How to Reduce PDF File Size for Email: Tips and Techniques

How to Reduce PDF File Size for Email: Tips and Techniques
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Tips for Reducing PDF File Size

PDF, or Portable Document Format, is one of the most commonly used file formats for sharing files electronically. Though it is considered a reliable and convenient way to transfer documents, its large file size can cause problems when sharing via email. Too large files take longer to download and can sometimes be an issue for receivers who are dealing with limited data plans or a slow internet connection. Therefore, the best practice is to reduce the file size of your PDF document before sending it to your desired recipient.

When you’re sending a PDF file over email, it’s important that the file size is kept to a minimum. Large files can take up more space than is available in many mail accounts, leading to undelivered messages or delays. Whether you need to send a PDF for professional or personal work, follow these tips for reducing the file size of your document quickly and easily.

Optimize images

Image data is the most common issue that causes large PDF files when sending emails. Compress all images in your document prior to exporting it as a PDF to optimize the final size of your file and reduce the amount of memory it uses. To do this, open all images used within the PDF separately and export them at a lower resolution (by using the “Save As” or “Export As” option) before adding them to the document again. This will reduce the amount of data stored within each image and make your PDF smaller in overall file size.

Remove unnecessary data

Sometimes emails include embedded fonts or multi-media files, resulting in bigger file sizes when sent out via email. To prevent this, strip out any unnecessary data from the document before you generate your PDF version by previewing its “Properties” from within your authoring application (Microsoft Word, DTP software, etc.). This extra step can help remove any superfluous elements that are unnecessary for displaying or printing your final PDF, thus optimizing its overall document size at the source.

Compress with specialized software

Most modern operating systems offer some compression feature – often invoked through zipping background utilities – that will compress a single large file into one greatly reduced size without affecting any quality losses, making it suitable for sending over email networks with ease. Available applications like Foxit pdf editor offer robust performance when compressing large documents into small (still readily usable), multi-part packages perfect for email transmission across web networks with no extra storage overhead requirements for implementation purposes.

Allowing Flattening

Allowing Flattening

Flattening reduces the complexity of a PDF so its contents no longer require vector rendering for viewing, which significantly reduces the overall file size by stripping out unnecessary page-rendering information such as scripts and field boundaries needed only by interactive documents. Depending on your specific needs, the flattening may or may not be applicable to your project as you might lose some editing capability in favor of smaller files that are easier to handle within digital workflows or transmit over email servers.

Downsampling Images:

Another effective strategy when shrinking PDFs is downsampling images, resulting in lower resolution images with optimized pixel values crunched down into bitmap files before being embedded back into the original document or object container again; this common technique can drastically reduce only image-related data sources of large file sizes without much visual quality deterioration due to JPEG images being better suited for online transmission anyhow since their compressed form helps optimize bandwidth delivery.

Benefits of Reducing PDF File Size

Reducing the file size of PDF documents can have many benefits, especially when it comes to sending them by email. The obvious benefit is that smaller PDFs are much easier to send and receive, with faster upload and download times. Smaller PDFs take up less space in your mailbox, making it easier to manage your incoming messages. In addition, receiving files with an appropriate size allows those at the other end of the communication to quickly open or preview the document without having to wait a long time for it to download.

Smaller PDFs have other advantages as well: they are more cost-efficient, as they use fewer data when being sent over the internet; they are more secure as there is a lower risk of a data breach; and since digital certificates for signing documents usually require larger sizes for verification purposes, reducing their size can help speed up this process. With modern devices offering high-resolution camera technology, image-rich documents such as photos or scanned documents take up much more storage space than text-only files — reducing their file size can also be beneficial.

How to Compress PDFs for Email

Here are some steps to reduce the size of your PDF for easy emails:

Step 1: Open the PDF file in editing software like Adobe Acrobat Pro DC or similar programs compatible with Windows and MacOS.

Step 2: Select the “File” option on the top navigation bar, then select “Save As”.

Step 3: In the Save As dialog box, click on “Optimized PDF” to compress your file size before sending it as an email attachment. This will reduce your PDF’s overall file size as much as possible without compromising quality too much.

Step 4: Choose whether you want to save images with low or medium resolutions depending on your available space in your email’s attachment limit or the recipient’s inbox capacity.

Step 5: Click OK to continue and save a copy of your compressed PDF version that is ready to be sent through internet mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail or Outlook mail etc.


The process of reducing a PDF file size for email is not difficult, but often requires the use of third-party tools. Still, if you take the time to explore some of the options available in image compression, file optimization, and email attachment techniques, you can usually get your file size down to an acceptable level.

Thank you for reading!