How to Compress a PDF File with Adobe

How to Compress a PDF

For the last few years, I was utilizing a great third-party tool to compress my PDF files for use online. Speed is always a factor online, so whether I'm emailing a PDF file or hosting it, I want to ensure that it's compressed.

Why Compress a PDF?

Compression can take a file that's multiple megabytes and bring it down to a few hundred kilobytes, making it easier to crawl by search engines, making it faster to download, and making it easier to attach and download from an email.

Sometimes clients ask me what settings are best for PDF compression… but not being an expert on compression and export settings, I honestly have no idea where to start. If you're a pro and understand CCITT, Flate, JBIG2, JPEG, JPEG 2000, LZW, RLE, and ZIP compression settings… I'm sure you can figure it out. There are a ton of articles out there.

I'd rather just use a compression tool to do the job for me. Thankfully, Adobe offers just that!

How to Compress a PDF with Adobe Acrobat

What I didn't realize is that my Adobe Creative Cloud license already included a compression tool built within Acrobat, Adobe's platform for editing, designing, and integrating PDFs. If you download Acrobat, you can easily compress your PDF:

  1. Open a PDF in Acrobat DC.
  2. Open the Optimize PDF tool to compress a PDF document.
  3. Choose Tools > Optimize PDF or click on the tool from the right hand panel.
  4. Select Reduce File Size in the top menu.
  5. Set compatibility of Acrobat version and click OK. Default will be to the existing version.
  6. Select Advanced Optimization in the top menu to make updates to image and font compression. Click OK when you are done modifications.
  7. Choose File > Save As. Keep the same file name to overwrite current file or rename the new file with the smaller PDF size. Select a location and click Save.

How to Compress a PDF with Adobe Online

If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud license, you don't even have to download Adobe Acrobat to compress your PDFs! Adobe has an online tool that you can use!

adobe acrobat online

Just upload a PDF and Adobe will compress and download it. Nice and easy!

Compress a PDF Online

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