Want to reduce the size of a PDF file? Find out how

how difficult is it to reduce the size of a PDF or edit it? If you still don’t know the answer, don’t worry, in this article you will find the basic tools and techniques to maximize your processes and optimize the results of your projects with this universally used format.

Therefore, we have selected the programs that will help you improve your work times and get the most out of the PDF format.we will also tell you how to edit a PDF file, how to join PDF files, how to unlock them, how to reduce the size of a PDF file in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, among others.

you’re just a few clicks away from reading the best sites to compress and reduce the size of your PDFs!

ready to get started?

how to reduce the size of a PDF file?

First of all, have you ever wondered, “what is a PFD and what is it for?”. The term PDF stands for Portable Document Format and its purpose is to display documents electronically independent of the software, hardware or operating system where it is viewed.

It was originally developed by Adobe® Systems and is the international standard for exchanging documents and information. Here are the advantages of the PDF format, as well as its disadvantages.

Advantages of the PDF format

A PDF will always display exactly the same content and layout regardless of the operating system, device or software application where it is viewed.

The PDF format allows you to integrate various types of content, such as text, images, vector graphics, videos, animations, audio files, 3D models, interactive fields, links and buttons. All these elements can be combined within the same file.

PDFs are easy to create, read and use.

A PDF file offers options to set various levels of access to protect the content of the entire document, such as watermarks, passwords or digital signatures.

The size of a PDF can be reduced while maintaining full control over the level of image quality.

PDF files are ideal for project deliverables, client proposals and academic practical work. Because they have a more “professional” finish.

Disadvantages of PDF format

PDF was developed as a document interchange format. The original goal was to protect the content and layout of the document no matter what platform or software program it is viewed on. That is why PDFs are difficult to edit and it can still be a challenge to extract information from them.

But, as we mentioned at the beginning of this article, here we bring you the solution. Therefore, below we will show you how to make it possible.

When you work collaboratively or remotely , it is very important that your files are lightweight to facilitate their download. Although it is advisable to save them in PDF format to prevent someone from modifying your original idea, many times these files have a large size.

The truth is that reducing the size of a PDF is ideal so that, for example, if you send a quote for digital advertising management or advice on digital marketing trends, you have more chances that your potential customers read it.

Presentations are one of the most popular and powerful means of communication in the business world. A good presentation can convince clients, investors or colleagues to buy our ideas”.

Returning to the topic of reducing the weight of PDF files, today there are many online sites that help you reduce the weight of your PDF and all in a matter of minutes. So, follow this article to find out which ones are the best.

Reduce the Size of a Scanned PDF File

A scanned PDF file can become very heavy and this can be an inconvenience when attaching it to an email, for example, to send it to a potential client or share it with a friend. Whatever the reason, there are useful tools to reduce the size of a scanned PDF file and here’s how you can do it.

In this step-by-step, we’ll show you how to reduce PDF file size with the PDFelement tool (it has a free trial you can take advantage of):

1. Import the scanned PDF file

After you have launched the PDFelement program, you must click on the button that says “Open” in order to import the PDF file in question that you want to reduce the size of. So, the first step is to load the document into this program.

2. Reduce the size of the scanned PDF

In this second step, to reduce the size of the scanned PDF, you must click on “File” (it appears in the horizontal bar of the options menu) and then click on “Optimize”. Right there you can choose how much you want to optimize or reduce the weight of the PDF file (low, medium, high).

The great thing about this program is that before saving the optimized file, in the same place it shows you the final size and by what percentage its weight was reduced.

Once you have chosen the size, click on “Optimize”.

and that’s it! That’s how easy it is to reduce the size of a scanned PDF file.

