In an age of instant interconnectivity, there is probably nothing more frustrating than being unable to send a file to someone else due to its large size, which is so often the case with email. Enter PDF compression – a simple yet powerful solution that allows users to shrink their files fast and with minimum loss in quality.
However, that’s just one side of using a PDF compressor tool. Let’s explore what PDF compression is, how to do it, and 6 ways in which it simplifies workflows worldwide.
What is PDF compression?
As the name suggests, this is a type of tool that compresses (shrinks) PDFs so that they’re easier to share and store online & offline. However, in doing so it preserves the quality of the files, making the tool a must-have for every business environment.
Users can typically benefit from PDF compression in two ways – by using a web-based (online) tool or installing dedicated PDF editing software on their devices. Most tools offer simple controls, letting users decide how much to compress a file and whether it should also compress images or just text content. Some more advanced software also offers DPI compression to preserve the print-ready quality of any images contained within the PDF.
How to compress PDF files
Users can typically perform PDF compression in one of two ways – by using a web-based tool or installing a dedicated solution.
Using an online tool
Most online tools require users to simply upload the files they want to compress and they will then output a downloadable compressed version of the PDF. Some tools also offer advanced options, such as the ability to choose how much to squash your file.
Using dedicated software
Many individuals and businesses prefer installing these since dedicated PDF solutions provide more control over the final output and allow users to work offline. The process itself is similar to that of any web tool, but instead of uploading files, users compress them locally on their devices.
6 benefits of PDF compression
There are numerous benefits to keeping PDF files as small as possible. Below are 6 of the most frequent reasons people reach out for a PDF compressor in their day-to-day line of work.
- Meeting email attachment limits
Most email services impose strict limits on attachment sizes, often capping them at around 25MB. This can be a real problem when dealing with large PDF files, especially ones containing lots of images. With PDF compression, users can easily shrink their files well below the email client attachment limit while keeping their quality mostly intact.
- Faster web uploads & downloads
Uploading large files on the web often takes time, especially over slow networks. The same goes for downloading files. In addition, if the user’s internet connection gets suddenly cut off, they may be forced to start the whole process anew, wasting even more time in the process. A PDF compressor can therefore save valuable time by making the documents small enough to be quickly uploaded and downloaded even over slow internet speeds.
- Simpler storage and archiving
For people working with limited storage space, whether in the cloud or locally on their devices, using a PDF compressor is a must. This way, not only will all documents open up faster since there will be less data to read, but users also have the option to keep multiple copies of their work to fall back on in case something happens to the original files.
- Erasing hidden metadata
PDFs can often contain hidden metadata, especially if they go through multiple revisions. These so-called “unreferenced objects” are essentially old discarded elements (texts, tables, etc.) that aren’t visible to the user, but increase the file’s size and pose significant PDF security risks since some of that information might be confidential. Compressing a PDF typically removes these elements, enhancing the document’s security and privacy.
- Better mobile workflow
Mobile devices often have limited storage and processing capabilities, making it difficult to handle large PDF files. Compressed PDFs are more suitable for mobile use, offering easier access and better performance on these devices. It’s also great for users with limited mobile data plans as squashed documents won’t deplete their data plans as fast as regular PDFs.
- Preserving high image quality
Some advanced onsite editors offer users the option to compress just the images of a PDF by a custom amount. Sometimes, they even include DPI (Dots Per Image) compression. With this feature enabled, users can guarantee that their images can still be used for high-quality print work even after the file compression takes place.
From meeting email attachment limits with flying colors and improving upload speeds to making PDFs more secure and compatible across a wider range of devices, the advantages of file compression are simply too many to easily brush off. This goes for both individuals and organizations as a good PDF compressor can quickly put them on the path to more efficient, secure, and manageable digital workflows. So, whether you’re a professional dealing with a high volume of documents, a student managing academic papers, or just someone looking to optimize your digital storage, incorporating PDF compression into your routine can lead to significant improvements in your day-to-day digital tasks.