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This tutorial shows you how to work with the Edit PDFs features in Acrobat 9. See what the all-new Acrobat DC can do for you.
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In this tutorial, learn how to reduce a PDF file size (sometimes called optimize PDF or compress PDF) without having to regenerate the PDF file, regardless of the preset used to create a file. The size of a PDF file can vary tremendously depending on the Adobe PDF settings used to create the file. For example, files created using the High Quality Print preset will be larger than files created using the Standard or Smallest File Size presets. Regardless of the preset used to create a file, you can often reduce the file size without having to regenerate the PDF file.
In this section, you'll use the Reduce File Size command to dramatically reduce or compress the size of a PDF file.
When you choose the compatibility level, be aware that the newer the version of Acrobat that you choose, the smaller the file. If you choose compatibility with Acrobat 9, however, you should be sure that your intended audience does indeed have version 9 installed.
It is always a good idea to save a file using a different name so that you don't overwrite an unmodified file.
Acrobat automatically optimizes your PDF file, a process that may take a minute or two. Any anomalies are displayed in the Conversion Warnings window. If necessary, click OK to close the window.
You can repeat steps 1-5 using different compatibility settings to see how they affect file size. note that some settings might actually increase the file size.
PDF Optimizer offers more opportunities to control quality trade-offs.
You can also convert PDF to JPG online for free.
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Comments for this tutorial are now closed.
Lori Kassuba4, 2015-09-29 29, 2015
Hi Adrienne Pilon,
If you have the Pro. version, you can try using the Optimizer as described here:
Adrienne Pilon5, 2015-09-25 25, 2015
WE have followed all the steps in the tutorial and our file sizes are still too large. Other solutions?
Lori Kassuba3, 2015-06-16 16, 2015
Yes, running OCR on a scanned image can also significantly reduce the file size—plus make it easier to search!
John12, 2015-06-10 10, 2015
The OCR trick gave the best results. I’m very nervous about downloading a thir party software to do this. I’m not sure what ad ons might be coming along with this silver bullet.
Lori Kassuba4, 2015-03-06 06, 2015
Hi Amit Kumar,
Let us know if this video helps explain the process better:
Amit Kumar10, 2015-03-03 03, 2015
Please clarify reduce pdf file format
Lori Kassuba4, 2014-12-30 30, 2014
You need Adobe Acrobat and not just the free Reader to run the Reduce File Size command.
mano8, 2014-12-25 25, 2014
can u pls tell clearly i cant reduce the file size
Lori Kassuba10, 2014-10-07 07, 2014
Hi Jannine Gamache,
Thanks for letting us know what worked for you.
Jannine Gamache12, 2014-10-01 01, 2014
I just shrank down a file from 14MB to just under 8MB by running it through the OCR recognition. Document>OCR Text Recognition. It takes a few minutes, but it works much better than using the Reduce File Size, as that only reduced it from 14MB to 11MB. I will continue to utilize this tip.
Lori Kassuba6, 2014-09-19 19, 2014
Hi VASHAPAKA SUNILKUMAR,
You’ll need either Acrobat Std or Pro. to use the Reduce File Size feature.
VASHAPAKA SUNILKUMAR12, 2014-09-17 17, 2014
how to reduce size of pdf file..
Vickie4, 2013-10-08 08, 2013
I have found that I can shrink the file size just by running the file through OCR recognition. I just shrank a 12M file down to 5M.
Document > OCR Text Recognition
Abobakr Sultan9, 2013-01-24 24, 2013
I followed those steps but it the file size (10.0MB) remained the same?
Some PDF files may not be able to be reduced in the file size. However, if you have the Pro. version of Acrobat you can try using the PDF Optimizer:
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