How to compress a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Without Losing Quality

Learn 3 ways how to compress PDF files in Adobe Acrobat DC (or Pro) or use our PDF compressor to reduce file size online.

Reduce PDF file size with our PDF compressor online

What versions of Adobe Acrobat are there?

There are two main versions of Adobe Acrobat: Adobe Acrobat Pro and Adobe Acrobat DC. Pro is the original desktop version of the PDF editor, while Adobe Acrobat DC (DC stands for “document cloud”) is a newer, cloud-based platform. Both versions offer essentially the same features and allow users to edit PDF and shrink PDF file size.

How to compress PDF files in Adobe Acrobat DC (or Pro) using built-in PDF compressor?

Reduce PDF file size in Adobe Acrobat Pro App on a Mac
Reduce file size on Mac in Adobe Acrobat Pro, step by step guide

To compress PDF files in Adobe Acrobat DC (or Pro) using built-in PDF compressor, follow these steps:

1. Go to the Optimize PDF tool

To compress a PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC (or Pro), you can use the Optimize PDF tool. Optimize PDF tool can be found in the tools tab at the top left corner. Scroll down until you locate the Optimize PDF tool and select Open from the drop-down menu.

2. Select a PDF file to compress

To shrink PDF file size, select the file in the pop-up and click Open.

3. Choose Reduce File Size option

Select Reduce File Size in the top menu.

4. Select the file compatibility

The Reduce File Size dialog box has a drop-down menu with different file version compatibility options. Choose the one that fits your needs and click OK.

5. Save your compressed PDF file

The Save As dialog box gives you the option to keep your original PDF file name and overwrite the existing PDF with your newly optimized and compressed file. You can also choose a new name or location for your file. Click Save to save your compressed PDF file.


Tired of boring PDFs that get ignored? Learn how innovative teams use interactive PDFs to gain buyer engagement and accelerate sales cycle.

How to compress PDF files in Adobe Acrobat DC (or Pro) - Adobe Reader?

Reduce PDF file size in Adobe Acrobat Pro App on a Mac
How to compress a PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC (or Pro), step by step guide

To compress PDF files in Adobe Acrobat DC (or Pro) - Adobe Reader, follow these steps:

1. Open your PDF file in Adobe Reader

To compress a PDF document open finder, go to the folder with your original PDF file, press right click and open file with Adobe Acrobat.

2. Select "Reduce File Size" or choose "Optimized PDF" to access the PDF Optimizer

Click File from the top menu bar. In the drop down menu, go to Save as Other and choose Reduce File Size OR select Optimized PDF to access the PDF Optimizer. It provides more options compress PDF file.

The screenshot below shows the additional settings you can use to optimize your PDF. You can go with the default settings but depending on your file and the level of compression you are aiming for, we recommend to set the image quality at 50 – 100 ppi. This way your PDF file won’t be losing quality much.

3. Select the file compatibility and save your PDF file

In the Reduce File Size pop up select version compatibility, click OK to reduce the file size and save your compressed file.

How to compress a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro in PDF Optimizer

How to share a PDF file without having to compress PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC (or Pro)?

how to create a presentation video in 2 steps

To share a PDF file without having to compress PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC (or Pro) you can use DeckLinks.

DeckLinks offers an easy way to share your PDF sales and marketing presentations without compromising the quality of your file. With DeckLinks, you can upload your PDF and share it using a single link. This means that you can keep your PDF presentations looking their best, without worrying about losing any quality in the process.

By sharing your sales and marketing presentations using DeckLinks, you will be able to not only see who opens your PDF file but also how much time they spend on each page and where they click. You will also have the ability to disable access to your PDFs when necessary.

PDF tracking analytics can give you detailed information about which aspects of your marketing or sales presentation people respond well to, and which ones fall flat. Learn more about marketing collateral tracking. With our built-in data rooms, you can share large PDF files or multiple files of any other format with ease.

DeckLinks also allows you to narrate PDF presentations and documents, making it easier to convey even the most complex ideas, products, and services. Adding a personal touch to your PDFs with video presentations is a snap!

Custom branding
Showcase your brand.
Video narrations
Easily video-narrate sales presentations or proposals when needed (otherwise video is optional). Redo slide if you made a mistake. Use built-in teleprompter to record longer videos.

Data rooms
Attach any supporting files and links. Make it easy for your prospects and clients to find the right information quickly.

Company profiles
Create company profiles with custom banners and info-packages tailored to different industries.
Contact details
Show your contact info easily accessible by your prospects and clients.
Custom CTAs
Add custom CTAs to drive prospects or clients to your calendar, sign up form, etc.
Engagement analytics
See how prospects and clients interact with your PDFs.

