Is there any way to compress a PDF (with the preview / iOS default software) to a certain size in mb (in my case as close as possible under or equal 5 mb)? The actual size right now is (6 scanned pages) 8.8 mb.

If i just use the "normal way" (meaning: finder, export using quarz-filter, compress pdf) i get a far too small and therefore unreadable PDF.

Anyone knowing a good work around?

Thanks for help!

  • Download those filters: https://github.com/joshcarr/Apple-Quartz-Filters/archive/master.zip

  • Copy them in your mac or user Library ( /Library or /Users/YOURUSERNAME/Library) In a Folder named "Filters" (create if doesn't exist).

  • Open Preview and export as a PDF.

  • Try some of new filter since when you reach the right weight for your pdf.


A great PDF compressor is Ghostscript (gs), which is native in most Linux distributions and easily installable for Mac OS X and Windows.

Daniel summarizes summarizes it best here, with the key quote being his preferred options:

gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH \
    -sOutputFile=foo-compressed.pdf foo.pdf

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