How to Compress PDF on Mac & IMAC


Sometimes it happens to have PDFs that are too large that it is better to compress to send them by email or share them. On Mac you can compress PDF easily

PDFs are the most used files for sending non-editable documents via email or via PEC, but they often reach considerable sizes (even over 5 MB), particularly if they contain scanned and uncompressed images during creation. Many PEC services do not allow you to send attached files that are too large, thus forcing us to compress the PDF before sending . On Windows, compressing a PDF is not that difficult, but if you have a Mac or a MacBook, the procedures to use are slightly different.

In this guide we will show you how to compress PDF on Mac using only free programs and websites, so you can compress PDFs to be sent by email or via PEC without having to spend anything, obtaining PDF files weighing a few KiloBytes.

Compress PDF with Preview

To compress PDFs on Mac we can use the Preview app , already integrated in Mac and assigned by default to open all PDF files without having to download Adobe Acrobat Reader. To use this method we open Preview from the Launchpad (present on the Dock at the bottom), click on the File menu at the top and use the Open item to open the PDF file to be compressed; once the PDF is opened in Preview, press again on the File menu at the top, click on Export in the scrolling menu, select as PDF format and, next to the Quartz filter item , choose the Reduce file size item in the drop-down menu.

Now all that remains is to choose the destination folder and click on Save , so as to obtain a PDF file of reduced size.

Compress PDF via ZIP file

Another effective method to compress PDF on Mac involves the use of ZIP compressed files: with them we preserve the original quality of the PDF file by reducing the actual size. To proceed, all we have to do is press the right button on the PDF file and use the Compress item

A ZIP compressed file will be generated immediately with about 20% less space occupied, so that an adequate level of compression can be obtained. If we are looking for a higher level of compression we can download the iZip Archiver app , available for free from the Apple Store .

Once installed on the Mac, start it, click on Create archive , choose a name for the archive and click on Next , check the Extra compression item and click on Next again, then choose the files and folders to be included in the archive ( pressing the + key), finally pressing Next until the compression process is started. The compressed file can be opened by iZip and other compatible programs such as 7-zip on Windows .

Compress PDF with ShrinkIt

If we want to reduce the size of PDFs quickly without opening Preview every time we can rely on a small free tool like ShrinkIt , available for download from the official website.

At the end of the download, press the Download icon at the bottom right , open the app you just downloaded and press Open in the warning window that will appear to open the interface. Now all we have to do is drag the PDF files to be compressed into the app, so as to immediately obtain a copy of the PDFs in a compressed version, with a modified name (to avoid it being confused with the original).

Compress PDF online

In addition to the tools seen above, we can compress PDF files on Mac online directly using Safari, the integrated web browser for macOS. The first site we recommend you use is PDFcompressor , accessible from the official site.

Once the site is open, click on Upload files or drag and drop the files into the site (which offers quick loading by dragging), choose the PDF files to be compressed and click on Download all at the bottom to start downloading the new PDF files compressed.

As a valid alternative we can also use the service offered by ShrinkPDF , available from the official website.

The site works in a very similar way to the previous one: we can upload PDF files by pressing the Upload files button or simply by dragging them into the interface and, once compressed, all we have to do is click on Download all to start the download compressed PDF files.

Another very effective site to compress PDF files on Mac is PDF2Go , which we can reach from the official site.

Compared to the sites seen so far, PDF2Go allows you to choose the compression level, so as to obtain very small PDF files. To proceed, let’s go to the site, click on Choose a file or drag them directly to the site (to take advantage of the automatic upload), move to the bottom of the site and choose the item Strong Compression or one of the profiles in the Choose from a preset field (we recommend Ebook as a strong compression profile). At the end, press the Start button to start the process and download the small PDF files.


As we have seen compressing PDF files on Mac is very simple and, in most cases, we can be satisfied with the tools integrated into the macOS operating system to effectively compress PDFs, without downloading anything. If, on the other hand, we are looking for a very high level of compression, we recommend that you try the PDF2Go site or iZip Archiver, which offer the possibility of proceeding with a very high level of compression.

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