How to Reduce PDF File Size – Here is the Simple Guide You Should Follow

Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by Tina Clark

Is it possible to compress some PDF files on a Mac without sacrificing quality? Whether you need to send some PDF files by email or upload a cloud service, such as Gmail, which has a 25MB file size limit, you need to reduce the file size of the PDF on Mac beforehand. But how do you get a smaller size PDF file without sacrificing quality? Just learn more about the 4 frequently used methods and choose the suitable one according to your requirement from the article within a few seconds.

How to Reduce PDF File Size

Part 1: The Professional Method to Reduce PDF File Size on Mac

PDFelement is a rich-featured PDF editor to reduce the PDF file size on Mac without losing quality. It provides a preview window to tweak the compression option, archive the PDF, turn PDF into grayscale, and more options to resize the PDF files easily. Moreover, you can also take advantage of the editing features to split a large PDF into several files.

1. Resize the PDF to the desired size with 3 different compression methods.

2. Convert the colored PDF into B/W or gray-scaled PDF with a smaller size.

3. Compress the PDF with a flattened PDF or archive files to PDF/A-2b.

4. Split a large PDF document into several small PDF files of a certain size.

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Step 1: To reduce a PDF file size for an email, you can launch PDFelement and click the Open File button. After that, you can go to the PDF file you wish to compress. Once you have imported the desired PDF file, you can click the OK button.

Open DJVU Converted PDF PDFElement

Step 2: When you open the document, you have options to edit the files, such as turning the colored PDF into a gray-scaled one, or splitting the large PDF files into several small PDFs. Select the Save as Other option from the File menu, followed by the Compress PDF option.

Compress PDF to Certain Size PDFElement

Step 3: Select and alter the size of the PDF via 3 different levels for the quality of the PDF, including Low, Medium, and High. Make sure you can resize the PDF on Mac into the required size, the optimizer will inform you of the final size and the % decrease in size.

Different Resize Levels PDFElement

Step 4: Once the document has been resized, you can save the resized PDF document on your computer or click on the Share button to send the PDF file for email distribution. The scaled document may then be sent to colleagues, collaborators, or friends.

Compress PDF for Email PDFElement Win Download Mac Download

Part 2: How to Reduce PDF File Size with Preview on Mac

Preview is the default PDF viewer and editor on Mac. You can also use it to compress PDF files on the Mac for free. It also provides additional options to resize the PDF files, including dividing the large PDF file into many portions or employing the Quartz filter to compress the PDF while keeping a high degree of image quality.

Step 1: To import the large PDF file, you can launch the Preview app on your MacBook and pick the File tab. After that, you can select the Open... option from the drop-down menu.

Step 2: Access the Quartz Filter layer by selecting the Export... option from the File menu within the program. This layer is used to reduce the size of PDF files on a Mac.

Step 3: Expand the Quartz Filter options and select the Reduce File Size option from the drop-down menu. To save a compressed PDF file to your computer, click the Save button.

Reduce File Size Preview

Part 3: How to Compress PDF File Size Online on a MacBook

When you need to reduce PDF files online without extra software, PDF2Go is the desired PDF compressor for Mac. It provides different methods to shrink the PDF files, such as insane quality with 20DPI, minimum quality with 40DPI, normal quality with 72DPI, Ebook quality with 150DPI, Printer quality with 300DPI, and Prepress quality.

Step 1: Go to the PDF2Go website and choose the Choose File button, you may select the PDF file from your Mac that you want to reduce the file size. Moreover, you can also drag-and-drop the PDF files directly into the online PDF compressor.

Step 2: Once the PDF files have been supplied, you can choose from a preset, such as the Minimum option, which provides 40DPI. You can use the other option to reduce the PDF size on Mac while retaining the maximum possible quality of the originals.

Step 3: Moreover, you can convert PDF to gray-scale before clicking the START button to compress PDF. To download the compressed PDF files to your Mac, click the Download the PDF button. Moreover, you can find the Compress Next PDF option.

Compress PDF PDF2Go

Part 4: How to Compress PDF File Size via Adobe Acrobat

To reduce a PDF file on a MacBook, Adobe Acrobat DC is a frequently used PDF compressor for Mac. You can reduce the multiple PDF file size within a few clicks. It also lets you set options for color, gray-scale, monochrome image compression, and image down sampling. But it should be complicated if you need to tweak multiple parameters.

Step 1: Once you have imported the desired PDF file, you can simply select the Optimize PDF option. You can also access this tool from the Tools center. Choose the Open option to pick the huge PDF file for inclusion in the PDF compressor.

Step 2: Select the Reduce File Size option in the top menu. From the drop-down box, you can select the file version compatibility. It provides 3 different options, such as Reduce File Size, Advanced Optimization, and Optimize Scanned Pages.

Step 3: You can also maintain the default Retain existing configuration before clicking the OK button. If you do not wish to change the original PDF file, just type a new name in the Save dialog box before pressing the Save button to complete the shrinkage process.

Optimize PDF Mac Adobe

Part 5: FAQs about How to Reduce PDF File Size on Mac

1Why is the PDF file so large?
PDFs can be enormous as a result of one or more typefaces being embedded and subset within the PDF. Indeed, adding a single typeface to PDF files can frequently result in a significant increase in file size. Of course, you can resize the PDF on Mac via another font.
2How to reduce the PDF size on Mac for printing?
When you need to reduce the PDF size on Mac for printing, you can choose from 225DPI to 3000DPI. But if it should be too large to print, select the gray-scale option to turn the PDF into a black and white document before printing the file on Mac.
3What should be the best alternative to reduce PDF on Mac?
Besides the basic solutions provides, such as reducing the file quality, turning the PDF into a gray scaled one, and splitting the document into several parts, you can also archive the PDF files, or convert the PDF into Word/Excel/image and other file formats.


The built-in Preview app offers an option for compressing PDF files, but you cannot edit or manage the PDF files. Adobe Acrobat DC is another frequently used method to get the desired files. PDF2Go is a versatile PDF reducer to shrink the PDF size file with different options. PDFelement is a versatile way to reduce a PDF file size while keeping its original quality.

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