How Do I Reduce the Size of PDF Without Losing Quality?

A PDF file usually contains a lot of graphics and images, which can make the PDF file size quite large. While large PDF files often cause problems when we send them via e-mail due to size limitations, or they take up too much space on the device. In this case, reducing the PDF file size without losing quality becomes critical.

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a specially created document format that allows you to view, print, and store information electronically on different systems.

Basic ways to compress a PDF file

PDF files consist of text, images, fillable forms, and multimedia objects, and may also include captions, hyperlinks, attachments, and much more.  Often there are no problems with opening and reading such documents since a large number of free programs have been developed. However, it is a bit more complicated where editing functions are required. There are far fewer programs and methods for such purposes. Furthermore, there is the problem of loss of quality when compressing files. There are several online and offline compression tools that can be used to reduce the size of a PDF file without compromising the quality. Let’s look at the main ones:

  • Using the “Save As” function. It always creates a new file that is clean and optimized.
  • Exporting files using a PDF editor. All major PDF editors have the option to reduce the size of a PDF with a few mouse clicks. For this purpose, you need to open a pdf file, click on the “file” icon located in the top menu bar, select “reduce file size” or “compress pdf”, and then choose the location where the new document will be stored.
  • Adobe PDF compression tool. This is a free online tool for compressing PDF images and reducing PDF size without losing quality. You need to open Adobe PDF Compressor Tool and find “select file”, then the desired file is directly loaded to be compressed. Select the level of compression from high, medium to low depending on your needs, and press “Compress”. The process takes a few seconds, after which the finished pdf-file will be available for download.
  • The PDF conversion tool of the Smallpdf website. This is a special platform where there are many tools for working with pdf-files. To compress a file here you need to click on “select files”, then choose a compression method (basic or strong). However, keep in mind that strong compression is included in the paid package. After that, you upload the file for processing.
  • 4 Dots Free PDF Compressor. In this case, you need to download the software from the official website to your device, then click on “add file” and download the necessary file.
  • Online tool “I love pdf”. Use the “select PDF files” button and upload the PDF file you want to compress. Here you can directly select PDF files from Google Drive or Dropbox. Once uploaded, three options are provided on the right: extreme, recommended, and light compression. You need to select the type of compression you want and the “Compress PDF” button at the bottom is used at the end. The process does not take very long in principle: from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. What matter is the size of the file. When it is finished, the document is automatically loaded and ready to work.


The main advantage of a PDF file is that these types of files are independent of the software that created them, and have a standard format and alignment throughout the text. This eliminates the disadvantages of the Word file, which has formatting problems in different systems and even in different versions.

Reducing Files on Mac While Maintaining Quality

Mac users can reduce the size of a PDF file using the built-in preview tool. To do this, open the desired file in preview mode, then use the “file” button, then “export”. In the pop-up window select “reduce file size”. The program automatically reduces the size of the PDF file. Press “Save” and choose a storage location for the new document.

You can use a special professional program Cisdem PDF Compressor with the most effective way of compression. To compress pdf files, you need to download a trial and free version of the program where you drag and drop the necessary files and choose the desired compression mode. There are only four of them: minimal, small, medium, and large. To start the compression process, click on the “compress” button. A huge advantage is that if you need to work with a large number of PDF files, this program allows you to reduce the size of one or more PDF files quite easily and quickly. And it enables Mac users to import up to 50 PDF files at a time.

The most popular online compressor is PDFPlatform. This platform is very popular for providing various online PDF services. Here you can download a single PDF file for compression from local storage, Google Drive, or Dropbox.

Unfortunately, however, PDFPlatform also has certain disadvantages. For example, it continuously requires displaying ads on the screen, and it is impossible to compress PDF files in batch mode (it is a paid mode). In addition, there is a default mode for users.

The Mac is primarily designed to be more productive in life as well as in work, so it makes sense that certain strong and effective applications come with macOS for free. There are 2 tools among these apps that can reduce the PDF file size on your device for free. One is Preview, and the other is ColorSync.

It is up to each user to choose the most suitable and effective method to compress PDF files. Basically, it depends directly on the frequency and work volumes that need to be processed, sent or uploaded to the sites.