How to Reduce the File Size of a PDF on a Mac

Have you ever generated something really amazing on your Mac and couldn’t wait to email it out to your friends, only to realize that the PDF that you just made was ginormous?  I have.  And it took me a while to figure out how to fix that problem.  But, there is a really easy solution, built right into every Mac: and you’d never guess that it was in your Preview.

All you need to do, is find the PDF that you want to cut down in size and right-click it.  Choose “Open With” and find “Preview.”  Open it up:

Once you have the document open in Preview, go up to File and choose Export.

Choose a name for your PDF, choose “Reduce File Size” from the Quartz Filter, and click Save:

That’s it.  You’re done.

And just look how much it reduced the size of the document:

11.5 MB to 618 KB!  That’s about 6% the size of the original.

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About Luke

My name is Luke, and I'm the Online Media Manager for a technology company, photographer, husband, and father. You can see a snapshot of some of my work at I cheer for the Red Sox and am completely in love with my wife and four little princesses.

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