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How to Compress a PDF File (for free)

PDF documents are notorious for being large, particularly if they contain images and objects. Most websites have a size limit, leading to frustration and uncertainty on how to move forward. Read on to learn how you can easily reduce your PDF document size.

Adobe Acrobat DC

Whilst this doesn't fit into the free category, Adobe Acrobat DC is the best and easiest way to reduce the size of your PDF. If you have paid for this app, there is a compression tool available (you could also access it in the 7 day free trial if your PDF compression needs are isolated to a week. 

Adobe PDF Compression Online Tool

This is a free tool offered by Adobe that allows you to upload your PDF file and then download a smaller version of it. There is a small catch, your document must be 2GB or under in order for the compression to work. 

Apple MacOS Preview 

If you're an Apple user, you're in luck! MacOS has built in a PDF compression tool into the Preview app, here's how:

1. Open a PDF document in the Preview app

2. Navigate to File > Export 

3. Choose PDF as the format 

4. Select Reduce File Size from the dropdown menu

5. Click Save

At Document Creation (Microsoft Word)

If your PDF originated from a Microsoft Word document, you can use the built in optimiser when publishing it to PDF, here's how: 

1. In the Microsoft Word document, click on the File menu

2. Click Export

2. Select Create PDF/XPS

3. Choose 'Minimium Size' in the 'Optimize For' options

4. Click Publish

If your document contains images, try taking a screenshot (you can use the Microsoft Snipping Tool) of the image and using that in your document instead. Generally a screenshot will provide sufficient resolution for a Microsoft Word document, whilst being smaller in size than the original photo.

Other Apps

There are countless other apps online that provide 'free PDF compression' services, you want to be sure that they are reputable and that they don't keep your document. Here are a couple we like:

1. HiPDF

2. SmallPDF

3. Alto Compress PDF

4. SodaPDF

How Powernet Can Help?

We are an IT Managed Services business, specialising in providing IT support to businesses, across Australia. We are a certified Microsoft Gold partner and have helped thousands of businesses with their technology setup. If you have any questions please reach out to our IT Support teams across Melbourne, Sydney and  Brisbane. 

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