Do you experience difficulty in sharing PDF files? Have you downloaded PDF files and waited a long time before you could gain access to the first page? If this is you, you probably need to optimize your PDF files! How? You are about to find out here.

Your PDF files can give you a difficult time if is a large file size. However, PDF files eliminates the hassles you experience when trying to share files. This is because it protects the quality of your file and ensures it looks the same when you send it to another person.  Though, it can get very tiring especially when you have to wait forever to access the PDF file. The good news is that most PDF software have an option called ‘Fast Web View’ or ‘Optimize’. When you optimize your PDF documents, you will get smaller size files as against non-optimize files.  So, if you are tired of waiting endlessly to view the pages of your document, you can make things easier by selecting ‘Save as Optimized PDF’.

Is optimizing a PDF file difficult?

This is a question everyone conversant with PDF files want to know. Well, optimizing PDF files comes as no big deal if the accurate steps are closely followed. However, you must understand that PDF are self-contained. This implies that PDF files accommodate lots of information regarding its font size, images, and even special characters. It can become easy by avoiding the use of special characters, and settling for simple font styles.

Why do I need to optimize PDF files?

There are lots of reasons you may choose to optimize PDF files. But, most importantly PDF files are optimized because of to reduce size of the file and make it easier to send through email or online platforms. It is also a good way to reduce the size of an image and make it easier to compress.

However, you must understand the processes that are involved in compressing the size of your file and images so that it doesn’t lose its quality. While it is advantageous to optimize your PDF files, you must also realize that it is important to backup your files because it may not return to its original state.

Five (5) ways to reduce the size of PDF

Like I earlier stated, the size of your PDF file can pose a lot of trouble when you want to view the contents. With this information, it becomes necessary to find out how you can reduce the size of your PDF file. In case, you still have doubt about the size of your PDF, access your document properties to find out.

The option titled ‘file size’ indicates the size of your file. Do you think the file is large? Yes? Keep reading! Easy ways to reduce your file size are:

Avoid scanning your PDF document

It is a misconception that to combine multiple PDFs or create a PDF file, you need to print it out together and scan it. I am here to rightly inform you that you need to only scan documents in paper form alone. All other documents can be converted electronically. Interestingly, with Adobe Acrobat, you do not even need to print them out.

Save your file as ‘Reduced file’

You may discover that after creating your file electronically, it is still very large. Well, if this is your case, there are still other options you can trust to protect your interest. Thus, you can resave your file as a reduced PDF file. It is important that you understand that this method comes with some disadvantages in that it reduces the quality of the image and even affects digital signatures.  If you are using the latest version of Adobe Reader, you can do this by:

  • Opening the PDF file you want to resave as a smaller file
  • Click on file> save as other > reduced file

Note: After the second step, you will be required to select the version compatibility you need, After you have carefully made your choice, proceed to the last step

  • Click on ‘OK’ to save the file

Adobe Acrobat PDF Optimizer

If you want to be in control over the elements of your PDF file that are affected, it is suitable to use the Adobe Acrobat PDF Optimizer.

There are ‘standard’ fonts that are commonly used in PDF files. These Standard fonts include Times New Roman, Helvetica, Courier and ZapfDingbats. So, when you make use of a non-standard fonts, it gets embedded in the PDF. However, if you make use of a non-standard font and choose not to embed it, Adobe Reader will open the document using a different font style.

The use of fewer font styles would also do you a lot of good. I have discovered that when you make use of various fonts styles such as bold, italic, regular, bold and italic, the PDF document could embed it four times. Alternatively, you can also choose to avoid the use of special characters.

If an image is necessary in your PDF document, it is advisable that you settle for vector-based images rather than bitmap images. But, if you must use a bitmap image, use monochrome to reduce the size of the image.

The basic steps to optimizing PDF files are:

  • Open the PDF optimizer box
  • Then click on “file”, then save as optimized PDF
  • For a default setting, you can go to settings and choose standard. Note: any changes you made in the settings in the PDF optimizer box, it automatically changes to ‘custom’.
  • From ‘make compatible with menu’ option, click on ‘retain existing’ to keep the current PDF version or choose an acrobat version.
  • Images, fonts and transparency, select the check box close to a panel and select the options in the panel.  To prevent the options from executing during optimization, deselect the check box.
  • In The dialogue box that appears, click on the audit space usage in the top-right corner
  • After selecting your options, click ‘OK’

In the option ‘Save Optimized as Dialog Box’, click save to replace the original PDF with the optimized PDF file. Alternatively, you can select a new name or location.

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Reduce the size in Microsoft word

In using Microsoft word, choose ‘minimum size’ when you want to save the file and uncheck ISO 19005-1 complaint (PDF/A). This encourages font embedding and lastly uncheck the box for using bitmapped fonts.

In Microsoft word, to convert a word to document, you need to make use of ‘Save as’ option. This option is most suitable as it produces a small file which is largely dependent on the number of images that are present in your document. Here’s how to make use of it:

  • Open the word document you want to convert to PDF
  • Click on the file button and select ‘save as’
  • In the ‘Save as’ menu, select PDF and save the file with your preferred name
  • At the ‘optimize for’ located at the bottom of the dialogue box, choose ‘minimum size’

Use a PDF tool

There are lots of PDF tools that you can use to optimize PDF files but it is highly recommended that you make use of Print-to-PDF tool. The best type to make use of for optimizing PDF files is PrimoPDF. How?

  • Install the PrimoPDFF on your computer
  • Open the PDF file you want to compress
  • Press Ctrl+P to open the print dialog
  • Choose PrimoPDF
  • Click create PDF

How to use online PDF compressor

You can make use of an online PDF compressor to optimize your PDF files. The steps are as follows:

  • Choose the ‘select a file’ button on your computer browser or drag the PDF file to begin uploading
  • Select the PDF file and choose the option ‘open’
  • Select the compression level you want to use. There are usually three available options. They include medium, high and low.
  • Click on the ‘select’ button and compress the PDF size.
  • Lastly, click on ‘download’ to save the compressed file


It is important to optimize your PDF files as it will reduce the size of the file and make it easier for you to send it through emails and online channels. Optimizing PDF files is also known as compressing or linearization. However, optimizing your PDF files also means that you may not be able to get the original state of your PDF document. Hence, it is necessary that you backup your files so that the original content is not lost.

There are five different ways you can optimize your PDF documents. These five methods of optimizing your PDF files will reduce the lengthy time it takes for you to view your files after downloading. Now, you are rest assured of getting it right with easy steps and graphical representation of the ways you can optimize your PDF files and get the best from its use.

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