Source: Pexels

Reducing the size of a PDF from your cell phone

You won’t always have time or a computer at hand to reduce the size of a PDF. For that reason, it will be important to know how to reduce the weight of a PDF from the cell phone. Today I will share with you two of the best applications for this purpose:

Compress PDF file

If your cell phone storage is almost full and you need to download an important file, having an application to reduce the size of a PDF file could “save your life” on more than one occasion. With the use of this app, you can easily compress your PDF files on your cell phone. Here are the steps:

Select the PDF file you want to compress
Choose the quality of the output PDF by reducing the file size

This app is free and works with any type of PDF. Yes, even if it has a lot of graphics and scanned photos. Reducing the size of a pdf will make it possible to download it faster and even send it via WhatsApp.

PDF Compressor App

If you are looking for an app that allows you to reduce the size of a PDF easily, this is the app you were looking for. With just one touch you can compress all your PDF documents. Among its main features are:

Compress PDF files for free

Compress PDF files in seconds

Friendly and intuitive interface

PDF file sharing options

Reduce PDF size in Photoshop

did you know that you can also achieve this trick in Photoshop? yes, you can! Here are the steps you need to follow:

Choose “File” and “Save As”.

Select the “Photoshop PDF” option in the “Format” menu.

Click on “Save”.

In the “Save Adobe PDF” box, choose an Adobe PDF preset.

Indicate the compression in which you will export the PDF.

As a bonus, you can add security options or reset the PDF saving options.

Reduce the size of a PDF in Illustrator

Perhaps your Illustrator artwork can be quite large, making it difficult to transfer and store files. Luckily, there is a simple way to drastically reduce their sizes.

Apart from Photoshop, you can also compress PDF files in Illustrator. In fact, recent versions of this design program save a copy of the .AI file in PDF by default.

This will be useful if you don’t want to keep track of a separate .AI file and a PDF file. Also, having a PDF file will allow you to later edit it in Illustrator or recover the document if the program crashes.

Remember that you need to save and maintain an .AI version of the file for editing purposes, and a separate PDF file for printing the design or for other users to view. Without further ado, here’s how to reduce the size of a PDF:

First, make sure you’ve saved your work as an Illustrator .AI file (this is essential). we don’t want your sleepless hours to have been wasted!

Next, choose File > Save a copy.

Then select Adobe PDF for the format and click the Save button.

Finally, you will be presented with a dialog box, in which you simply deselect “Preserve Illustrator editing capabilities” and then click the Save PDF button.

We also leave you the following video so you don’t get lost among so many steps.

Boost your theoretical and practical knowledge. Succeed as a graphic designer or professional and develop the creativity that your clients’ brands need to reach the pinnacle of success. are you in?

Reduce PDF size in InDesign

Adobe InDesign allows users to export files in various formats, including PDF, an ideal option when you want to send a document to someone else who doesn’t have the program installed on their PC.

In fact, compressing the PDF file in Indesign is as easy as converting an Excel sheet to PDF. follow the steps in this video and reduce the size of your files in seconds!

have you seen how easy it is to reduce the size of a PDF in these powerful design programs? If sometimes it takes you a while to find your favorite tools in these softwares, don’t worry, download our guide with the main shortcuts for Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. it’s free!

Programs to reduce PDF size

would you like to know what are the main online programs you can use to get out of trouble and reduce the size of a PDF quickly? There are at least 3 options, which are among the most used, to reduce the weight to PDFs. Find out what they are:

I Love PDF

Surely you have heard of this tool to reduce the size of a PDF. In fact, it is the most used for its speed in compressing the size of your file without losing quality.

I Love PDF is very simple because you only have to drag your PDF to the page. Once your file is inserted, you will find 3 compression options:

Extreme compression: you sacrifice the quality of your document, but reduce in extremis the weight of the PDF.

Recommended Compression (comes by default): respects the quality and reduces the size of the PDF.

Low Compression: made so that you reduce very little the weight but the quality will be (almost) identical.

This time, we will use the “Recommended Compression” option to download our Digital Marketing for Entrepreneurs eBook.

Source: I Love PDF

Source: I Love PDF

goodbye 4.8 MB! Ready to share our Ebook everywhere.

Small PDF

As its name says, its guarantee is to make the PDF as small as possible. Here we show you an example that will surely convince you because it reduces 80% of its original weight. Take a look at this demo.

