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How To Compress A PDF In Adobe

What happens when you need to share a very large PDF, such as a contract or manual? Because of all the information this type of document retains, it may be too large to attach to an email or upload online. In this case, you may need to reduce the size of your PDFs in Adobe, so you can send them without any issues.


There are numerous reasons why you might need to compress a PDF in Adobe. For instance, if the PDF file contains a lot of images or graphics, it can be quite large, making it difficult to share or store. Similarly, large PDF files can take a long time to upload or download, particularly if you have a slow internet connection. In this case, compressing the PDF file can speed up the process, saving valuable time.

When it comes to making changes to a PDF, there are several options available, including free online editors or paid software such as Adobe. On this page, we will explain how to compress a PDF in Adobe, and other programs and platforms that provide the same result.

How To Compress A PDF In Adobe

While Adobe does require a paid subscription, this program offers a wide range of tools for editing your files, from re-writing text to splitting documents into multiple files. One of the most popular tools used is the one to compress your documents, making them smaller and easier to share.

Follow the steps below to find out how to achieve this:

  1. Subscribe to Adobe Acrobat Pro and install the program on your device.
  2. In Adobe Acrobat Pro, head to the Optimize PDF tool.
  3. Next, select ‘Add’ and ‘Open’ to upload your document to the program.
  4. Select Reduce File Size from the toolbar.
  5. In the dialogue box, choose the desired ‘compatibility’ from the drop-down menu.
  6. Finally, don’t forget to save the compressed version of your document.

While Adobe software is an excellent solution that offers a comprehensive editing program, for something as simple as compressing a PDF, you may prefer a more budget-friendly option. We will explore alternative methods below, but first, read these useful tips for working with this file format.

What You Need To Know About Compressing A PDF In Adobe

Now that you know exactly how to compress a PDF using Adobe’s software, let’s see what the pros and cons of this option are:

  • As we mentioned, you will need to pay for a subscription to use Adobe Acrobat Pro. If you are on a budget, or you only need to use these tools sporadically, it may not be worth the investment as it is one of the most expensive programs of its kind.
  • One of the top reasons for choosing Adobe is the wide range of features it offers. There’s not much you can’t do with Adobe Acrobat Pro. If you need more advanced editing tools, this is likely the best option for you.
  • Regardless of what program you use, you should be careful about over-compressing your file. While limited compression won’t affect the way your files look, if you over do it, you may end up with a grainy document that is hard to read.
  • If you want to use this tool for a specific purpose (i.e. attach it to an email or upload to a platform), it’s a good idea to check what the dimension requirements are beforehand, so you can compress the file accordingly.

Which Programs Allow You To Compress A PDF

There are numerous programs, both online and offline, that offer quick and easy solutions for compressing your files. For instance, several desktop programs designed for documents give you the option to save the file in a smaller size.

On the other hand, using a cloud-based platform gives you the freedom to use any device, and they’re often free to use, making this one of the most budget-friendly options.

Compressing A PDF On A PC

From a PC, people often choose to install a program such as Acrobat Pro. However, most software of this kind comes with a paid subscription, so you may want to consider other suitable options first. Compressing your files online is a great option on any PC.

Nonetheless, let’s take a look at some solutions for the main operating systems: Windows, Mac and Linux.


All Windows devices are compatible with Adobe Acrobat. Discover the various packages they offer to see if you can find the right one for you. If you just need to compress some files in a flash, try FormatPDF's PDF Compressor.


Just like Windows, all Apple devices are compatible with Adobe products. If you aren’t certain if you want to commit to a full package just yet, take advantage of their free trial period to discover the product before investing.


Cloud-based editors can easily be accessed from Linux devices, too. Alternatively, you can install an open-source tool such as Master PDF Editor, specially designed for handling this format.

Compressing A PDF From A Smartphone Or Tablet

Today, many of us work from our phones, so it’s important we can access all the tools we need from our smartphones. Here are some great solutions for compressing documents on the go from iPhone and Android devices.

iPhone or iPad

There are various apps for compressing files available in the Apple Store, such as PDF Compressor. When you choose an app, make sure it’s compatible with PDF files. Don’t forget, you can also use an online editor from your phone.


When it comes to Android devices, there are also various apps available, including a special version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Use the 7-day trial to see if it works for you, and remember you can always jump online to compress your files for a quick fix.

Jesse works as a freelance translator and copywriter. She has a degree in Media & Culture and is passionate about anything to do with language and writing. With a love for research and learning, she has written about all sorts of topics including Technology, Gastronomy, Travel, Nutrition and more. She currently collaborates with FormatPDF as a copywriter.
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