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Different Ways to Compress a PDF on Mac

Different Ways to Compress a PDF on Mac

Different Ways to Compress a PDF on Mac

PDFs are a universal file format used by businesses and individuals worldwide. They offer a convenient way to share documents and presentations, ensuring that the content looks the same on all devices. However, PDFs can sometimes be large in size, making them difficult to email or upload to the web. Fortunately, if you're a Mac user, there are several ways to compress a PDF without losing quality. In this guide, we will explore different methods to reduce the size of your PDF files on a Mac.

Using Preview

Preview is a built-in application on Mac that allows you to view and edit images and PDFs. It also has a feature that lets you compress PDFs. Here's how:

First, open the PDF file with Preview. Next, click on 'File' in the menu bar and select 'Export'. In the pop-up window, you'll see a 'Quartz Filter' option. Click on the drop-down menu and select 'Reduce File Size'. Finally, give your compressed PDF a name and choose where you want to save it.

While this method is quick and easy, it may significantly reduce the quality of your PDF. Therefore, it's best used for documents where quality is not a top priority.

Using Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is a popular tool for working with PDFs. It offers more control over the compression process compared to Preview. Here's how to compress a PDF using Adobe Acrobat:

Open your PDF with Adobe Acrobat. Click on 'File', then 'Save As Other', and finally 'Reduced Size PDF'. You can then choose the compatibility version. The lower the version, the smaller the file size, but older versions may not have some features of newer versions. Click 'OK' and then 'Save'.

Adobe Acrobat is a paid tool, but it offers a free trial. It's a good option if you frequently work with PDFs and need advanced features.

Using Online Tools

If you don't want to install any software, you can use online tools to compress your PDFs. These tools are easy to use and work in your web browser. However, be cautious when using them, as you'll be uploading your files to a third-party server.

Some popular online PDF compressors include Smallpdf, iLovePDF, and PDF Compressor. To use these tools, simply upload your PDF, wait for the tool to compress it, and then download the compressed file.

Remember to always check the privacy policy of the online tool you're using. Some may keep your files for a certain period or use them for other purposes.

Using Third-Party Software

There are also third-party software options available for Mac users that can compress PDFs. These include PDF Expert, PDF Squeezer, and NXPowerLite Desktop. These tools offer more features and control over the compression process compared to online tools.

To use these tools, you'll need to download and install the software. Then, open your PDF with the software and select the compression option. The steps may vary depending on the software.

These tools usually offer a free trial, but you'll need to purchase the full version for continued use. They're a good option if you frequently need to compress PDFs and want more control over the process.


Compressing PDFs on a Mac doesn't have to be a difficult task. Whether you prefer using built-in tools like Preview, paid tools like Adobe Acrobat, online tools, or third-party software, there's a method that will suit your needs.

Remember, the best method for you depends on your specific needs. If you're concerned about quality, you might prefer a method that offers more control over the compression process. If convenience is your top priority, a quick and easy method like using Preview or an online tool might be best.

By understanding how to compress PDFs on your Mac, you can save space on your device, make your files easier to share, and streamline your workflow.

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