Does Compressing a PDF File Have to Reduce Image Quality?

Does Compressing a PDF File Have to Reduce Image Quality?

The PDF has become the global standard for preserving documents of all types. Everyone’s using it to share text, clip art, and photos in a safe and easy to distribute format. Unfortunately, elements in the document can balloon a PDF’s size, which can make it difficult to upload and download files.

In an effort to fix the issue, most people resort to compressing the PDF file. However, this potentially degrades the file’s quality. But good news! Compressing a PDF file isn’t the only option available. Read on and we will answer the question: Does compressing a PDF have to reduce image quality?

Why Choose a PDF File?

PDFs use what is called a lossless compression process to maintain quality and key info. Keeping the original format intact manages the integrity of the presentation. Unfortunately, this can lead to large files that can’t be shared on many channels. However, you can actually compress a PDF without losing quality.

5 Options for Compressing a PDF File

Here are a few of the best ways to compress a PDF file without losing quality:

Option One: Compress a PDF File in Origin Source

You have the ability to create PDFs in preferred sizes, an opportunity most of us tend to not take advantage of. Platforms like Acrobat Reader offer a service to optimize the PDF, giving your documents sufficient DPI for presentation. Many other softwares have a “Save to Web” function to facilitate this as well.

Option Two: Resources

A number of online file compressors exist. Some, like PDFresizer, will offer a variety of services that will allow you to resize, convert, split, crop, merge, and more. You simply upload your PDF to the site and choose a DPI, and there will be a display of the new document. If you’re happy, you can download the PDF. Be sure to review the terms of service and privacy policies for these sites before using them. For example, PDFresizer will leave private files on their servers for up to an hour, so depending on the files you upload, this may be a security issue.

Option Three: Get an App

Apps used solely for compression and PDFs are plentiful. NYpowerlite for Windows is a solid resource, having a record for a greater compression to quality ratio than comparable apps. Macs have a built-in app that can be found in File > Export > Quartz-Filter > Reduce File Size. There are apps designed for smartphones too. Many consider Compress PDF to be the cat’s meow.

Option Four: Zip Your PDFs

If you are working with a file batch, it’s not necessary to compress every individual file. Archive them and compress the folder. This will significantly compress all the files without losing any data. For security, you could add a password and protect all the files in the archive.

Option Five: Save as Reduced Size

You can take a large PDF and simply save it as a smaller file. The latest version of Acrobat allows a Save as Other > Reduced Size PDF. Select a version compatibility and save the file. Unfortunately, this option has the capacity to reduce image quality. To maximize quality, use Optimized PDF > Audit Space Usage in Save as Other. It lets you review and manage element quality.

As you can see, there’s more than one way to compress a PDF and not lose quality. Your best bet is to compress in the original source and use the last option if you don’t get the results you want.