Compress a PDF on Windows and Mac

how to Compress a PDF on Windows and Mac

In this post you will know about how to compress a PDF on Windows and Mac machines. How to share PDF files and how to preview them. If your document is in PDF format, it is most likely in its final form, ready to impress your audience. It is where your highest quality graphics are used and where the final version of your text is presented, ready to print, or shared with others to read or distribute. Unfortunately, that can result in large file sizes, mainly if the document contains many images.

While you can edit a PDF, you’ll have to reduce the quality to downsize the overall file size. If you like to know how to compress a PDF, you can avoid this problem by compressing the file using built-in or third-party software on Windows and Mac or using an online compression service.


How to Use PDF Compressor to Compress a PDF on Windows

On Windows 10, there are no built-in methods for compressing a PDF unless you first add it to a zip file. Then, you’ll need to use a third-party compression tool to compress the PDF file.

While several tools are available, Free PDF Compressor is one of the best. It has been around for a while, whereas it’s still one of the simplest and fastest ways to compress a PDF on Windows. Also read how to
Edit a PDF Document


To begin, download, install and run the Free PDF Compressor software. Then, click the Browse button next to the PDF File option in the Free PDF Compressor window to select your file. Then, in the Output File box, enter the location and file name for the compressed file.


Free PDF Compressor

You can specify the preferred quality of your PDF file in the Settings section. The lowest quality option is the screen, while printer and prepress are higher-quality options.


PDF compression


Select the desired quality level, press Compress to begin the PDF compression process. Also read how to Edit PDF Files PDFescape


PDF Compressor

A free PDF compressor will notify you when the file compression is complete. To close, press OK.


Because the Free PDF Compressor saves the compressed file as a separate file from the original, you can repeat the process with higher quality if you’re dissatisfied with the results. Also read How to Edit PDF Files for Free (Online/Offline)

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How to Use Preview to Compress a PDF on a Mac


Unlike Windows, macOS includes a PDF compression feature in the Preview app for viewing images and documents. This app is comprised of all Macs and can be found in the Launchpad app list.


Compress A PDF On Mac Using Preview

To compress PDF files on a Mac, Go to the Preview app and select a PDF file to open. Once the program has been launched, choose File > Export from the menu bar.


Preview app

Pick a new file name (or leave the existing file name to overwrite the existing file) and a location to save the file from the Export option menu.


Reduce File Size

Select the Reduce File Size option from the Quartz Filter drop-down menu. Once you’re ready to start the compression process, click Save.

Preview will save an updated, compressed version of your PDF document right away. You’ll need to open this in Preview afterward to see what (if any) noticeable changes in quality the app has made.


Making Use of Online PDF Compression Services

If you do not like to download additional software to compress your PDF file, you can instead use one of several online PDF compression services. However, if you’re going to use an online service like this, you should only use it with non-sensitive documents.

Using these services entails uploading the file to a remote server, which may remain for an extended period. This poses a considerable security risk for any documents containing personal data, and you should only use online compression sites for files you are willing to share publicly.

I Love PDF is one of several online services that compress PDF files. Most services, however, operate similarly, allowing you to upload the file, select the quality, and then download the compressed file. Also read the
Best Ways to Add Pdf into Word


  •  To begin using I Love PDF, click the Select PDF Files button and navigate the PDF files you want to compress.

I Love PDF

  • Drag and drop the files instantly into the website window to upload them automatically.
  • After uploading the files, use the right-hand menu to select the compression level.
  • The higher the compression, the lower the output file quality (and vice versa).
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Extreme Compression

  • Select Extreme Compression for the highest possible compression, Recommended Compression for medium compression but good quality, or Less Compression for the lowest compression but much higher quality.
  • Click the Compress PDF button to begin the compression when you’re ready.
  • On the remote server, the PDF compression process will be complete.
  • Click the Download Compressed PDF button to get the compressed file when it’s finished.
  • The quantity of compression (along with the amount of file space saved) will be displayed beneath.
  • Use sharing icons to the right of the download button to save the file to cloud storage or spread it to others via the I Love PDF service. These options include the ability to share to Google Drive or Dropbox and generate a QR code or share the link to distribute to others.
  • I Love PDF also has a delete option, which allows you to remove the file from its servers. However, to delete the file, press the Delete option. While this disables the deletion link on the I Love PDF website, it does not guarantee that the file will be deleted entirely from the site’s servers.

As previously stated, you should not use I Love PDF for sensitive documents. Instead, use a software option to compress the file for any sensitive document containing personal data, like the Preview or Free PDF Compressor apps shown above.


Compressed PDF Files: Sharing and Viewing

Compressing a PDF lets you reduce the file size without sacrificing too much quality (unless you want to). This makes it easier to share files online, via email, or other file-sharing services. You can even password protect your PDF files to keep sensitive documents safe from prying eyes.


If you’re having trouble opening a PDF, you should install a good PDF reader, such as Adobe Acrobat or Foxit Reader. If you prefer an online option, you could convert PDFs to Google Docs, which would allow you to view, edit, and share the files directly from your web browser without the need to first install a third-party app.


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