Compress PDF – How to Reduce PDF File Size with These 5 Tricks

Knowing how to reduce PDF file size can save you from a number of different frustrating hold-ups—like trying to send a large file via email, only to get the annoying popup telling us the file is too large to send. Avoid these time-wasting traps forevermore by using these quick tips for making PDFs smaller.

1. Reducing PDF file size by re-creating the PDF

You can shrink PDF files down by simply re-creating the document. This allows you to strip out any unwanted space-gobbling objects, remove tags, and compress any pesky images further. Any tool that supports ‘print to PDF’ functionality can be used for this trick, including Nitro Pro.

  1. Open the PDF file
  2. Click File > Print
  3. Select Nitro PDF Creator from the list of printers
  4. Click the Properties button and select Web-ready Conversion Quality
  5. Click OK.

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2. Reducing PDF file size with ‘Save As’

If you use a PDF editor such as Nitro Pro you can make use of the ‘Save As’ functionality to trim some fat off your PDF files. This method was explained succinctly in a previous post:

PDF files have something that is called incremental updates, where any changes that you make to a document is appended to the end of the file without doing a complete rewrite. This is why the Save feature is much faster than a Save As, and also why PDF files saved this way can be large. The Save As feature will rewrite the entire file and provide you with a smaller file size.

Here’s how to shrink PDF file size using the ‘Save As’ method:

  1. Open the PDF in your PDF editor
  2. Click File > Save As

Read this quick guide on PDF security tools. >>

3. Reducing PDF file size by removing unwanted objects

PDF files can contain a bunch of different “objects,” like bookmarks, links, annotations, form fields, JavaScript, named destinations and embedded fonts—all of which can be removed to make PDFs smaller. Like tip #2, this method requires a PDF editing tool such as Nitro Pro.

  1. Open the PDF in your PDF editor
  2. Click File > Optimize PDF > Select the Remove Objects tab
  3. Choose the objects to remove
  4. Click OK, then Optimize  

Optimize PDF

4. Reducing PDF file size by shrinking all images

For PDF files that contain many images, downsampling all of them can make a noticeable difference in making your PDF smaller. Following the same instructions as Step 3 will get you where you need to go!

Check out these 4 tips for creating flawless PDF forms. >>

5. Reducing PDF file size using magical fairy dust

We don’t think this one is real but some other PDF developers might. If you really want the easiest way with the most options to reduce PDF files, Nitro Pro will automatically attempt to reduce the size of your documents. You can download a free 14-day trial with the full functionality at