PDF files can be large files if they contain lots of images, causing slow upload problems when sending them via email or uploading them to a web service. In order to fix this issue, you may need to decrease the size of your PDFs. Below we will show you how to easily downsize a PDF by using a Quartz filter.
Downsizing a PDF File Using Quartz Filters
To start, open the PDF that you would like to downsize in Preview. This application comes preinstalled with every Mac running a recent version of OS X. To open a PDF using Preview, simply right-click on the PDF of your choice. When you do this a dropdown menu will appear. From this dropdown menu, click hover over “Open With”. Now click Preview.
Now, look towards the Apple Toolbar, where you will see a few different options. Click on “Export”. When you do this, a drop down menu will appear.
Look towards the bottom of the window and click the option labeled “Quartz Filter”. When you do this, a drop down window will appear. From this menu, click on “Reduce File Size”. Finally, press the Export button, which is located at the bottom of the export window.
Customizing The Reduce File Size Quartz Filter
If you want more control over the Reduce File Size filter, follow the steps below.
To start, open ColorSync Utility. Once it has completely launched, look towards the top of the window, where you will a four different tabs. Click on the “Filters” tab.
Now look towards the center of the window. You will see an option labeled “Reduce File Size”. Click on the gray button that is located to the right of the “Reduce File Size” option and this will pull up a popup menu. From this menu, select “Duplicate Filter”.
Expand the “Reduce File Size copy” by clicking on the arrow that is located to the left of the label. When you do this you will see two more options, “Image Sampling” and “Image Compression”. Expand these two options.
Now you can adjust the size of your PDFs by playing with the “Image Sampling” and “Image Compression” options. For instance, under “Image Compression” you will see two options, “Mode” and “Quality”. If you change the mode to “JPEG” and turn the “quality” slider to the left, the images in your PDF will be lower quality. This in turn will make the overall size of the PDF file smaller.
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Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.