Use Preview to Resize PDF Files on Your Mac

On Mac, you can easily create a PDF using the built-in Preview app, but the shortcoming is that there are not much available customization options, specifically about the quality, and by extension the file size, of the PDF generated. So if you convert several large pictures into a PDF file, the size may be larger than you desire.

You may need to compress the PDF file when you run into file size limitation trying to upload or share it with others (such as emailing it as an attachment to your friends). To save storage space, you can resize the existing PDF file in Preview, any other PDF utilities, or online website tools. In this post we will mainly show you how to resize a PDF file on Mac using the free Preview app.

  • Open the PDF file you want to resize in the Preview app.
  • Choose File > Export from the menu bar at the top.
  • Click the Quartz Filter drop-down menu in the Export As window.
  • Choose Reduce File Size, and click Save button.

resize pdf on mac

You can also name the file or add tags for it in the Export As window. After resizing the file, select it in Finder and click the Get Info icon to get the size information.

Generally, when compressed, the PDF may be of smaller size and lower quality than the original. You have no option to adjust the compression rate in Preview app, and the result mainly depends on what contents the original file contains. If you are not satisfied with the fuzzy image embedded in the resized file, you can use paid apps like Adobe Acrobat Pro, which can shrink PDF without quality loss.

  • Launch Adobe Acrobat Pro and then open the PDF you want to resize.
  • Head to File > Save As > Reduce Size PDF from the menu bar.

Besides, there are many free websites that can help reducing PDF files online. For now we have tried,, and, to name a few.