Feedback and Reactions
Collect feedback from prospects and clients. Feedback and reactions are not publicly visible.
Share PDFs
Share any existing PDF presentations and documents.
Live links
Share with a single link. Update files even after sharing your link. Get notified when your PDF is viewed. Turn off access anytime.

DeckLinks icon

4x PDF Engagement

Enhance PDFs with Video Narrations, Call-to-Action Buttons, and Content Hubs. Share live links with real-time controls and access engagement analytics. Learn more.

Take a look at some video presentation examples to learn how others use DeckLinks to share PDF files, and sales and marketing presentations.

Or if you’d like to give DeckLinks a try, you can register for FREE.

How to shrink PDF file size without a PDF compressor or a PDF editor?

Consider what causes a big PDF file size when you’re working on or creating documents that you plan to save as a PDF. Typically, the main cause of a large PDF file size is a large number of PDF pages with excessive use of images that were not properly optimized in or outside of a PDF editor.

Here's how to shrink PDF file size without a PDF compressor or a PDF editor:

To save storage space and decrease the PDF file size, compress the images in your document.

In a lot of cases you won’t need to rely on high PDF compression if you optimize all of your images before using them in a word document or a sales and marketing presentation. You really don’t want to generate a huge PDF file that is difficult to transfer via email and take forever to load!

To keep a PDF file small you can use Photoshop or Photopea. Photopea is a free online image editing program. It can be accessed from any modern browser, such as Safari, Chrome, or Firefox. You can make changes to the resolution, reduce the file size of your photos, and other parameters in order to make them appear their best in your PDF files, sales and marketing presentations.

Photopea can also be used to modify the colors or contrast of your photos. By properly optimizing your images you can ensure that your PDF documents, sales and marketing presentations, and other types of files looking great and have a small file size.

To reduce file size of your PDF files, remove any redundant PDF pages.

Try to reduce the PDF pages count in your PDF file as much as possible. Doing so will decrease the PDF’s file size significantly. If it is a sales or marketing presentation, keep it under 15 slides for higher engagement rates. Shorter presentations always have a higher engagement rate based on our internal data.

Split your PDF document into separate files.

To keep your team from being bogged down by large PDF files, break the files into smaller parts and only send the sections that are relevant to those who need them. Doing this will also save on storage space and make it easier to share your PDF files via email.

PDF format has a number of advantages, but it also has one significant disadvantage: if the document contains visual data and images, its file size may rapidly get out of control. By compressing PDFs in Adobe Acrobat DC, Adobe Reader, a PDF compressor, by optimizing your original paper in a PDF editor, or using DeckLinks to share your PDF documents, sales and marketing presentations, you can easily address this problem!

If you are using a Mac, be sure to check our page on how to compress a PDF on a Mac without losing quality.


What are the benefits of compressing a PDF file?

Compressing a PDF can significantly reduce its file size which saves storage space while retaining the original quality and content. A smaller file is easier to share via email and takes less time to download or open on devices.

Use the default settings under Standard compression to optimize the PDF without affecting quality. Avoid recompressing images or downsampling resolution which can degrade images.

Yes, you can run the compression tool on a file multiple times. However, each successive compression will provide diminishing returns, so avoid over-compressing small PDFs.

No, compressing a PDF only reduces the file size, not the physical number of pages. Page numbers and content remain unchanged. Only images and file metadata are optimized.

Typical size reduction ranges from 50-90% depending on the PDF contents. Text-based PDFs compress substantially more than image-heavy files. Expect larger savings for files over 5MB in size.

Yes, compressed PDFs work seamlessly across Adobe Acrobat and Reader versions. However, other PDF viewers may lack full support for optimized PDFs.

Yes, the optimization tool works on any PDF file, including scanned documents. Default settings will retain image quality while reducing overall file size. For maximum compression, downsample image resolution with care.

About the Author

Lidia Vijga is a seasoned professional with 10 years of first-hand experience in B2B sales and B2B marketing. She has a proven track record of driving growth for companies across various industries. Throughout her career, Lidia has led numerous successful sales campaigns and implemented innovative marketing strategies that have significantly increased revenue and reduced customer acquisition cost for her clients. Lidia regularly shares her insights and experiences on LinkedIn, webinars, and public speaking engagements. Lidia believes in the power of personal qualities such as kindness, empathy, and the willingness to understand others. She is committed to empowering client-facing teams with tools that enhance their talent instead of automating it, and she firmly believes that teams that show their human side grow companies much faster.

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