Different ways to reduce PDF files for faster sharing on the Internet

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How to reduce pdf file size without losing quality? One of the most widespread and used formats on the Web are PDF files, due to the large number of uses that allow us in office and professional environments, it is one of the formats we most commonly use to exchange documents with text and Images over the Internet .

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Thanks to the possibility of inserting all kinds of images, sources, links, etc. Attachments in these documents, sometimes we will face the problem that its “weight” or space that occupies in our hard disk exceeds what was expected. This can be a serious inconvenience in case we want to share these files over the Internet, upload them to the Cloud or send them by email , something very common in professional environments.

It is precisely for this reason that we should bear in mind that, as with other files that may also have a “weight” too high for immediate delivery, such as photographs or videos , PDFs can also be compressed to take up less space .

One of the most common systems to carry out these tasks is to use a virtual printer in Windows . In this way and from any application that has the option of printing among its menus, we can choose this fictitious printer so that, instead of taking the document in question by paper, create a customized PDF file depending on our needs. In the same way we can also decant for one of the applications most used in these tasks like Free PDF Compressor , a free program that is easy to use to reduce PDFs. To use it we will only have to create a personal profile depending on the use that we are going to make of the file, options among which we find domestic printing, Electronic book , print shop, etc. Evidently depending on the selected mode, the quality and size of the final result will vary.

But without doubt the most interesting alternatives in that case is the use of LibreOffice office suite , since in addition to being completely free and compatible with the formats used by the well-known Microsoft Office suite , it has an interesting PDF file manager . To access this option we will have to click on the menu ” File / Export to PDF ” where we find various customizable parameters, especially on the images attached, to compress the file that we are interested in exchanging in the future. It is enough that we try with different configurations to reduce its size to the maximum affecting the minimum to its final quality.

10 Other ways to reduce the size of a PDF

Taking into account the portability of PDF files, it would be interesting to know a simple way to reduce the size of a PDF since the less weight, the faster it can be downloaded. And yes, reduce size without losing quality in a notorious way.

In this article we will look at 10 different ways to reduce the size of a PDF file , each using a different system that will best fit the requirements of each user profile. How to reduce pdf file size without losing quality

1. Free PDF Compressor (Windows)

How to reduce pdf file size without losing quality, pdf file too large to upload, pdf file size too large, pdf file too large how to compress

Perhaps the simplest system to reduce the size of a PDF would be to use Free PDF Compressor . This is a free program that allows compress a PDF establishing a profile that depends on the use to which it will give the PDF file: Printing ( Prepress ), home printing ( Printer ), Electronic Book ( eBook ) or Display ( Screen ). Depending on the one we choose, the file size will vary ( and its quality ).

Like many of the tools we will see in this article, Free PDF Compressor uses GhostScript , a PDF / PS file interpreter. The difference in this case is that it comes integrated in the program itself, so the user will not have to do absolutely any previous step.

URL | Free PDF Compressor

2. Compress PDF (Linux)

How to reduce pdf file size without losing quality, pdf file too large to upload, pdf file size too large, pdf file too large how to compress

In the same way that we have Free PDF Compressor for Windows, we have Compress PDF for GNU / Linux. This is a script for Nautilus , the Gnome file browser. By installing this program, we can reduce the size of our PDF documents simply by right-clicking and choosing the Scripts / Compress PDF option .

It also allows us to choose a profile to perform the compression, being able to use Normal , Display Only , Low Quality and High Quality :Compress PDF in Linux

For installation, simply download the file Compress-PDF-1.4.tar.gz and extract it in the path ~ / .local / share / nautilus / scripts / o ~ / .gnome2 / nautilus-scripts ( if we use an earlier version Nautilus 3.4 ).

Compress-PDF uses the zenity and ghostscript dependencies , so you need to install them beforehand.

URL | Compress-PDF

3. Use a virtual printer (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Another widely used way is to use a virtual printer . That is, a program that is installed in our operating system and creates a fictitious printer. Thus, any program that has the option to print, can be used to choose this printer that instead of drawing the document, will generate a PDF file with the content to be printed. Thus, we can print web pages, documents DOC, ODF or DOCx, reports of applications and a long etcetera.

Virtual printers: CutePDF, PrimoPDF, PDFCreator, DoPDF

Some options to consider could be CutePDF ( generates very light and good quality PDF files ), PrimoPDF or DoPDF . Be very careful with PDFCreator , another popular program of this type, since its latest versions have generated controversy by the inclusion of malware in its installation without permission of the user.

