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How To Reduce A PDF’s File Size Using A Mac

Reducing the size of a PDF on Mac is a common task. PDFs usually come with lots of graphics and images, which may make the file size quite large and unmanageable. Because of their size, large PDFs can be difficult to share over email and store on a macOS device, in which case it’s best to compress the PDF.

One of the main benefits of reducing the size of your document is that it helps save space on your Mac. When you compress documents, you reduce their size and effectively free up storage. It also makes them easier to share, send and upload elsewhere. Luckily, there’s an easy and straightforward way to reduce the size of your document by using our online tool.

This will reduce the size of your document and you will be able to send or store it more easily. Here, we’ll share a step-by-step process on how to do this with FormatPDF. Mac users can also use your device’s built-in PDF viewer to complete this task, so we’ll share details on how to do this too. If you’re ready to get started, let’s dive in!

How To Reduce A PDF’s File Size Using A Mac Step-By-Step

FormatPDF can help you resize your documents for free and without having to download any additional programs. It’s a simple process that will take a few seconds. Then, you just download your converted document.

If you’re ready to get started, read the step-by-step instructions below:

  1. Go to formatpdf.com/en/compress-pdf/.
  2. Click on “Select PDF file” to upload the document that you’d like to work on. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the file into the area that states, “Or drag and drop the PDF here”.
  3. Once you’ve uploaded, you’ll be presented with three options to the right of the page:
    1. Maximum compression.
    2. Recommended compression.
    3. Low compression.
  4. If you want the best balance of quality and compression, then opt for “Recommended compression”. Otherwise, make your decision based on your desired result. Once you’re happy, click the red “Compress PDF” button and the tool will get to work.
  5. In a few seconds, your document will be flattened. Click on “Download” to receive your document!

compress pdf mobile

What You Need To Know About Reducing A PDF’s File Size On Mac

You may want to consider the following points before you get started with shrinking your file’s size. Check out the points highlighted below:

  • You can check the size of a PDF by finding it in your PC’s document viewer and right-clicking on “Properties”.
  • By compressing your files, you can save storage. Compressed files take up significantly less space, meaning you will be able to get more out of your device’s storage capacity without having to spend more on cloud subscriptions or buying a larger hard disk.
  • Batch compression (the act of uploading multiple documents at the same time) is a great way to save time and complete your task in an easier way. You can do this using FormatPDF’s online tool. Follow the step-by-step guide above and simply select multiple documents rather than one.

Alternatives To Reduce A PDF’s File Size On Mac

Compressing your PDFs is a great way to free up space so you can store more files on your Mac. It’s also an easier way to send PDFs over email. Although FormatPDF provides a free and simple-to-use online compression tool, you may wish to explore other options. Notably, some of the options listed below charge a fee. Let’s take a look.


Mac users can perform their task using Apple’s default image and PDF viewing program, Preview. Follow the step-by-step instructions listed below to compress your document:

  1. To get started, open your file by double-clicking it or right-clicking and navigate to “Open With” > “Preview”.
  2. Next, click “File” > “Export
  3. In the “Quartz Filter” drop-down box, select “Reduce File Size”.
  4. Finish the process to make the transformation.

Adobe Acrobat

Mac users can use Adobe Acrobat to condense their documents. Below you will find step-by-step instructions for reducing your document.

  1. Launch Adobe Acrobat and open your document in the program.
  2. Follow the pathway: “File” > “Reduce File Size” or “Compress PDF”.
  3. Select the compression level from high, medium or low, depending on your desired result. The general rule is the higher the compression level, the smaller the file and the lower quality output. If you opt for low compression, you will retain the highest level quality and the largest file size.
  4. Once your file is ready, select “Download” to access your file!

PDFsam Basic

PDFsam Basic is a downloadable software that Mac users can use to compress their PDFs. Here’s how:

  1. Launch the software and open the PDF file you want to compress. This can be done by clicking on the "Open" or "Import" button.
  2. Choose the compression settings. You'll be able to choose between various levels of compression quality, image quality, and resolution. Experiment with different settings to find the right balance between file size and quality for your needs.
  3. Apply the compression to the PDF file. This is done by clicking on the "Compress" or "Save" button. Depending on the size of the original file and the compression settings you've chosen, this process may take a few seconds or several minutes.
  4. Save the compressed PDF file. Choose a location on your computer where you want to save the file, and give it a new name so that you can easily differentiate it from the original. That’s all there is to it!
Becky is a freelance tech writer with over 8 years' experience writing for print and online. She is often found heavily caffeinated and accompanied by a laptop occupying local coffee shops, bars, co-working spaces and, frankly, anywhere she can get a strong cup of coffee. She enjoys collaborating on different projects ranging from tech to travel and everything in between!
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