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How to Compress PDF in Mac OS X (Mavericks Included)

To email PDF files hassle freely or share PDF documents with workmates conveniently, sometimes, you might need to compress PDF files because if a PDF file is very large, then you can't email or upload it to the Internet. Mac users are very lucky. The default PDF viewer,Preview, on Mac can help you compress PDF: Open a PDF file in Preview; Click File menu and select Export; Choose Reduce File Size from the Quartz Filter drop-down list. Now you can reduce PDF size in OS X Mavericks with this option as well.

compress PDF in Mac

The above mentioned using Preview to compress PDF file size on Mac is useful. After you do this, when compare the current PDF file size with the original one, you could find that the new one is smaller. Sometimes, the PDF file could be reduced to 50%. However, some people also complain that the quality of the compressed PDF file is not as good as the original one. In this case, we offer another method to reduce PDF file size in OS X Mavericks. See the details below.

Step 1. Download and install Wondershare PDF Converter for Mac

Wondershare PDF Converter for Mac is the PDF tool that we're going to use to convert PDF to Word documents. Here you should download the Mac version and install it on your Mac. It runs well in OS X Mavericks, Lion, and Mountain Lion. If you have a Windows PC, please see how to reduce PDF file size on Windows PC >>

Download Mac Version

Step 2. Upload PDF files and select the right format

Launch PDF Converter for Mac. Drag and drop the PDF file that you want to compress on Mac to the app. And then click the little setting icon on each PDF item bar to select Word Document (.docx) as the output format.

reduce pdf file size mac

Step 3. Set a small font for output Word documents

Click Convert to convert PDF to Word documents. After the conversion, find the output word document by clicking PDF Converter on the very top left > Preferences…> Destination.

Step 4. Reduce PDF file size on Mac

Open the Word document. Held down Command and A, and change the font to a smaller one. And then click File > Print. In the new window, on the very bottom left, click "Save as PDF". Find a place to save the PDF file and click "Print". That's it.

reduce pdf size mac

Compared with the way to compress PDF on Mac with Preview, this way takes much time, but it will not change the quality of the PDF file that much. When viewing this PDF file, you can zoom in easily and freely.

Product-related questions? Speak directly to our Support Team >>

I tried this with a very clear 17Mb picture file - but it came out @ [only] 41Kb - and hopelessly blurred. I then tried as you say but Export[ed] it as a JPEG. This reduced it to a much more useful [than 17Mb] 4.1 Mb. On my 27" inch Apple Display, comparing the 4.1 Mb JPEG & the17Mb pdf side by side, I can see no difference at all. Hope this helps someone else.
Worked perfectly... thanks Summer!
In this case, you should try this way to reduce PDF
Same problem as Jonny. However, I am in Snow leopard. It's not a user problem. I guess the size remains untouched if it is only text?
Dear Jonny Gibson, I've tried many times, this method works. Please make sure the PDF file you checked is the one that you had compressed. Or manybe you can try again and save the compressed PDF file in a place where you can find it easily. If it still does not work, try to reduce the PDF file with another workaround.
Jonny Gibson
Hi, I am on Mac OS X 10.8, Mountain Lion, and I have a 52MB PDF file I need to reduce significantly. I have followed your instructions. - Opened file in Preview - File > Export - Selected in Quartz Filter drop-down list, Reduce File Size. But the file has remained the exact same size. Please advice. Thanks, Jonny
Thank you SO much. This was wonderfully helpful.
From what I remember, it depends whether the original photo is RGB or CMYK.
I compressed my Mac PDF file File>Save As>Reduce file size. It is reduced, but the file had a color photo on it that is now reversed in its color (all blacks are white, etc.) Is that to be expected? Any way to compress this pdf file which includes a color photo without distorting anything?
This solution works perfectly and took an 11 MB scan down to a under a MB. The key is to open the PDF in Preview not Reader