URL | CutePDF Writer
URL | DoPDF
URL | PrimoPDF
URL | PDFCreator

4. LibreOffice (Windows, Mac, Linux)

How to reduce pdf file size without losing quality, pdf file too large to upload, pdf file size too large, pdf file too large how to compress

Most of today’s office solutions offer an export system to PDF. Be it Microsoft Office , Google Drivethe old Google Docs ) or LibreOffice .

For example, in the latter, you can select the menu File / Export to PDF where we will find advanced options of PDF generation, where it is possible to emphasize that of the image compression , that will modify the images of the PDF file to reduce its size. Obviously, this will not influence PDF files without images.Export to PDF in LibreOffice

If you want to know more about image compression, I recommend you take a look at the existing image formats or the definitive guide to optimize images , which explains lossless compression and JPEG ( lossy ) compression .747

URL | LibreOffice

5. Acrobat Reader Pro (Windows)

Acrobat Reader , the official Adobe PDF reader, is a free reader that can be downloaded from its website. However, not everyone knows that there is a paid version called Acrobat Reader Proloaded with extra features for reading and generating PDF documents. One of them is the option of generating small PDF or generating an optimized PDF .Optimize PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader Pro

In the menu of optimize PDF we will find several options to reduce the weight of a PDF document: to reduce the images, to eliminate embedded fonts, to eliminate objects, to discard metadata, to clean masks, etc …

URL | Adobe Acrobat Reader Pro

6. SmallPDF (Online)

Another simple and quick option is to use an online converter like SmallPDF or DocuPub ( with more options ). Simply drag the PDF to the Drop PDF text box here and you’re done. The web platform is responsible for making the size reduction and return the already optimized PDF. How to reduce pdf file size without losing quality, pdf file too large to upload, pdf file size too large, pdf file too large how to compress

Reduce size of an online PDF

The disadvantage of this system is that, firstly, we must upload the PDF to optimize the website and then download the generated PDF, so it is discouraged for large PDFs , it can take quite a while. On the other hand ( and if we are somewhat paranoid ) we have the aspect of privacy , since we do not know if these data are discarded or not.

URL | SmallPDF
URL | DocuPub

7. QPDF (Windows, Linux)

There is an open source tool called qpdf that allows you to create optimized versions for the web using the –linearize parameter, which in some cases allows you to gain some KB, however, it is usually used more to create a preview for PDF documents on the Internet:

qpdf --linearize original.pdf pdf-linearize.pdf

On this page you can find the manual of the command line tool qpdf and take a look at all its features and options, among which you will also find a locked PDF .

URL | Qpdf

8. PDFChain (Linux)

Another interesting tool is PDFChain , which works as a graphical interface of the PDFToolKit ( PDFtk ) tool that I analyzed some time ago in Emezeta . PDFChain allows you to quickly perform common actions such as adding or concatenating specific pages of specific PDFs, separating pages, adding watermarks, rotating pages and hundreds of more actions.PDFChain, PDFtk graphical interface

In the Tools tab we can find an option called Compress PDF file that allows a compression of the text data of a PDF document. However, this option is only effective when it comes to a PDF document where the text predominates. There are other graphical interfaces like PDFTk4All .

URL | PDFChain

9. ImageMagick (Windows, Mac, Linux)

If there is a magic tool that never ceases to amaze you is with ImageMagick . Although it is intended for tasks with graphic formats, it is possible to use it to reduce the size of a PDF file. ImageMagick is able to work alongside ghostscript to reduce the size of the images it contains.

ImageMagick convert utility

To do this, use the tool convert the parameters -compress and -quality . Take care that you use ImageMagick in Windows, since there is already a convert command to manipulate disk partitions.

convert original.pdf -compress jpeg speaker_jpeg.pdf

With the convert -list compress command you can get a list of the compression options available to you ( BZip, JPEG, LZW, Zip, Lossless … ) to compress the images in the document and using the -quality parameter to set the quality Of the images ( 100 highest quality ).

URL | ImageMagick

10 Extra: ReducePDF

I have created a small script called reducepdf.bat ( Windows, if someone wants to contribute in the comments an equivalent version for GNU / Linux is welcome ) that reduces the size of the PDF files from a text terminal, something very comfortable and useful if we want Reduce the size of multiple files automatically. It allows the same profiles as Free PDF Compressor : Screen, Ebook, Printer and Prepress. You need GhostScript to work.

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