A Comprehensive Guide for Free PDF Compression Tool

PDFs can be very large. Fortunately, there are easy-to-use applications that can shrink a very large PDF to make it easier to email and share online. Compression Tool

Here are four tools to help you compress and shrink PDFs.

How to make a PDF smaller?

  1. Third-party PDF tools
  2. PDF Browser Tools
  3. Windows PDF Tools
  4. Mac PDF Tools

1. Third-party PDF tools

Adobe Acrobat PDF Optimizer (cross-platform)

If Adobe Acrobat is installed on your computer, there is a tool called “PDF Optimizer”. This tool is one of the best and easiest ways to shrink a PDF document .

To do this, open your PDF in Acrobat. Click Tools> Optimize PDF . A toolbar with a few options appears just above the PDF .

If you click Reduce Size, Acrobat will use the default settings for your file to make it smaller.

If you click on Advanced Optimization, you will have more options to maintain the quality you need. To help with this, in the Advanced Optimization window, click Audit Space Usage, where you can see how much space each element occupies in the file.

PDF Compressor (Windows)

PDF Compressor is a great option for ease of operation and the ability to compress many PDFs at once. Not only can it compress thousands of PDFs at a time, it can also shrink encrypted and protected PDFs .

In addition, this compression is harmless, meaning the quality is maintained despite the smaller size.

4Dots Free PDF Compress (Windows)

This free app lets you compress one or more PDFs in one go. You can also compress all PDFs with just a few mouse clicks, even if the PDFs are encrypted.

When you specify which files you want to compress (drag and drop means drag and drop), select the location where you want the smaller files to be saved. Tap Compress, this tool will do everything.

Free PDF Compress (Windows)

The software is completely free and easy to use. Select the file you want to compress and tap Compress and then save the smaller file.

In addition, you can choose one of 5 compression levels based on the type of file you extract:

  • Low resolution (72 dpi), perfect for display
  • Medium resolution (150 dpi) suitable for books
  • High resolution (300 dpi), suitable for printing
  • Prepress or pre-printed (300 dpi) suitable for coating, including color preservation
  • By default, suitable for a wide range of applications

2. PDF Browser Tools


You don’t even need to have an account to use SmallPDF. Just go to the site, add the file and click Compress PDF. You can then drag your PDF inside the page, place the file on your hard drive, or import the PDF from Google Drive or Dropbox. This file is automatically compressed. Just click the download button to save the new file to your hard drive.

You can compress two files for free per hour. If you want to compress more files, you need to use the Premium version.

The quality of the compressed file is not less than 144dpi. This way most PDFs are small enough to be uploaded or sent by email without any problems. And if you’re worried about security, you should say that files are deleted from the SmallPDF server after one hour.


If you want more control over the quality of compressed PDFs, try DocuPub’s NeeviaPDF (for files less than 10 MB in size).

To make things easier, you can choose from one of the printouts that includes low compression (for higher image quality) to high compression (for lower image quality). There is also an option to exclude specific elements from your PDF . These elements include things like forms, annotations, and page tags that unnecessarily increase file size.

How much of your original PDF elements you want to put aside depends on how much space you want to save.

3. Windows PDF Tools

Finally, Windows 10 includes the print-to-PDF option. However, advanced features such as manipulating the quality and size of a document are not included. In addition, many PDF printers allow you to choose quality and compression settings that can greatly affect the size of your PDFs .

Note that the tools mentioned below need GhostScript to view and manage PDFs .


It’s a classic PDF printer, and that’s why we’ll mention it here, because it lets you build your own compressed profiles. Once installed (remember you need Ghost Script), you’ll see it in the list of your Windows printers.

To reduce the size of a PDF document with FreePDF, open it, press ctrl + P to launch the print conversation, open FreePDF as your printer or printer, click OK and wait for the FreePDF dialog box to appear.

. Here, you can choose from three pre-printed PDF profiles, eBook, High Quality and Medium Quality.

To create a regular PDF profile, click Edit Configuration in the upper right corner, select Profiles and click New, and customize the options in the Profile editor window. You can change the normal quality of your PDF and adjust the default image resolution for PDF images, or add a watermark to your PDFs .

The default average quality profile compresses a scanned 10 MB PDF document to a 1.7 MB PDF file with an acceptable quality loss in quality.


IrfanView is a feature-rich, lightweight image viewer for Windows. The IrfanView comes with a number of plugins that make it a versatile tool, for example to convert images to different file types, add watermarks to photos and batch processing images. It also has the quality of PDF printing, though not in the classical sense.

Before you can view PDFs with IrfanView, you need to install GhostScript. Then, when you try to save your large PDF as a smaller PDF file, you will see a PDF Settings window next to the Save PDF AS… dialog.

In the General section, you probably need to set the Preview of PDF during save operation not needed , so you can quickly select the settings. You can then adjust the compression settings as follows.

In this experiment, we selected medium quality for all types of images that could reduce the size of the scanned 10 MB PDF document to less than 1 MB. The result was blurry, but perfectly legible.

4. Mac PDF Tools

PDF Filter

If you regularly update your Mac OS, you should be able to shrink your PDF without installing new apps. This is a great feature in OS X that many are not aware of.

First, open the PDF in the preview. Usually this happens by double-clicking on the file, but if you have a PDF reader like Adobe Reader, right-click> Open With> Preview . Then, click File> Export , and in the Quartz Filter drop-down box, select Reduce File Size .

PDF Squeezer

Aside from the simple process above, there are not many options for free and popular PDF compression tools for Mac users.

If you want to control the output quality of your compressed PDFs , you might want to download an app like PDF Squeezer, which of course includes fees.

How to shrink PDFs?

This is just the beginning of what you can do with your PDFs . From reading text to images and scanning malware files to converting PDFs to other formats and unlocking encrypted PDFs , you can find the best PDF tool to help you.

It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with interactive PDFs or large ebooks, however, PDFs can be very large. Each of the tools above helps you reduce the size of these PDFs to a manageable level.

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