How to Shrink the Size of a PDF File

By Jen Miller

You can use Adobe Acrobat to create new PDF files, convert electronic documents of many formats to PDF format and edit PDF files in a number of ways. For example, you can insert graphics, add text or image backgrounds and comment on PDF documents. You can also reduce the size of a PDF, which removes certain embedded fonts and compresses the document structure. You can use the "Reduce File Size" command or the "PDF Optimizer" to shrink a PDF.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat

Use the "Reduce File Size" Command

Step 1

Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat, choose "Document" and select "Reduce File Size." The "Reduce File Size" dialog box appears.

Step 2

Select the version of Adobe Acrobat with which to make the PDF compatible. The PDF file size is reduced more greatly with each later version of Acrobat.

Step 3

Click "Apply to Multiple" if you want to reduce the file size of multiple PDFs, then click "Add Files." Select the PDF files and click "OK."

Step 4

Click "OK" in the "Reduce File Size" dialog box to shrink the size of the PDF.

Use the "PDF Optimizer"

Step 1

Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat, select "Advanced" and choose "PDF Optimizer." The "PDF Optimizer" appears.

Step 2

Click "Audit space usage" to view the amount of space that document elements, such as fonts and images, are using. Click "OK" to close the "Audit Space Usage" dialog box.

Step 3

Click the check box in the left pane for each document element you want to optimize. For example, click "Images" if you want to compress images, then specify the compression properties for the appropriate image types. For a description of PDF Optimizer options, see Resources 1.

Step 4

Select the version of Acrobat with which to make the PDF compatible.

Step 5

Click "OK" to optimize and save the PDF, then type a file name in the "File name" field. Choose where you want to save the PDF and click "Save."

Tips & Warnings

  • When you reduce the file size of a PDF, digital signatures are removed.