Portable Document Format, or PDF for short, is one of the most ubiquitous file formats that is universally adopted across platforms. That alone makes it one of the most used and most convenient file formats. On Mac, you can easily create a PDF without the need of additional software, something I personally use quite often.

How to compress a PDF on Mac

While the process is quick and simple, it lacks customization options, specifically about the quality, and by extension the file size, of the PDF generated. Of course, the better the quality of the document, the heavier the file will end up being.

Thankfully, there is a relatively unknown feature on your Mac that allows you to to take an existing PDF file and compress it to reduce its size. In this tutorial, I will show you how to compress and reduce the file size of a PDF on a Mac by using the Preview app.

Share your experiences and information in the comments!

How to Reduce File Size of PDF on Mac

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Enter your email address below:. Preview always uses the same filter. This reduced a file from 4MB down to 38kb—way too small. I just upgraded to Mavericks from Snow Leopard. Thanks, I had the same problem! The issue I had was that a 20mb pdf derived from a 40mb png file from a scanner was reduced to a 20kb file that was very grainy, albeit perfect for viewing as an icon, not so good when using it as a scanned building layout. The size was a reasonable 5. To do this on Lion and above, choose File: Duplicate and then File: How do I find out the size of the document.

With an image intensive file I faced the problem that you warned at the and of the article: I had a 12 page scanned PDF document that was 3. But then I opened the file up and it was extremely fuzzy, to the point that the text was unreadable.

2 Solutions to Compress PDF on Mac for Free

Looking for a better solution. Then export to pdf. That then brought my scanned documents down from around 10MB each to around KB and the figures were still clear and readable. The default filter compress way too much.


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I was resizing an scanned contract, and the result was, indeed, very small, but the result of the text was almost unreadable. I found this solution to make your own compression filters so you can have a range to choose from. I just tried and works like a charm!. Now I have 4 reduction scales to choose. Kudos for Kirk McElhear mcelhearn.

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Thank you, I was trying to shrink a 88mb PDF to something small enough for emailing. Your post was a huge help! Thanks for the tip. I reduced the size by preview! Does any one know how to fix it? I capture the image with Grab utilities , which is a jpeg. If its multi-page, you have to stitch it back together. I am very non-technical but on a project I was just working on a 4.


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