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How To Compress a PDF for Emailing

by Hung Nguyen

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Indonesian, 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 providers 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 don’t know is that PDF files can also be reduced in size, quickly with a few simple clicks. A myriad of online tools exist to do just this, and we’re leading the popularity race.

How Do I Compress a PDF For Emailing?

  1. Head to our online Compress PDF tool.

  2. Drag your PDF into the toolbox and choose “Basic” or “Strong compression.”

  3. Wait for Smallpdf to reduce your file size.

  4. Download the new email-ready PDF!


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 stays the same as the original file! Afterward, simply drag and drop your compressed PDF into your email, and you’re good to go.

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

Supported Operating Systems


Smallpdf is a suite of online PDF tools, created to be the first PDF software that you will actually like. We want to make PDF easy, to the point where anyone can access, convert, and edit their files in just 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. You can also access our site on any machine, whether it’s a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer.

But because we’re an online platform, make sure to hit the download button if you want to save your file locally after you reduce a PDF’s file size and before you email it directly from the tool.

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


When compressing your PDF, you can choose “basic” compression, which is more than enough for most files, or you can go for “strong compression.” This is very useful if your PDF is particularly large or if you want to attach multiple files to your email—and need to get each one as small as possible! The strong compression feature is available to Smallpdf Pro subscribers, and you can sign up for a 7-day free trial to try it out and get access to other premium features.

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.

In addition to splitting and compressing PDFs for emailing, there are another 20+ useful tools that we’ve created over the years to help you with your digital document processing. Check out how to:

We hope you found this helpful, and that your emails are now smooth-sailing—regardless of the attachments!

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Senior Growth Marketing Manager @Smallpdf