6 Ways to Reduce PDF File Size on Mac without Losing Quality


PDF files are a convenient and versatile format for sharing documents. However, their large file sizes can sometimes pose challenges, especially when it comes to storage, email attachments, or uploading to websites. Fortunately, there are several methods available to reduce PDF file size on Mac without compromising the quality of the document. In this article, we’ll explore six effective techniques to help you shrink your PDFs while maintaining their clarity and readability.

Compress PDF Using Preview

1. Compress PDF Using Preview

Preview, the default PDF viewer on Mac, offers a built-in feature for compressing PDF files. Here’s how to use it:

   – Open the PDF file in Preview.

   – Click on “File” in the menu bar and select “Export.”

   – Choose the “Reduce File Size” option from the Quartz Filter menu.

   – Adjust the quality slider to your desired level of compression.

   – Click “Save” to create a compressed version of the PDF.

2. Convert to Optimized PDF in Adobe Acrobat

   – Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat.

   – Go to “File” > “Save As Other” > “Optimized PDF.”

   – Select the compatibility level and optimization settings.

   – Click “OK” to save the optimized PDF file.

3. Use Online PDF Compressors

   – There are various online tools available that allow you to compress PDF files without installing any software. Simply upload your PDF, choose the compression settings, and download the compressed file. Some popular online PDF compressors include Smallpdf, PDF2Go, and ilovepdf.

4. Remove Unnecessary Elements:

   – PDF files can often contain unnecessary elements such as embedded fonts, images, or metadata that contribute to their large size. Use PDF editing software like Adobe Acrobat or PDFpen to remove these elements selectively, reducing the file size without affecting the document’s content.

5. Adjust Image Resolution

   – Images are often the main contributors to large PDF file sizes. By reducing the resolution of images within the PDF, you can significantly decrease the file size while maintaining acceptable image quality. Use image editing software like Adobe Photoshop or Preview on Mac to resize images before embedding them into the PDF.

6. Split Large PDFs Into Smaller Files

   – If you have a PDF document with multiple pages, consider splitting it into smaller files to reduce the overall file size. You can use software like Adobe Acrobat or online PDF splitting tools to divide the document into separate pages or sections, making it easier to manage and share.


With these six methods, you can effectively reduce the size of your PDF files on a Mac without sacrificing quality. Whether you’re dealing with large documents for work, school, or personal use, optimizing PDF file sizes can help you save storage space, improve file transfer speeds, and enhance overall productivity. Experiment with different compression techniques to find the best balance between file size and quality for your specific needs. By implementing these strategies, you can streamline your PDF workflow and enjoy smoother, more efficient document management on your Mac.