How to shrink the size of a PDF file
Shrinking the size of a pdf file is useful for space compression and absolutely necessary to stay within email size limitations. There are two different methods to shrink the size of a pdf file. It will be easy to shrink the size of your pdf file if you created the file yourself with Adobe Acrobat or a similar pdf creator. If you received the pdf file from another source, it may still be possible to shrink the size of your pdf file using a software workaround through Acrobat Reader.
Shrink the size of your pdf file with Adobe Acrobat
Open the pdf file in Adobe Acrobat. Look under “Advanced” and find “PDF Optimizer”. There are six detailed settings you can use to shrink the size of your pdf file.
Under the “Images” tab, you can choose to “Downsample” images throughout the pdf file. This process will sacrifice image quality in exchange for a smaller file size. A 20 percent downsampling will likely shrink your pdf file proportionately with little noticeable effect on your images, but play with the settings to determine the best trade-off between image quality and file size.
The “Scanned Pages” tab introduces settings that can reduce the size of your pdf if it contains multiple scanned pages. While these options are very effective at reducing file size, they will only work if your pdf file consists of scanned pages. The “Transparency” tab is effective at reducing pdf size if your document consists of multiple layers. For most pdf files, transparency settings will have little effect.
The “Discard Objects” tab allows Acrobat to automatically remove space-consuming objects. In most cases you should simply select all of the check-boxes and have Acrobat reduce the pdf file size accordingly. “Discard User Data” completes a similar process with comments and other hidden data. Finally, use the “Clean Up” menu to compress the entire pdf file and complete the automated pdf file size reduction process.
Shrink the size of your pdf file with free software
Even if you do not own Adobe Acrobat, you can still shrink the size of your pdf file by using Acrobat Reader. You will need an updated copy of Acrobat Reader and a properly installed Adobe PDF print driver. Both are available as a free download from the Adobe website.
Open the pdf file in Acrobat Reader. Select “File” and “Print”. From the list of available printers, select “Adobe PDF”. Acrobat Reader will re-sample your pdf file and “re-print” your original file into a new pdf file. If the creator of the original pdf file did not optimize the file, the re-printing process will result in a smaller size pdf file.
The re-printing option compresses images, eliminates objects, and reconstructs the file in a smaller form. This process will only work if the original pdf was not fully compressed.
Shrinking the size of your pdf file is most useful since it allows you to fit within email space limitations. However, smaller pdf files are also valuable since they take up less room on your hard drive and are easier to fit on a USB or external hard drive.