How to Compress Large PDF Files to Small Size – Top 3 Methods

Written By Mohit Jha
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh  
Published On August 16th, 2018
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

These days Portable Document Format or PDF file is used by everyone. It includes text formatting and multiple images. While working with PDF file everyone knows how big it gets quickly if there are too much text and graphic images in it. To make it work efficiently, it is important to compress large PDF files to small size. Otherwise, a person faces a problem of the long wait for it to download or too large to send as an email attachment.

Let us understand the topic better with the help of some queries:

Query 1: I have been using PDF file for many years and I have never faced any problem. This time I wanted to upload my PDF file to a site but because of my file size, I am unable to do so. Please help me out as it is very important to me. Does anyone know the simple method to compress big size PDF document? A quick suggestion will surely help.

Query 2:Hi I need help. I have created PDF recently for my official work and I want to send it through email but for some reason, I am unable to do so as the email is bouncing back. I believe it is because of the size of my PDF file. I am in a big problem. Please someone can look into the matter and give me a valid solution reduce size of large PDF document.

Need for PDF File Size Reduction

If a user is looking for a solution for how to compress large PDF files to small size, then there must be some reason behind it. And, all of them are discussed below:

  1. Download and Upload: It can save a lot of time as the compressed document will speed up the process where download and upload is a concern. In addition, it increases the downloading procedure at the recipient’s end also.
  2. Overhead Cost: One can save a lot of time and money after compressing big PDF files.
  3. Better Emailing: Smaller files are easy to send over the internet that results in faster access and better experience of the user. It simplifies the transfer of digital information and removes the trouble of adding each file at a time.
  4. File Sharing: There are reports, contracts, financial statement, architectural diagrams and so on which are sent and received daily. Uploading and downloading of these files can take a lot of time so to compress large PDF files to small size can make it more efficient.
  5. Saving Space: When a user compress big size PDF document then he/she saves ample of disk space. It makes storage and archival of data easy for the users.
  6. Server Load: Decrease in the size of PDF reduces the load on the server and it results in efficiency.
  7. Communication: For future communication, if the size of the PDF file is compressed there will be ample space for email clients, where they can communicate

How to Compress Large PDF Files to Small Size by Different Methods?

There are three different solutions to compress large size PDF documents. Complete steps of each solution are described below:

Method #1. Perform PDF File Size Reduction on MAC OS

  • Firstly, start preview on Mac machine.
  • Then, go to “File” menu and click “Open” button. After that, select PDF file that the user wants to compress.
  • Select “Open” and the file will be opened in the preview.
  • Go to the “File” menu again and choose Save As option. Then, in the “Quartz filter” select the “reduce file size” option. Mention file name and destination for compressed PDF.
  • Lastly, click on the “Save” button.

Method #2: Compress Big Size PDF Document on Linux

  • Start a terminal by clicking on Applications >> Accessories >> Systems tool >> Terminal.
  • Go to the folder containing PDF file with “cd” command, for example, move to the default documents directory by typing “cd documents” into the terminal window and press Enter.
  • Type the Ghostscript command to compress large size PDF file. For example, if your file is named “larger.pdf” and you want the output file to be called “smaller.pdf,” type the following command at the terminal:
  • gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dPDFSETTINGS=/screen -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -sOutputFile=smaller.pdf larger.pdf
  • This command instructs the Ghostscript GS utility to take the file “larger.pdf” and create a version 1.4-compatible, low-resolution PDF file called “smaller.pdf“.

Method #3: Compress Large PDF Files to Small Size on Windows

In the case of Windows OS, you can take the help of a third-party tool for a fast and reliable solution. SysTools PDF Toolbox is one such utility that can compress large size PDF files at once. To perform PDF file size reduction follow these simple steps:

  • Download & launch the utility on the local machine to compress big size PDF
  • After that, click on the Add button to upload PDF file that you want to compress
  • Now, select the PDF Compress option to start the process
  • As the process completed successfully, a message will pop-up on the screen.

This application provides the option of compression and PDF file size reduction. A user can convert Adobe PDF file to the archival PDF/A format in batch also. In addition, it also lets users to extract contents present in the PDF documents. The user will find that once the tool compress large PDF files to small size no changes are made in the content.


The above article discusses briefly how to perform PDF file size reduction for personal or official use. It is different in the case of different operating systems like in the case of Mac, Linux, and Windows. The different steps have to be followed in all these three operating systems to compress large PDF files to small size. A user can simply have a look on all of them and compress big size PDF document.


By Mohit Jha

Mohit is a Microsoft Certified Expert who wears multiple hats as a writer, researcher, and editor. He's really into cyber security, cloud computing, and digital forensics. These topics get him excited and push him to go beyond just his job. His big goal is to create super well-researched and carefully written articles that help readers learn important technicalities.