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Top 5 Free PDF Compressor for Mac (Including macOS 11)

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2021-08-31 20:44:47 • Filed to: Choose Right Mac Software • Proven solutions

A free PDF compressor for Mac should be able to do three things: adequately reduce the file size, maintain the key data, attributes, and layout of the content, and produce a clean, uncorrupted output file. And it should be able to do all of this for free. PDF compressor on Mac typically comes packaged with downloadable software like PDFelement or Adobe Acrobat DC, but there are also a number of online PDF compression services for Mac users, such as the ones covered in this article. However, only the best will offer advanced size reduction tools for flattening PDF forms, extracting text or images from PDF files, and other features that can help create lighter files while retaining the integrity of the content.

This is our selection of the top 5 PDF compressor on Mac after carefully reviewing feature-richness, advanced options, ease-of-use, and convenience.

5 of the Best PDF Compressor for Mac

#1: PDFelement for Mac: The Best PDF Compressor Software for Mac

A highly capable PDF editor that offers the best PDF Compressor for Mac, PDFelement leads the race with highly advanced PDF optimization features. It also includes several other features that can help you gain control over increasingly large PDF files. A lot of files have content that doesn't need to be there, and this software can strip away all those extras with tools like the flatten PDF module, the ability to extract images or text from a document, batch removal of Bates Numbering and watermarks, and a lot more.


A clear categorization of PDFelement's features would look something like this:

Features

  • PDF Creation, Editing, Conversion: These three components typically go together in a document workflow - other file types need to be converted to PDF to help maintain their content attributes, such as layout, fonts, etc.; PDFs need to be edited so data, numbers, images, tables, etc. can be changed or updated with new information; and the output is often required in a different file format. This software takes care of all three aspects of PDF management, plus several others listed below.
  • Create, Fill, Sign PDF Forms: Comprehensive forms management tools at your fingertips at all times. PDFelement for Mac offers a range of templates, extensive form fields, full editing, and creating fillable PDF forms by converting them from non-interactive formats. Digital signatures can legally validate documents, which is useful in remote work scenarios.
  • Protect, Optimize, Share PDFs: The first step to sharing information online is protecting it with a password and strong encryption. It can also optimize PDFs to reduce file size, which is essentially the ‘free PDF compressor on Mac' tool this article refers to. Finally, PDF sharing is made easy via cloud integration with top services like OneDrive and Dropbox.
  • Advanced Features: These include batch processing for large queues, form field recognition, optical character recognition, and redaction tools.

Pros

  • Affordable alternative to Adobe Acrobat DC and Pro DC.
  • Full set of document and PDF management features.
  • Clean interface with clear navigation.
  • Tools are all well-organized by function type and are easy to find.
  • Options for Standard and Professional versions.
  • iOS and Android apps available.
  • Best PDF compressor download for Mac.

Cons

  • Needs to be downloaded to your Mac.
best pdf compressor mac


#2: Cisdem PDF Compressor for Mac

Cisdem is a purpose-built PDF compressor for Mac and one of the best in its class. Standard features include preset compression modes and a simple, three-step process to compress PDFs on a Mac. It offers options to remove unwanted elements that make a PDF file heavy, such as metadata and embedded elements that aren't required for the proper visual rendering of content. It also maintains the best possible quality for images, graphs, and other objects, while optimizing the overall file size as much as it can without the output being distorted or garbled.

cisdem pdf compressor

Pros

  • Easy to use - literally no learning curve.
  • Simple steps to follow unless you require custom options.
  • Renders visual content at the best possible quality level.
  • Significantly reduces file size.

Cons

  • No additional PDF functionality.
  • Can be used as a free PDF compressor on Mac for only 3 files; upgrade required after that.

#3: Lightweight PDF

Lightweight PDF is an excellent free PDF compressor on the Mac App Store that you can download to your computer. It does PDF compression and that's about it. As the name suggests, it's a relatively small program compared to a full-fledged PDF editor, but it claims to be able to reduce a PDF's file size by up to 90% in some cases. Being a downloadable application, Lightweight PDF also promises to "Keep your confidential documents offline and private." It's a good utility to have installed on your Mac for emergency purposes, but if you need PDF editing or other features, this can be an enabler.

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Pros

  • High compression ratio.
  • Good quality vs. size balance.
  • User-friendly interface with drag-drop option.

Cons

  • Automatically overwrites the original so it will be lost unless you have a copy.
  • Not compatible with other compressible file types.

#4: PDF Expert

PDF Expert is a third-party Mac PDF editor with all basic functions like reading, editing, annotating, form-filling, and PDF merging. It also has a file size reduction feature that's useful when you want to email PDF documents but the files are too big to go as attachments. It also has a feature allowing you to email someone a PDF document right after compression from within the software. You can also choose the compression quality in order to maintain the visual integrity of the content.

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Pros

  • The software is built for Mac.
  • Lets you control the quality of conversion during compression.
  • Saves as a new file.

Cons

  • No advanced PDF functions like OCR and Batch Processing.
  • No perpetual license for Pro version when you upgrade from free.

#5: Smallpdf

Smallpdf offers a powerful online PDF compression tool that you can use if you don't want to work with a downloadable desktop version. Though not as secure as handling your files natively on your computer, it gives you the convenience of compressing PDFs using a browser on any connected device. The only downside is the upload file size limit. Smallpdf also has other tools in case you need further processing, such as editing, converting, merging/splitting, etc.

free pdf compressor mac

Pros

  • Online access from any device with an Internet connection and browser.
  • Totally free to use, no watermarking.
  • Compresses to 144 dpi for easy email sharing and web distribution.

Cons

  • Only basic compression (up to 45%) is free.
  • Conversion happens on the cloud; confidential information may be at risk during transit (upload/download).

All of these are great ‘PDF compressor on Mac' utilities and each one is built for a specific purpose. If you want more out of your PDF compression tool, we recommend PDFelement, which gives you basic and advanced features and a pleasing and intelligent interface to work with.

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!


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Audrey Goodwin

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