Source: Small PDF

PDF Compressor

The creators of this site did not get very creative with the name, but the important thing is that their site is very effective, since in a matter of two steps you will have your PDF file more fit.

Just like the previous pages, the first step is to drag the PDF file you want to reduce in weight. As soon as you do it, your file will appear with the percentage that was compressed. Click the yellow Download button and that’s it! Your PDF is now lighter.

Source: PDF Compressor


LightPDF is a very useful free tool to reduce the size of a PDF online; however, it contains other useful functions such as converting files to PDF, PDF editing, PDF compression, among others.

This is a web-based tool, so once you are in your web browser, you will be able to access all its functions. It is fast and secure. Worried about the quality of the files? Reducing them on this website will allow them to maintain a high quality. Here are the steps to reduce the size of a PDF:

Go to the page to start compression.
Then drag and drop the PDF file into the square to upload it. The website will automatically compress the file.
Finally, click the download button to download the file to your PC.

the best part? The tool is 100% free and has no limitations on file size or upload times.

what’s the point of downsizing a PDF file?

the answer is simple! Because you will be able to share or send an endless number of documents through digital platforms in a simple way and without having to use the old reliable: the USB. Here we will tell you 3 clouds that you can use to make the most of your compressed PDFs.


This popular file transfer tool is very easy to use, since it does not require registration on the platform, you only need to upload documents or photos with a maximum size of 2GB (this is when you take advantage of the note), write your email and the email of the person who will receive the files. that’s all!

Click here to get to WeTransfer

Source: WeTransfer


The same tool describes itself as a modern workspace designed to alleviate the drudgery of tasks, so you can emphasize what really matters.


It’s very similar to WeTransfer. Only instead of offering you 2GB, it will give you 5GB for free. You don’t have to register to use this platform either.

Other things you can do with a PDF file

how to edit a PDF file?

Learning how to edit a PDF file is something that can perhaps make your life a little easier if you receive important documents that need to be modified on a daily basis.

You know that unlike other programs, when we send, work or save a PDF file, the great advantage is that it can be viewed in any software and on different digital platforms.

That is why it is the preferred format for many people who want to avoid complications with compatibility issues.

And to avoid other problems when we want to edit a file, we tell you that there are programs to edit PDF that will become your great allies.

Instead of creating new files every time we need to correct or update information, you can simply use the tools that we are going to mention and thus solve the problem in a simple and practical way.

how to edit a Free PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader?

If we talk about how to edit a PDF Free, the main resource we use is Adobe Acrobat Reader. This program is specialized in viewing, creating, editing and managing files in PDF format.

1. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

It doesn’t matter if you use a Mac or Windows, Acrobat is compatible with both operating systems. Before downloading the software it is important that you check the specifications.

Not all versions allow you to edit text, so you should look for one of these options:

Acrobat XI Standard

Acrobat Standard DC

Acrobat XI Pro

Acrobat Pro DC

Source: Adobe

2. Open the file and edit it

After downloading the correct program and installing it, open the file you want to edit. On the toolbar located on the right side of your screen, select the “edit PDF” option.

To edit the texts, place the cursor over the fragment you want to edit and use the “format” function.

If your goal is to change the images, then select the image and use the functions provided in the “object” menu. That’s it.

how to edit a PDF in Word?

Adobe Acrobat allows you to extract the content of the document and use Word as a PDF editor. So how to edit a PDF in Word? To do so, follow these steps:

1. Open the file and choose to export it in PDF format

You must open the file you want to edit in Acrobat, select the “export PDF” option in the right toolbar.

2. Choose the destination of the file

A window will appear asking you for the destination of your file, select “Microsoft Word” and click on the export button.

3. Modify the information

Now you just need to add, delete, modify the information in your file and save it by selecting the PDF option.

how to edit a PDF on Mac?

If you have a computer with the Windows operating system and you also have Microsoft, then using the Acrobat program will be enough to edit your PDF.

