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The Ultimate Guide on How to Compress PDF in Preview on Mac (macOS Sonoma Supported)

If you have a very large PDF, you may find that it is not very easy to share the document, especially via email. You may therefore want to compress the PDF file to reduce its size. A reduced size will not just make it easier to share the document, but will also make processing the document much faster. If you are working with Preview, you may be wondering how you can compress a PDF in Preview. In this guide, we will share with you how to do this in a few simple steps.

Part 1. How to Compress PDF in Preview Alternative

Preview is the default app to view PDF files but its features are limited. If you usually need to process PDF files, it is necessary to use a professional PDF tool like UPDF for Mac. Here are the steps to compress PDF with UPDF.

Step 1. Go to the Save as Other Option

Firstly, after you import your PDF into UPDF, you can click the "Save as Other" option on the right toolbar and then select the "Reduce File Size..." option.

compress a pdf mac

Step 2. Compress PDF File Size

Now you can compress PDF file size via four options of document quality, including "Maximum", "High", "Medium", and "Low". After selecting, tap on "Save As" to save the compressed file in your local folder.

compress pdf file size on mac

Video Tutorial on How to Reduce PDF Size on Mac

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Also Read: Resize PDF On Mac

Part 2. What is Preview? Can You Reduce PDF Size in Preview?

Preview is a macOS application that can be used to access and view various file formats including PDF. It also comes with simple editing tools that you can use to make changes to a PDF document, including compressing a large PDF document into a smaller file size.

Preview is not a comprehensive solution as compared to other PDF editor in the market. But it is easily accessible and convenient and it can come in handy when making simple changes to any PDF document.

reduce pdf size preview

Can you compress PDF in Preview?

Yes, you can. The Preview app has a feature to let you reduce PDF size easily. Read on to find out how to do it.

Part 3. How to Compress a PDF in Preview

Compressing a PDF using Preview is very simple, although the resultant PDF file may lose its original quality. Follow these steps to compress your PDF document in Preview;

Step 1: Open the Preview App on your Mac and then open the PDF file you want to compress in Preview.

Step 2: With the file open, choose "File > Export." Be careful not to choose "Export as PDF."

mac preview reduce pdf size

Step 3: In the popup menu that appears, choose "Reduce File Size" and the document will be compressed into a smaller file.

compress pdf in preview

Part 4. Limitations of Preview to Make PDF Smaller

Even though it can be very useful for viewing and annotating PDF documents, Preview is cannot be useful when you want to make significant changes to a PDF. It leaves you little room to maneuver when editing a PDF document. For instance, when compressing a PDF, you may not be able to choose the size and quality of the resultant smaller PDF. It is therefore only useful for minor changes to a document and may not help if you are creating documents from scratch or if you want to make macro changes.

For that, you would need a professional PDF tool with all the necessary tools to compress and edit PDF documents, without complicating the process. One of the best tools in the market that has all the features you need is UPDF.

This completely reliable solution with numerous useful features, including the following:

  • It is the best way to open and read any PDF document with annotation features that allow you to take notes, add comments, and even underline text as you read. It has many other commenting tools, including stamps, stickers, pen, shapes, signatures, highlight, etc.
  • It also has comprehensive text editing features that will allow you to make numerous changes to the PDF document. You can change the font and size of the original text directly on the PDF.
  • If your PDF document has a lot of images, you will find UPDF's built-in PDF image editor very useful. You can use it to replace, reorder, reposition, delete or crop the images on the document.
  • Its user interface is simple, straightforward, and easy to navigate, making all its features easily accessible and reducing the time it takes to edit a PDF document.

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Part 5. FAQs on Compressing PDF on Mac

Can Mac Preview Reduce the PDF Size?

Yes. Preview can be used to reduce PDF file size. This Mac application can be used to open various types of files on Mac including PDFs and it also comes with basic editing capabilities that will allow you to reduce the size of the PDF.

How Do I Reduce the Size of a PDF Without Losing Quality Mac?

The biggest concern for most people when compressing a PDF file is the quality of the resultant file after compressing the document. This can be even more concerning if the document you want to compress has a lot of images. While most solutions to compress a PDF will function the same way, whether or not you get to keep the original quality will depend on the tool you use. For instance, you can't expect the same quality using a simple online solution versus a comprehensive solution like UPDF. There are four choices in UPDF, you can choose maximum, high, medium, and low quality according to your needs.

What is the Main User Case of Compressing PDF in Preview?

The biggest reason for anyone to compress a PDF file is to reduce the size of the document, which can make sharing the document that much easier. This is especially true if you intend to share the document via email as most email providers can limit the PDF size that you can share. Compressing a PDF can also come in handy if you need to save on storage space or when you are working with many large documents and you want to be able to package them and share all of them at once.

But it is important to make sure that the solution you choose will reduce the size of the document without affecting the overall quality. For this purpose, UPDF is the best choice for you to compress PDFs without losing quality.


Preview can compress a PDF, however, it only has very limited functions compared to UPDF. UPDF is an all-in-one solution for all PDF-related problems, which can give you the best experience of reading, annotating, converting, organizing and editing PDF. What are you waiting for? Download it and get a trial from today!

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