How to Optimize PDF File Size?

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How to Optimize PDF File Size? October 2, 2023

Documentation is essential to any workspace, academic institute, and foundation. It allows people to preserve essential content safely. Since the modern world has gone digital, preserving documents in most places has also become digital. This method has enabled organizations to save significant space otherwise used to store paper documents. The risk of losing confidential data because of accidental fire and other hazards has also been mitigated.

Text documents can be saved in various formats digitally. Some popular text file formats used for this purpose are PDF, RTF, DOC, DOCX, and TXT. However, one format that is frequently used to save files digitally is PDF

There are various reasons behind the frequent use of this file extension. A few obvious ones are compatibility, versatility, mobility, layout consistency, and content security. All these reasons make it a favorite of common users.

You can use PDF to save various kinds of documents digitally. From resumes to academic notes, assignments to white papers, and eBooks to legal subpoenas, everything can be saved as a PDF file.

 Common users prefer it because it is easy to share, you can share it through email, and receivers can view the content featured by the file regardless of their device. In addition, whether a PC or a smartphone, it will display the PDF without compromising content formatting.

However, an issue common users and professionals face while sharing or saving PDF files is their comparatively larger file size than other formats. The reason behind this issue is the inclusion of multiple types of media in the file. Therefore, we will discuss a few effective solutions to help you optimize the PDF file size. Further details are given below:

Remove Unnecessary Spaces

The first method to optimize the file size of a PDF file is to ensure that the document saved in PDF format doesn’t feature too many unnecessary spaces. People don’t care about adding too much space to a text file. In their opinion, it has nothing to do with the file size of a PDF. However, it is a misconception. Space is considered a character in all internal encoding systems like Unicode and ASCII. Hence, adding too many spaces to a PDF file will increase its size frequently. 

We understand that the use of space in a text file is essential to ensure proper formatting of the file. It is also necessary to help readers and editors understand and differentiate between various file sections. However, we often see pages left half or fully empty in a file. 

This unnecessary usage of space adds several hundred bytes to the file size of a PDF. Hence, you need to keep an eye out for such unnecessary use of space and remove it if needed to optimize the file size of a PDF.

PDF Compression is Another Way

PDF as a format is quite popular amongst common users. You may see large-sized documents like assignments, dissertations, eBooks, user manuals, and business proposals encoded in this format. You may not face any problems while keeping or viewing such files in PDF.

 However, the problem will arise when you want to share such files through email or any other medium. The size of such files will exceed the allowed limit, making it challenging to share files.

Sometimes, splitting such files into multiple smaller PDFs is not the best solution. This approach can lead to miscommunication because of the failure of the receiver to receive an important section or the sender to send one. The best way to deal with such a situation is to compress the PDF file without compromising its quality or formatting. You can easily do it using a reliable online PDF compressor or a software program designed for this purpose. However, using the online compressor will make it easier to compress files through any device. 

Get Rid of Unwanted Elements 

Business documents are often equipped with elements that are not required anymore. The presence of unnecessary elements is also possible in other documents saved in PDF format. For example, you may see files featuring Excel sheets and PPT files containing dated data. The best way to optimize their file size is to eliminate such Excel sheets and PPT files to ensure a smaller size of PDF files. However, dated Excel sheets or PPT files are not the only unwanted elements you may see in a file.

You may also see images that are no longer relevant, or the content featured in the file is substantial enough to make sense. In such a scenario, there is no need for images. However, these images contribute a lot to a larger PDF file size. Hence, if they are no longer needed, the best way to optimize PDF file size is to eliminate these images. Removing unwanted elements like irrelevant images and dated Excel sheets and PPT files is an effective way to reduce the size of PDF files. 

Add Compressed Images

Visual content is sometimes necessary to ensure readers’ engagement and make them understand a particular concept. For example, you may need to add infographics, images containing graphs, and diagrams. Such images may help you make the reader understand the concept. 

However, the only downside of such images is their large file sizes. These large file sizes of images added to a PDF file increase the size of the file exponentially. As a result, you may witness the size of a PDF file increase from several hundred KBs to several MBs.

These large PDF files are difficult to share and save. This statement stands true when trying to save or share multiple PDF files in one go. Hence, it is necessary to add compressed images to a PDF file. You need to compress the images so that their quality doesn’t go below a particular threshold. 

A reliable online image compressor can help you do that. If you plan to add multiple images, you can batch-compress them through the compressor and add them to the file to keep its size smaller. 

Use a Limited Number of Fonts

Another issue that increases the size of PDF files is their ability to display similar layouts and formatting across devices. For example, suppose you have used multiple fonts in your text file encoded in PDF. The file will carry the entire font file to ensure that the person viewing it on another device doesn’t face any difficulties because of the unavailability of a particular font set. These issues can be a significant reason behind a fairly large PDF file size if you have used many fonts in your file.

We recommend that common users use no more than 4 fonts in a PDF file. For example, one font could be used for headlines; the second would cover the body text. Another can be used to list citations, and the 4th one could be used for any other purpose, like a description below an image or content list. Following this tip will help you keep the file size of PDF optimized.

Bottom Line

PDF is a highly useful format, as documents encoded in this format can be viewed across various devices. However, their large file size can be an issue for common users. We have discussed effective methods in this blog to help users optimize PDF file size and send or share it easily. Hopefully, you will like it and use these methods to keep the sizes of PDF files small.