However, if your computer is Apple, you can also make changes using your iOS system’s own tools to modify a PDF on Mac.

1. Enable the copy function

Open the file, select all the text and enable the copy function.

2. Edit it in Pages

Then, open the Pages app, paste what you copied and edit the text you want. We recommend that if your file has images, it is better to leave that space blank to insert them later.

The step to transfer images from your PDF to Pages: activate the shortcut “command + shift+4” and select the area of the PDF you want to extract.

You can do this as many times as you think necessary until all the elements are saved on your desktop. Finally, drag the images to the new document and place them in the blanks and save it as a PDF.

how to edit a PDF online?

The first step to edit a PDF online is to find a good website that is secure and easy to use.

We recommend Sejda, it is a tool that you can use intuitively, you just need to upload the file, select the type of editing you want to do and let your creativity flow in your writing.

sejda is a free online PDF editor! Don’t forget to save and download the new PDF document.

Source: Sejda

If you want to choose another tool to edit your files, it is important that you take into consideration that there are several programs that are paid and also provide limited support.

It is also important that you check if the software accepts the weight of your PDF file, if it does not, you can take the first step, which is to compress it with the tools we have mentioned in the paragraphs above.

how to convert an image to PDF?

One of the most common doubts about PDF editing has to do with PDF conversion, precisely when you need to convert an image to PDF. can I do it? how do I do it?

Fortunately, it is possible to convert an image to PDF. Whether it is a JPG or PNG image, there are some alternatives that will help us convert these files to PDF with just a couple of clicks.

The reasons for converting an image to PDF can be many, but probably the main one has to do with sending official documents. Often (almost always) they ask for these documents in PDF format, not in JPG or PNG.

Source: Small PDF

For example, when you have to send your ID card or passport for some reason you don’t usually send the photo, but rather a PDF file with your IDs. Therefore, it is important to know how to convert an image to PDF.

Luckily, many of the alternatives we present to reduce the size of your PDF also have the option to convert an image to PDF. Here we show you some of them.

Small PDF
I Love PDF

If you are not convinced by these alternatives, we invite you to know these 5 programs to convert JPG files to PDF.

how to assemble PDF files?

Imagine that you are sent a contract of several pages in PDF, you read it on your computer and decide to sign it, but you only print the last page, where you must put your signature. The next step would be to scan it and send it. Then you think: will it be possible to integrate this page to the original document?

Just like that, there are many cases in which you have to put together PDF files and then send them as a single document and not send several files. fortunately there is a solution!

Source: PDF Candy

One of the characteristics of the online platforms that we show you to reduce the size of your PDF files is that they are totally versatile; that is to say, they can fulfill several functions, among them that of joining PDF files.

As with the size reduction, joining PDF files only requires a few simple steps so that, in a matter of seconds, you will be able to join your files and download them. easier? It really couldn’t get any easier.

Here are some direct links so you can join your PDFs right away.

Small PDF
I Love PDF
Candy PDF
Soda PDF
Combine PDF

how to merge PDF files with Acrobat?

Now, if you prefer to join PDF files offline, Acrobat also gives you the possibility to do it through simple steps.

Source: Adobe Acrobat

Launch Acrobat and go to the “Tools” tab.
Among the options, choose “Combine files”.
Add the files you want to include. You will be able to combine and organize them as you wish, as well as delete some of the pages you do not want.
Once you are done, click “Merge files” and you are done. You will be able to save your new document.

how to unlock a PDF?

If you too have suffered trying to unlock a PDF, we have two ways to do it: one is online and the other is using Acrobat. Check out both options and choose the one that is easiest for you.

Unlock PDF file with Acrobat

To unlock a PDF file follow these steps:

Open the PDF in Acrobat

Select the “unlock” tool: Tools > Protection > Encrypt > Remove.

Remove security: these options may vary depending on the type of security the file has:

If your document has a document open password, click “accept” to remove it from the document.

If the document has a licensed password, it is important that you type it in the “enter password” box, click “accept” and then “accept” again to confirm the action.

