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How To Reduce PDF File Size

Are you worried over sending a Pdf file as email attachment because it is too big in size? It can really be frustrating if you have to send a big size pdf file online on slow Internet connection. Reducing the file size can save you time and bandwidth and can accommodate more information with less file size.

Big size doesn't necessarily means lot of information. A file with less number of pages can also be big in size if it has not been optimized at the time of conversion either during scanning or conversion from other type of files, such as Ms Word, to pdf format.

There are many options available which can be used to reduce the size  of Pdf files as follows.

Method 1: Using Nitro Pdf Reader

Nitro PDF Reader is a free PDF reader and creator which you can for the purpose. Follow the steps below:

1. Install the Nitro PDF Reader. After it is installed, if you go to "Devices and Printers" in Windows 7, you should have a printer named "Nitro PDF Creator 2 (Reader)". You need to use this printer to print the pdf file and give a different name for the output file and new file will be much less in size.

2. Open the PDF file you want to compress.

3. Go to File and click on "Print" and select "Nitro PDF Creator 2 (Reader)" from the printer list.

4. Click on "Properties" and "Office-ready (medium files size)" under "Conversion Quality" and then press OK

5. Press OK again to send the file to printer.

6. Type the name of the new PDF file which it will be creating at the end of this PDF conversion process and it takes some time to complete the process.

7. You should have a new file now and if you check the file size it should be much smaller.

Hint: I chose "Office-ready (medium file size)" in my case but there are other options as well for "web-ready (small file size)" etc and there is an option for custom setting too if you want to play around with the size optimization by yourself.

Download: Nitro PDF Reader

Method 2: Using a CutePDF or PrimoPDF Converter program

The PrimoPDF is one of the most popular converter programs which can shrink existing pdf files. This program is also free to download and use it. It installs a PDF printer on your computer which allows the program to create a PDF file instead of printing to a physical printer.

1. Open the PDF file in any PDF reader – Click on “File” menu and select “Print”.

2. Select “CutePDF” as a printer as shown below (You shall select “PrimoPDF” if you have installed PrimoPDF on your computer).

3. Click the “Properties” button. It will open the compression tab and then you should choose quality settings. Choose the quality setting which is lower than the original to reduce its size.

In case of PrimoPDF, choose the Screen Quality to get the smallest possible size.

Method 3: Using online tool

The simplest and quick easy way to shrink the pdf file size is to use the online tool called The way it works is that you upload your pdf file, it processes the file and returns back the compressed file.

Click on Compress PDF. After the compression is complete, the website sends the optimized new file for download.

Another online tool is It has some presets such as Low, Medium and High compression, and low, medium and high image quality. In addition to that there are many other settings such as Image Settings, Discard Objects and Misc. Settings.

Method 4: Using Adobe PDF Printer

Open the file in PDF Reader and print the document to Adobe PDF printer. It specifically works when you have lot of images in your pdf file. There is no setting available as such.

Method 5: Using Acrobat PDF Optimizer

This option is available in every version of Adobe Acrobat starting from version 7. PDF Optimizer provides many setting for reducing the size of the PDF files. This PDF optimizer option is available under “Advanced” menu called “PDF Optimizer”.

1. Open the file in Adobe Acrobat (version 7 or later), “Save as Other” -> “Optimized PDF. It will bring a screen with lot of option. Click on “Audit Space Usage” button to check which component of the file is taking up more space.

2. Based on the Audit Space Usage, you can now target the area which is causing the size of the file to increase.

3. Now, Open the PDF Optimizer dialog box by clicking on File > Save As Other > Optimized PDF

4. Choose either Standard Setting or Custom based on your preference

5. Select the appropriate option to keep the current PDF version or choose an Acrobat version

6. Save the file after choosing the appropriate option

Sources and Citations:

Adobe Optimizing PDF File Size