How to Make the Size of a PDF File Smaller

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Reduce the file size of a PDF document using Adobe Acrobat.

Portable Document Format (PDF) files are regularly shared with others via email. Therefore, controlling the file size of PDF documents is important to ensure your recipients will be able to receive and view your documents. There are a couple ways to quickly reduce file size using Adobe Acrobat. Use the "Reduce File Size" command to compress images and cleans up the document as much as possible. The PDF Optimizer tool in Acrobat allows you to choose various options, such as removing fonts and attached files as well as image compression, that will optimize the file.


Step 1

Open a PDF document in Adobe Acrobat.

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Step 2

Click the "Document" menu, and choose "Reduce File Size."

Step 3

Choose the version of Acrobat you and your readers will be using. If you are certain which version will be used, you can limit the compatibility and reduce file size even more.


Step 4

Enter a file name and choose a folder for the document. Click "Save." After processing the file, the document will be resaved.

Step 5

Open the PDF Optimizer to further reduce file size. Click the "Advanced" menu and select "PDF Optimizer."


Step 6

Click the "Audit Space Usage" button in the "PDF Optimizer" dialog box. This will show you the number of bytes for specific elements of the documents, such as images and fonts. It can help determine where you should reduce file size most.

Step 7

Choose "Standard" in the "Settings" drop-down menu. This will set the default options for optimizing the PDF, which generally will maximize optimization. It will compress the images and remove unnecessary items.


Step 8

Choose "Custom" in the "Settings" menu to instead make changes to various options, including images, fonts and transparency. This will customize the optimization as desired. Click "OK."

Step 9

Click "Save" in the "Save Optimized As" dialog box. You can overwrite the existing file or rename it. After saving the file, the file size should be reduced.

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