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How Do I Reduce a PDF Doc Size?

I have three PDF documents, each 9 pages long (monthly statements from financial institutions). One is 3.5 MB; the other two are 1.7 MB and 1.5 MB, respectively. Yet I have other similar PDFs, same number of pages, same type of data, that are no larger than 93 KB, some as low as 43 KB. Why are these 3 so large? But my real question: how can I reduce the size? I’ve tried opening in Preview: then File/Export/Quartz Filter/Reduce File Size–which does nothing. I’m going to be saving years of these and I hate to have three using 6.7 MB.

Comments: 3 Responses to “How Do I Reduce a PDF Doc Size?”

    3 years ago

    You’ll have to examine what is in the PDFs to know why they are so large. PDFs can contain images, like photos or even logos, charts, illustrations, etc. Do you see any in those PDFs? Perhaps a logo or chart — I get those in my financial PDFs all the time.
    If exporting with the Quartz filter’s “Reduce File Size” isn’t enough, maybe try printing them and “Save As PDF” with some options to produce a smaller file. You’ll need to experiment. You can also try the black and white option.
    I have an old episode with a concept that should still work, check out Episode 361 for a way to reduce file size even more.
    Another thing you can try is to compress them into a zip archive with the Finder. Maybe do that on an annual basis. So 6mb per month, that’s 72mb per year, but maybe zip will get you a fraction of that. I’d test that on the files you have now to see what sort of savings that brings.

    3 years ago

    Many thanks, Gary, I’ll try your suggestions.

    3 years ago

    I have been using an app called PDF Squeezer on my Mac – available at a modest cost on the App Store. Nice drag and drop interface with a few compression options, and it usually does a good job, although it does depend to on the content it is working with.

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