How to Make PDF Smaller without Changing Its Quality?

reduce size of a pdf

While PDF files offer a great way to share documents across varying platforms, they have one major downside – they feature a bigger file size than the comparable standard text document or Microsoft Word document. For this reason, most people have the need to reduce PDF size. If you are dealing with a PDF file featuring a big size, we will show you how to make a PDF smaller.

Top 10 Ways to Reduce PDF Size

1.     Make PDF Smaller Using PDF WIZ (Free)

PDF WIZ makes PDF file size reduction extremely easy. Once you launch it on your computer, you will just need to follow some basic onscreen instructions to reduce PDF size.

PDF WIZ is extremely quick. Within a couple of seconds, you should have a reduced PDF file. You won’t have to worry about the quality of your document. The compressed PDF file will have the same quality as the original document.

The Good thing about having PDF WIZ on your computer is that the tool offers more than just PDF file reduction. The tool allows you to perform a wide range of conversions, including:

  • Converting PDF to Word
  • Converting PDF to PowerPoint
  • Converting PDF to Excel
  • Converting PDF to Text
  • Converting PDF to HTML
  • Converting PDF to Image
  • Converting Image to PDF
  • Converting Word to PDF

Additionally, with PDF WIZ, you can make all the changes you need to your PDF file. Some of the supported changes include:

  • Splitting the PDF
  • Merging PDF files
  • Extract images from PDF files
  • Manage PDF encryption
  • Extract pages from the PDF file

To learn how to make a PDF smaller using PDF WIZ, you will need to follow the basic steps outlined below:

Step 1: Download and install PDF WIZ on your computer.

Step 2: After launching the tool, choose Compress PDF on the Home Screen.

make a pdf smaller using pdf wiz

Step 3: On the next screen, you will need to add the PDF files whose size you would like to reduce. You can either drag and drop the files or tap the “Click to Add File” link.

Step 4: Hit the Compress button to initiate the file reduction process.

Step 5: After the tool finishes compressing your document, you can go ahead and open it or locate it by using the button available under Open and Location respectively.

2.     Use Adobe Acrobat PDF Optimizer to Reduce PDF Size

If you have already installed Adobe Acrobat on your Windows PC or computer running on macOS, you can use the PDF Optimizer tool to reduce PDF size. The PDF Optimizer tool is available by default on Adobe Acrobat. Below, we have the steps you will need to follow:

Step 1: Right-click the PDF document you would like to reduce and select Open with Acrobat.

Step 2: Next, select Tools > Optimize PDF. A new toolbar should appear above the PDF file.

Step 3: If you hit the Reduce Size option, the size of the PDF document will be reduced using the default settings. If you would like to control the quality of the reduced PDF file, hit the Advanced Optimization option. In the Advanced Optimization window, you can select the Audit Space Usage button to see the amount of space that every element on your document is taking up.

3.     PDF Compressor

This tool is available for Windows PC users. It is generally easy to use and allows the compression of a large number of PDF files at once. The tool has an intuitive user interface. To learn how to make a PDF smaller using PDF Compressor, you will need to follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install the tool on your computer.

Step 2: After launching it, click the Add Files button available on the top-left. Select the files you would like to compress.

Step 3: Next, click the Start Compression button and wait while the tool reduces the file size.

Note: Before you reduce the size of the file, you can change the output folder by clicking Browse under Output to: on the top-right corner.

You can get PDF Compressor here: http://www.pdfcompressor.org/

4.     4Dots Free PDF Compress

This free application makes it possible for you to compress single or multiple files in just a single swoop. The tool also allows you to compress entire folders featuring PDF files with just a couple of clicks.

The tool is extremely easy to use. To reduce PDF size, you will need to follow the steps below:

Step 1: Launch the tool on your computer.

Step 2: Drag and drop the files you would like to compress.

Step 3: Select the output location for the compressed PDF files.

Step 4: Hit the Compress button and then wait while the tool completes the compression process.

You can get 4Dots Free PDF Compress here: https://www.4dots-software.com/free-pdf-compress/

5.     Free PDF Compressor

This is another PDF file size reduction tool ideal for people working on a Windows computer. Just like its name suggests, it is 100% free. The tool allows you to choose from 5 levels of PDF file compression. The levels include:

  • 72 dpi (low resolution) – this is perfect for small screen-view only.
  • Medium resolution (150 dpi) – this is perfect for Ebooks.
  • 300 dpi (high resolution) – this is great if your goal is to print the PDF.
  • Prepress (300 dpi) – this is great for prepress, including color-preserving.
  • Default – this is great for numerous uses.

