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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.

Most email providers still have a 20 MB limit for attachments, which is very easy to reach, even with a PDF sometimes. This can happen if a file has many images or the document is extraordinarily long. In this case, most people use alternative sharing services, such as Dropbox or Google Drive to share their files.

But, what many don’t know is that PDF files can also be reduced in size quickly with a few simple clicks. There is a myriad of online tools 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.

  3. Wait for Smallpdf to reduce your file size.

  4. If needed, choose “Strong Compression.”

  5. Otherwise, download the new email-ready PDF!

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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. We then optimize your PDF to ensure 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 only great for email. Smaller files are always useful as they upload quicker to your favorite file-sharing sites. You also save money without the need to invest in more cloud-space storage. 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’ll 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. Being a cloud service, you can compress your PDF files for emailing on our platform anytime and anywhere. You can also access our site on any machine, whether it’s a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer.

When you’ve finished compressing, editing, and annotating your files on our site, remember to hit the download button if you want to save your file before emailing it straight from the tool.

How To Compress a PDF For Email Straight From Chrome


We’ve also developed our own Chrome extension. This nifty invention gives you access to our tools straight from Chrome itself. The extension is free to use and install and sends you directly to our site to compress a PDF document. This is how it’s done:

  1. Download and install the Smallpdf Extension
  2. Tap on the “Tools” bar on the left.
  3. Click “Compress” and upload your file to our site.
  4. Choose a compression option and done!
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Faster compression with our Chrome extension

We’re continually working on improving our extension with more features coming 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 really helpful if your PDF is particularly large or if you need to make each file as compact as possible to attach to your email. The strong compression feature is available to Smallpdf Pro subscribers. If you want to see how effective it is, sign up for a 7-day free trial. This will unlock strong compression mode and give you access to all the other premium features.

The largest PDF that our compression tool can accept is 5GB. If you have a file larger than this, we 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 and management. 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