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6 Free PDF Compressors

PDF Compressors

We’ve compiled a few free PDF compressor options that you can pick from, if you ever need to make such documents smaller, to send via e-mail for instance. The files in this portable document format, from where the acronym is derived, can be large and sometimes you may want to cramp up the data just a little bit for whatever reason. The different kinds of free options that feature on our compilation sport a great deal of functionality, so you might have to try them all until you find one that suits you just right.

Some allow more precise control when it comes to saving space, while other sacrifice grandeur for simplicity and ease of use. Check them out and get back to us via the comments section with your valuable input. And remember, those listed below are trial version software copies. If you want truly zero-cost alternatives, you’ll have to make do with online solutions at the expense of a file size upload limit. Let’s dive right into the thick of it then, shall we?

1. NicePDF:

Option 1

Like the others on here, this one is a just trial version, but it should suit most needs well. It does have a few niggling inconsistencies though, and we’re not sure if the positives overwhelmingly outweigh the negatives. Now in version 2.0, the main area in which the software gains its legs is from removing duplicate objects thus helping to reduce space taken up. In fact, the developers note that many classes of files are capable of being condensed a great deal.

What the program has on its side is the choice of algorithm. In this respect Flate or RunLength is offered and you’ll just have to play around a little bit to get the most out of your compacting experience. On the downside, the unpaid shareware version makes you wait 25 seconds before you can begin the process, while an un-simplified and arguably inconvenient interface might put you off. Furthermore, the program exits on completion and you must run another instance to put additional documents through the squeeze.

2. Neevia:

Option 2

This one lets you tweak settings endlessly, even giving tremendously detailed options when it comes to images. It offers support for conversion to JBIG2 lossless and lossy formats as well. You’ll be asked to key in an e-mail even before you can download the setup, which works on almost all Windows OS versions including the popular XP, Vista and Windows 7.

The fastidious level of control becomes clear in the image we’ve posted above and you can even encrypt documents, opting to include a password for added security. The pop-up on launch reminding the user to buy and register the full product can get annoying, but otherwise it seems like one of the best programs out there for the purpose. All the good it does is undone by the fact that the trial version comes with the company name plastered on the documents converted.

3. Bureausoft:

Option 3

The next item taking our list further comes in the form of a 15-day trial pack. The program delivers what it has to through a minimal interface. All you have to do is browse to the file using the software and it automatically picks up all the meta data required. It gives options to add text, graphics and embedded fonts to the process, but sadly control is limited and exactly how much space you can actually gain on the original varies.

4. VeryPDF:

Option 4

This software achieves downsampling using various methods for the accompanying pictures and different ways are employed to deal with color, gray and monochrome images. The application can even subset fonts reducing size further. A level of security options can be applied to the newly created files to protect them from prying eyes.

Like the others it too has a few flaws, but the main thing to remember about this piece of software is that it supports a wide variety of techniques in its approach. And to top it off, control permissions are available. Finally, those who chose to use it will be able to augment details regarding the document’s author, subject, creator and such.

5. Apago PDF Shrink:

Option 5

This piece of software that makes our lineup is for not just for computers running Windows, but also for Apple’s desktop platform, Mac OS X 10.3 and higher. The developers claim that file size can be reduced by as much 90 percent. It is positioned as a simple solution that eliminates the need to know all the technical terms associated with the format.

Added is a wizard with streamlined settings, making life easier when it comes to shedding those weighty bytes. The software comes as a 10-day trial and uses JPEG2000 for better results, while it is capable of processing multiple files at once. It even features a drag-and-drop mechanic, eliminating the need to browse to a file in order to open it.

6. PdfCompressor:

Option 6

And finally, the last one we bring you comes from Cvision. Besides brazenly cutting files down to size, the software comes with OCR or optical character recognition in over 100 languages, which the company claims is much more accurate and faster than most others. It works best with things that have been scanned and can even merge documents. Understandably it has high system requirements, but can give mixed results depending on the source.


The most common reason one might want to shrink down a file in portable document format is to make it easier to send over the internet. But there are other advantages. For example, smaller sizes mean files open faster and more of them can be stored on portable devices such as phones, tablets and eReaders. We’ve put a lot of effort into searching the corners of the web to find a software solution and we hope our free PDF compressor roster has done some justice. Leave a comment if you feel we’ve missed out on something that you’ve been using since the fall of SkyNet.