To learn how to make a PDF smaller using Free PDF Compressor, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install the tool on your computer and launch it.

Step 2: Select the file you would like to compress and then select the compression level.

Step 3: Finally, hit the Compress button.

You can download Free PDF Compressor here: http://www.freepdfcompressor.com/

6.     FreePDF

This is a classic PDF printer that lets you shrink the size of your PDF quite easily. Once you install the printer on your computer, you will find it listed under the Windows Printers. To reduce PDF size using FreePDF, the following steps will come in handy:

Step 1: Open the PDF file.

Step 2: Press Ctrl + P to open the print dialog.

Step 3: On the dialog, select FreePDF as the printer you would like to use and then hit OK. Wait for the FreePDF dialog to appear.

Step 4: On the dialog, you can go ahead and choose from 3 profiles – eBook, High Quality, and Medium Quality.

You can get FreePDF here: https://freepdfxp.de/download_de.html

7.     Preview on macOS

If you do update the macOS regularly, you should be able to reduce PDF size without having to install a third-party tool on your Mac. You will just need to use the Preview feature. To learn how to make a PDF smaller using Preview, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open your PDF file in Preview. If Preview is the default PDF viewer, you will just need to double-click your PDF file. If you have been using a different PDF viewer on your computer, simply right-click the document of interest > choose Open With > tap Preview.

Step 2: Once the PDF file opens, tap File > Export.

Step 3: In the Quartz Filter drop-down box, choose the Reduce File Size option.

8.     Use PDFelement Pro

When it comes to working with PDF documents, PDFelement Pro has most of the features you may need. On top of helping you reduce PDF size, PDFelement allows you to organize, split, merge, create, and even edit PDFs.

The tool comes with a free trial version. While the free trial version may offer you basic functionalities, its limitations will eventually force you to upgrade.

If PDFelement Pro is more appealing to you, we will show you how to make a PDF smaller using the tool:

Step 1: Install PDFelement Pro on your computer.

Step 2: After launching the tool, tap Open File on the bottom-left corner and then select the document you would like to compress.

Step 3: Once the file loads on your computer, tap File on the top menu.

Step 4: On the menu that appears on your left-hand corner, select Optimize. Next, select the most ideal compression option.

9.     Use Microsoft Word

If you have Microsoft Word on your computer, you may not need to use third-party applications to reduce PDF size. If you have MS Office 2013 and above, follow the steps below to compress your PDF file:

Step 1: Open the PDF file using Word. The program will warn you that your document will be converted into a Word Compatible format. Tap OK on the warning.

Step 2: Next, click File and then select Save As.

Step 3: In the “Save as type” drop-down list, choose PDF. Next select Minimum Size from the options which appear below. This should reduce the PDF file size.

10. Use Online Tools to Reduce Size of a PDF

We usually recommend online tools for non-sensitive documents. If your document is sensitive, be sure to use the desktop programs we have mentioned above. When using the online programs, you will have to upload your document to a third-party server. Even if the online tool claims that they respect your privacy, you won’t have the ability to control whether the document gets opened by the online tool owner or not.

Below, we have some of the online tools you can use:

SmallPDF.com

To learn how to make a PDF smaller using SmallPDF.com, you will need to follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1: Visit https://smallpdf.com/compress-pdf

Step 2: Drag and drop the file you would like to compress in the work area. You can also choose your file from Dropbox and Google Drive.

Step 3: After the upload is complete, SmallPDF.com will start shrinking the PDF document immediately. Wait for the process to complete and then modify the PDF document as needed.

Step 4: Download the compressed PDF file to your computer.

FreePDFConvert.com

To reduce PDF size using FreePDFConvert.com, you will need to follow the steps below:

Step 1: Visit https://www.freepdfconvert.com/compress-pdf

Step 2: Drag and drop the PDF file whose size you would like to reduce in the work area. Tap the icons available on the bottom-right corner of the work area to upload your files from Dropbox and Google Drive.

Step 3: After uploading the PDF file, the compression will be initiated automatically. Wait for the compression to complete and then download the document.

In addition to the online tools mentioned above, you can use the tools listed below to compress your PDF files. The tools will work in an almost similar way – they will require you to upload the file > after the upload, the compression will be initiated automatically > after the compression, you can go ahead and download your files.

Conclusion

If your PDF is larger than you would want it to be, compressing it may be an ideal solution. In this article, we have outlined the best tools you can use to compress the PDF file. While online tools are generally free and offer great results, you should only use them when working with non-confidential documents. When working with confidential documents, be sure to use desktop programs.

Author: Treyton Collins

An tech editor for Starzsoft.com offering the professional how-to articles for Apple and Android users.