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How to Compress a PDF for Emailing

by Hung Nguyen

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.

The most popular online tool to compress PDF files into an email ready size. Free to use, without the need to register an account or email address.

Even though PDF is arguably the most common file format for sharing, most email clients still have a 20 MB cap for these files. As such, we’ve become accustomed to using alternative services to share our files, i.e., Dropbox.

However, what many do not know is that PDF files can also be reduced in size, quickly within a few simple clicks. A myriad of online tools exists to do just this, and we lead the popularity race. Continue to read on for instructions on how to do so.

How do I compress a PDF for emailing?

  1. Access the online ‘Compress PDF’ tool.

  2. Drag your PDF into the toolbox to start the compression.

  3. Wait as Smallpdf reduce your file size.

  4. Download the new PDF in email size.

compress pdfs to email ready sizes

How to compress a PDf for email with Smallpdf

Smallpdf does this by classifying and removing repeated patterns in the file with similar unique identifiers. PDF optimization will be carried out to ensure that the quality the same as the original file! Afterward, simply drag and drop your compressed PDF in your email, and you are good to go.

Compressed PDFs are not used only for email. Smaller files are always useful as they take less than to upload to your favorite file-sharing site. Even for local storage, they load quicker and doesn’t slow down your operating system. Win-win.

Supported operating systems


Smallpdf is an online PDF software, created to be the first PDF software that you will actually like. We want to streamline the PDF processing efforts as much as possible, to the point where anyone could access, convert, and continue with the day in a few clicks.

Another goal was to make our platform as accessible as possible. You can compress your PDF files for emailing anytime, and anywhere. And with that, you may access our site on any machine, whether it is a Mac, a Windows, or a Linux computer.

But because it is an online platform, after you reduce a PDF file size, make sure to hit the download button to save your file before you export it to your email client.

How to compress a PDF for email straight from Gmail


We have also been working and honing our own Gmail extension, where you have access to our tools straight from Gmail itself. The extension is free to use, install, and permits you to compress a PDF document without having to go to our site.

  1. Download the Smallpdf Extension

  2. Open Gmail, compose an email

  3. Click on our logo, which should locate near the usual ‘compress’ option

  4. Choose your file, wait for it to be compressed and attached to the email body


Direct compression via Gmail

We’re continually working on improving our extension. When you receive documents, you can now convert PDFs to other file formats, for different use cases. More features are to come soon!

Other things to consider


Smallpdf always tries to maintain a high quality of the file content after you use your file compression. Because of this, we do not offer the option to choose the compression rate at the moment, to preserve the quality of the output file. In the unfortunate case where the size of a PDF is still large than the capped limitations of your email service, you can try to drag it back into our tool, and we will try to compress it harder. Keep in mind that this process could impede the quality of your file, with every passing compression.

The largest PDF that our compression tool can accept is 5GB. If you have a file larger than this, we’d suggest you split it into smaller files before using our tool to compress your PDF online.

Other than splitting and how to compress a PDF for emailing, there are 17+ other useful tools that we have also created over the years, to aid you with your digital document process. Check out how to:

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Content Marketing Manager @Smallpdf