Remove PDF password

To remove the password from a PDF you can also use these three programs: SmallPDF, ilovePDF and soda PDF.

You just need to perform these 3 simple steps to unlock any PDF with password:

Choose the file to unlock and upload it to any of the online sites.

If the encryption is not too strong, it will be unlocked and you will be able to download it in seconds.

And that’s it! You can download it on any operating system.

how to sign a PDF document?

We know it is a bit tedious to print a document, sign it and then scan it to send it by mail. Besides, why print if we can avoid it? Because, yes, we can avoid this cumbersome process.

Therefore, we will tell you how to sign a PDF document from your own computer. By the way, take a look at the fonts for signatures that will make your documents look stylish.

how to do it? There are different alternatives. The first (offline) is offered by Acrobat, in which, through the “Signature” function, we can draw or even attach an image of it in simple steps. Here is how to do it:

Source: Adobe Sign

Open the document to be signed.
Click on the signature button on the toolbar.
A dialog box will open in which you must click on “Fill in and sign”
Acrobat will automatically detect the fields to sign. When you hover your mouse over them a blue box will appear, click on it.
Now all you have to do is sign. You will have three options: text (type your name or initials and choose a predetermined style); drawing (draw your signature with the mouse) and image (find and attach an original image of your signature).

On the other hand, some of the sites that helped us to reduce the size of PDFs also have the option to sign the document.

Source: I Love PDF

Tools for working with PDF files

As a bonus track, since you are one of the team of those who use PDF files (and we have checked because if you got here it is because you are very interested in reducing the size of a PDF file), we bring you some of the best online tools to work with PDF files. you’re welcome!

Acrobat extension for Google Chrome

do you usually use Google Chrome as your default browser? what if I tell you that there is an extension to work comfortably with PDF files from this browser?

Recently, Adobe released a new application for editing PDFs online, ideal for when you are in a hurry to finish a document. The default PDF viewer has many limitations. That’s why it’s best to use this extension (which is also free).

This Chrome extension is perfect for saving time and energy, ideal for those who are productivity fanatics and seek to optimize everything to the maximum (so, you won’t have to waste time and energy switching between applications).

what can you do with this extension to edit PDF files online and in one place? Let’s see:

Add comments, markups or highlights: you can add annotations on the pages of PDF documents. You can even make marks or drawings.
Add an electronic signature: If you have PDF files such as employment contracts or agreements, you can sign them directly from the web browser. Just add an electronic signature without leaving Google Chrome, with this extension.
Convert PDF to Word: it is no longer a problem to convert a PDF file to Word, you can do it directly with the Chrome extension.
Reorganize PDF pages: did some pages get messed up in the PDF file? Fixing them is easy with the extension. You can also delete or rotate pages.

However, not all of these features are available in the free plan.

PDF Converter

would you like to convert documents to PDF for free, easily and quickly? The solution lies in PDF Converter, another extension that can be used in the Google Chrome browser, which makes the job much easier.

Weaver Highlighter

If you are one of those who need to underline documents to highlight ideas and only that way you can study the information in depth, let me tell you that Weaver Highlighter is the perfect option for you.

This is one of the most used Chrome extensions for PDF files, since it allows you to highlight sentences, words and anything you want from a PDF with different colors. you can even save almost 4 hours per week with this tool!

Save Emails to PDF

Yes, this is another extension. And while its purpose is very specific, it can be a great solution for you. With this tool you can, in just one click, save an email as a PDF file. Therefore, if you are a graphic designer and you exchange a lot of information with your clients in this way, surely on more than one occasion you need to save some valuable email.

Source: Pexels

You have already seen that there are many alternatives to reduce the size of your PDF files online and, in addition, there are plenty of tricks that facilitate our work. Undoubtedly, using these applications and/or shortcuts will allow you to obtain greater flexibility and a variety of options to share your PDF files from your PC and cell phone.

We hope you found this super guide on how to reduce the size of a PDF file useful. Make a note of these tricks to get out of trouble every time you need to compress a PDF file.

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