How to Reduce PDF File size

One of the downsides to creating a great PDF is the resulting large file size. Bloated PDFs take up too much space, are very inconvenient to the user, and can even slow down a computer. Luckily, there are ways to get rid of that excess baggage.

When attempting to reduce file size, you may want focus on removing disposable objects and reducing the size of images. Adobe Acrobat 11 Pro offers access to some of the most convenient options for controlling and optimizing the elements that go into your PDF. If you need to shrink PDF file sizes down, you can try three different methods.


Use the Save As command in Adobe Acrobat 11 Pro:

  • 1Choose Save As from the File menu.
  • 2Give your file a name and select a location to save it in.
  • Instead of just adding on the changes you make with the regular Save function, the Save As option will shrink PDF file sizes by re-writing the entire file into a smaller one and eliminate the bloat.
Acrobat Save As Option

Use Adobe Acrobat 11 Pro’s PDF Optimizer tool:

  • 1In Adobe Acrobat 11 Pro, go to File > Save As Other… > Optimized PDF…
Acrobat PDF Optimizer Options
  • 2The PDF Optimizer dialog will open. From here, you can go through the options section by section, selecting what to cut out from your PDF that usually adds to the bloated size.
Acrobat PDF Optimizer Dialog
  • Note that in the Settings dropdown you can optimize your PDF for Standard, Mobile, or Custom. Here is a look at the Standard settings.
  1. Images - Specify image properties for Color, Grayscale and Monochrome images like compression, quality and resolution.
Acrobat Optimize PDF Images
  1. Fonts - Select which fonts to embed or unembed. This will depend on which fonts users will have on their machine.
  2. Discard Objects - Choose which objects to remove. You can choose to remove things like excess bookmarks, links, annotations, or form fields completely from the document.
Acrobat Discard PDF Objects
  1. Discard User Data - This panel of settings will let you get rid of personal information attached to the PDF: comments, file attachments, document information and more.
  2. Clean Up - Use these options for deleting useless elements that are obsolete or unnecessary for your intended use of the PDF.
Acrobat Clean Up PDF

Save your PDF as a Reduced Size PDF in Acrobat 11 Pro:

  • 1Go to File > Save As Other… > Reduced Size PDF…
  • 2Select your backwards compatibility range. Click on OK.
  • 3Save your file to your computer.
Acrobat Reduced PDF Size