Reduce the size of pdf documents with Free PDF Compressor

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 8, 2013

PDF document sizes can vary a lot, from Kilobytes to Megabytes. It largely depends on media that the author of the document adds to it. If you take images as an example: a non-optimized image may take up a Megabyte or more, even though that may not be necessary for the particular document.

A single image can raise the size of a PDF document from Kilobytes to several Megabytes, and while that may be necessary sometimes, especially when the resolution of the image exceeds the dimensions of the PDF document.

While it is not always necessary to pay attention to the size of a document, you may want to do so in Enterprise and business environments, especially if there is no abundance of storage space or network bandwidth available.

Even one document may become problematic if it is transferred to hundreds of recipients in a company network.

Free PDF Compressor

free pdf compressor

Most programs that offer to compress documents, be it Word, PowerPoint or PDF, do so by reducing the quality of images included.

Free PDF Compressor is no exception to that. When you start the program after installation you are presented with an easy to use interface.

Select the pdf document that you want to compress first, and then one of the appropriate compression settings. The profiles names have been selected to provide you with information about what they can be used for. Screen for instance offers the lowest image resolution which makes it okay for on-screen reading, but not for printing or other activities that require a higher image resolution.

A quick test using a 346 KB PDF file brought the size down to 237 KB using the screen profile, and to 281 KB using the Prepress profile. Considering that the document contained only black and white images, it is a considerable decrease.

The program itself is really easy to use. There are however two issues that I had with it while using it. First, it is not really clear how the default profile compresses images. Information about it are not found in the program itself or on the developer website.

Second, you can only compress one pdf document at a time. If you need to compress multiple ones, you are better off using different programs that allow the batch processing of files. A program like File Optimizer can be used for that task.


If you need to reduce the size of PDF files occasionally, you will find Free PDF Compressor ideal for that task. If you need to use it more often, and on multiple files, then you may want to use a batch processing application instead as it speeds things up considerable.

Now Read: Compress folders and files in Windows to save storage space


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  1. John said on January 6, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    Kind of magic tool. You wonder how it can do that.
    A must have !

    Once again, thank you, Martin.

  2. Miguel Rodríguez said on June 11, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Other way: Windows Batch File to Reduce PDF File Size:

  3. user234 said on November 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Comprehensive, free (also for commercial purposes) tool for editing pdfs: PDFill Tools. Popular open source alternative: PDF Split and Merge

    1. Tors said on November 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      PDFill Tools requires Ghostscript to run.

  4. Eli said on November 9, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Not exactly related to compressor of PDF files, but are there any free PDF programs that allow for re-ordering of pages and whatnot? I’m looking for something can and let me swap around the page order if that’s possible.

    1. Blue.bsod said on November 10, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      PDF Architect ( will allow you to do that as well as merge multiple PDF into one or remove pages. When you download their programs, if you register (free) you will be given the opportunity to unlock another program also for free. I use their PDF Creator as a virtual printer in Windows to print whole web sites or long online documents, lists and charts into PDF formats. I registered the free program so got to unlock PDF Architect which allows to re-organize, merge or delete pages in PDF documents.

    2. Marco said on November 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      Eli, I’ve been using for years this free tool. Among other features, it allows you to reorder PDF pages.

      Here is a description taken from their site:
      PDFill PDF Tools are FREE PDF functions to merge, split, reorder, delete, encrypt, decrypt, rotate, crop and reformat PDF pages, to add information, header, footer and watermark, to convert images to PDF, PDF to images or PostScript to PDF, to delete, flatten and list form fields, to scan to pdf, to create transparent image, and more.
      No watermarks! No pop-up ads! FREE for personal or commercial use! FREE distribution!

    3. GiddyUpGo said on November 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      The free version of Nitro Reader 3 will let you convert pdf to text. Could you not from the text mode modify your file and then convert back to pdf?

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm

        Yes that is probably possible, but it takes way more time. You do get more control over the process though.

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