the file and perform other actions.
File compression is available on all three platforms as well, which makes it easy to work at different locations and across a variety of devices without negatively impacting workflow productivity. Moreover, the cloud functionality further extends the reach of the application to other use cases such as collaborative annotation.
Part 4: What about Video Compression?
Wondershare has you covered here as well, with an excellent video compression tool called UniConverter. Available for Windows and Mac systems as well as online, it is compatible with hundreds of media file formats. As such UniConverter is your last destination for video and audio file compression. Let's look at some of the salient features of this versatile compression tool.
Key Features of UniConverter
1000+ video and audio file formats supported
Accurately estimates output file size
Batch compression option
Import from external memory and mobile devices
Edit, record, merge, and burn videos
Video toolbox for image conversion, GIF creation, media transfers, and more
Single and Batch Video Compression
Step 1 Launch Wondershare UniConverter on your PC
Step 2 Go to the Converter tab (left panel) and drag-and-drop your media files - for batch processing, add more than one file
Step 3 Click the Settings button to change bit rate, resolution, and other attributes and click Save
Step 4 Finally, choose the output folder and click the Start All button
After compression, you can click File Location to open the target folder where the compressed files have been saved.
Part 5: Web-based Solution for Video Compression and More
Wondershare UniConverter is also available as an online solution that requires no installation and is OS-agnostic. All you need is a modern browser on a connected device and you're good to go on Windows, Mac, Linux, ChromeOS, iOS, iPadOS, and Android. The platform offers tools for video compression, video conversion, video editing, audio compression, audio conversion, audio cutting, GIF creation, YouTube video thumbnail creation, and image resizing.
Online Video Compression Process Overview
Step 1 Upload one or more video files to the UniConverter online video compression page with a drag-and-drop action or using the Choose Files button - the free limit is 500MB
Step 2 Confirm the resolution and output format at the bottom, and click the gear icon against each file to change the compression settings
Step 3 Click OK to close the pop-up window and then click Compress to process the files
Step 4 You can now preview each video by clicking the Play icon, download them individually, download as ZIP, or directly save to a cloud storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox
Whatever file compressor you decide to use, make sure it supports multi-platform functionality, offers a good balance between compression level and output quality. It should also be user-friendly, easy to install, and light on resources.