How to reduce file size of a PDF [Tip]

The problem with sending large PDF files is that it could take some time before you will be able to transfer them from one device to another. Thus, many users opt to reduce the file size of their large PDF files with the help of a particular software or application. Now, what if you don’t have any and you’re just using a public computer? If that is the case, then you can always opt to reduce the file size of a PDF online.

How to compress a large PDF file

The following steps will help you learn how to compress or reduce the file size of a large PDF file online.

Step One

On your preferred web browser (ex. Chrome, Firefox, etc.), click this link to go to the “Compress PDF” page of SmallPDF – a free web app that can compress, merge and convert PDFs into other formats.

Step Two

Once you’re on the Compress PDF page, simply click the red “Choose File” button to search and add the PDF file that you want to compress.

Alternatively, you may just drag and drop the file from your local file directory/folder. Just keep in mind that you can only process one file at a time.

Reduce PDF file size

Step Three

Once you’re file has been uploaded, the web app will begin the compression process by reducing its resolution to 144dpi. Anyways, just let the web app handle this complex task.

You don’t really need to do anything except to wait until it’s done. You will be able to track its progress by looking at the completion percentage shown in its progress bar.

Reduce PDF file size b

Once done, the web app will take you to your compressed file’s download page. You will also be able to compare the file size of your original file against the compressed file. For example, if you have a 759.25KB PDF, then it will be reduced to 672.05KB.

Reduce PDF file size c

Just don’t forget to click the “Download File Now” button to download and save the compressed PDF file to your computer.

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  • xrta

    There’s a much better alternative:
    It really does optimize PDF files instead of just reducing the DPI like smallpdf.

  • CJ Cotter

    [@vandamme] Vandamme, thanks for the tips, but:

    1) I don’t do clouds. Don’t trust them. Won’t use them.
    2.) I have plenty of PDF editors. I’m not going to go through a large PDF file and remove the pictures. It would be like picking peas out of tuna noodle casserole.

  • CJ, I’m not sure why you have to get your files below 500K. If it’s an email provider issue, just get a cloud storage provider for free and give people the download link.

    If you have embedded images in your PDF, try recompressing them (Gimp or equivalent) or get rid of them.

    LibreOffice can open and edit PDF files. Very handy.

  • CJ Cotter

    Hmmmm……759.25KB reduced to 672.05KB in your sample. That’s only an 88.5% reduction. Not a whole lot. I have to send PDF files that are 4MB in size. I need something that will drop the size down to 500KB or less. AND……you ARE assuming that the PDF file does not contain any sensitive information that will cause problems if it is uploaded on the internet. Any other options beside this one?