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What Are the Best Ways to Compress or Shrink a Large PDF File

Big files are often troublesome to work with, especially as file sizes stretch into the hundreds of megabytes and larger. PDF files that are very long or contain a large number of high-quality images and other media can quickly balloon in size until using them is impossible to do easily—large files can take more time to open and render in PDF software, for example. When hosted online, very large PDFs can cause browsers to struggle or even crash if a user tries to open the file online without downloading it first.

Large file sizes aren't always avoidable, such as when you merge PDF files, but they can become more manageable. With the right tools in hand, such as Kofax Power PDF, you can compress a PDF to make its size more manageable.

What are the techniques that you should know to make the best use of these compression options? Here's a quick look.

Try a File Reduction Process First

The first step that you should try when you want to make a PDF smaller is "reduction". Reducing a PDF is a kind of compression that works on hidden code elements of the PDF behind the scenes. Reduction tools identify redundant information in the data layer of the PDF, removing duplicates to make the file more compact and efficient. This process results in size reductions that depend on the type and contents of the PDF.

To reduce a file in Power PDF, follow these steps:

  1. Open the document.
  2. From the Home ribbon, select Tools and click Reduce.
  3. Select Reduce Current File.
  4. Click OK.

Optimize the PDF for Easier Viewing

Sometimes, reduction does not provide all the size management that you need. Changing aspects of the PDF, such as image quality or the presence of comment layers, through compression is the next step that you can take. The process is just as easy, and Power PDF gives you control:

  1. With the document open in Power PDF, select Tools and click Reduce. This time, click Optimize.
  2. Use default settings to automatically optimize the PDF for web viewing or make selections according to your preferences. You can choose to remove images, form functions, comments and other features.
  3. Choose whether to make changes to the image quality settings but be aware of the potential impact on viewing quality.
  4. Select OK.

Power PDF compresses the PDF according to your instructions and produces a new copy of the file that is smaller and easier to share.

Related Post: Compress Your PDFs with Power PDF

Manage Your PDFs with Advanced Software

For many years, PDFs had an unfair reputation as slow and unwieldy files with file sizes that were too large for the internet connection speeds of the era. With modern software and fundamental improvements to the format, today, the PDF is a highly versatile and useful format.

With Power PDF on your Windows PC or Mac device, you can take full advantage of PDF versatility without worrying about producing files that are too large to display or share easily. Create, combine and edit PDF files—all with the same tool that you use to manage their sizes.

Discover how easy it is to compress and shrink files with Power PDF when you explore a free trial today.

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Take a Free 15-day Trial of Power PDF Advanced