How to Compress a PDF File Size

By Jessica Reed

Limit your use of different fonts and images to create smaller PDF files.
i Text mit Blumenhintergrund image by Ralph Klein from <a href=''></a>

The file size of a PDF document increases with every extra font style and image added to the document. You can create smaller, compressed PDF files with faster loading times if you change certain settings or alter images with image editing software. Compressed PDF files take up less space on a Flash drive or computer and download faster when sent by email. This is especially helpful if you are downloading over a slow Internet connection.

Step 1

Limit the use of different fonts to one or two throughout the document.

Step 2

Edit all images with image editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop or free software such as GIMP or Reduce the image to the smallest possible size that still provides a clear, crisp image. Choose vector graphics over normal images when possible. Vector graphics can scale to the desired smaller size without loss of quality or blurring of the image.

Step 3

Click the "Advanced" menu in Adobe Acrobat. In Nitro PDF Professional, click the "Nitro PDF" button and choose "Prepare." Next, choose "Optimize." This presents you with a number of options which, when applied, will compress the file of your PDF even more. Scan the list of options and choose those that will work for your PDF document.

The "Flatten Fat Forms" option, found under the "Discard Objects" tab, is recommended by for shrinking PDF file size. Use this option on PDF files you plan to print since it eliminates the ability to type directly into the form boxes.

Step 4

Click the "File" menu and choose "Save As" when you're finished making changes in your PDF file. Save the compressed file as a new document, or save over the old version. Choosing "Save As" instead of "Save" creates a smaller file. When you click "Save" in a document you're adding more information to the file. If you click "Save As," this compresses all of the information into an optimized, smaller file instead of simply adding new information onto the old file.