How to Compress a PDF

Why compress a PDF? 

As a way to save space on your website and to allow a positive user experience for all of your website visitors, we suggest that you compress PDFs down to no more than 2 MB in file size. The exact ideal file size will depend on the file itself. Some PDFs may compress down to 100 KB or less, while other PDFs may compress down to 300-800 KB.

Most automated compression tools will find a balance of quality and file size. After the PDF document is compressed, some aspects of it may appear in slightly lower quality than the original. For web-based content, this works out just fine. You would not want to compress a PDF that you plan to use for a high-quality printing. 


What if I need to provide a high-quality PDF to my site visitors? 

If it is necessary to provide a high-quality PDF to your site visitors (2MB+ in file size), we suggest that you consider using a CloudShare service like Dropbox or GoogleDrive and provide a public link to the file for download or by using a service like FlipHTML5 to display your PDF in an embedded flipbook format. 

Below, we provide you with three options (out of many) for compressing your PDFs. 

Adobe Acrobat Online Compress PDF (FREE)

  1. Visit and follow the instructions to upload your file. 
  2. Select the level of compression that you would like for your file. 
  3. Once the compression is complete, select the option to download your PDF and save it to your computer. 

Acrobat Pro (Windows/Mac)

  1. Learn about compressing a PDF with the Acrobat Pro app by visiting Adobe's support site at

Preview (Mac)

  1. In the Preview app on your Mac, open the PDF.
  2. Choose File > Export.
  3. Click the Quartz Filter dropdown menu and choose Reduce File Size.
  4. Click Save.