How To Compress a PDF For Email on Mac

How To Compress a PDF For Email on Mac large

Remember how easy it was to send a fax to your friends or other businesses?

Actually, it could’ve been a little faster.

First, you had to turn on your fax machine, then load each individual paper into the tray (lengthy documents required a midway nap), then you had to dial the number of the other fax machine you wanted to send the document to and wait for it to connect. This usually required tons of patience and praying.

Today is a brighter and much different story because, with the tap of a button, we can send an entire document in the form of PDF through the internet as an email attachment. Convenient, quick, and efficient.

However, depending on how the original PDF was crafted or was sent from originally, the file size can become too big to send as one email attachment.

But before you try and split that PDF into separate emails in order to try and make it fit, there is a much easier alternative that will allow you to compress that PDF file and still keep it in one tidy package for email.

You can compress PDF document files using Preview on Mac. By compressing the file, you can ensure that it is under the file size restriction for sending PDFs as an email attachment. You can also add effects, crop, and rotate any PDF page, all within the Preview app.

Preview already comes with your Mac and is powerful enough to change and resize PDFs in almost any way you want, all without needing to buy extra software or applications. Below I detail how you can compress PDF documents using Preview so that you can conveniently size it for email every time, as well as extra features the app is capable of that you might need when dealing with PDF and email.

Compress a PDF in Preview on Mac

With the PDF already saved on your Mac, you can open and resize the file so that it is able to fit small enough to send as an email. Here is how you can do that:

  1. Open the Preview app on your Mac
  2. Open the PDF so that it shows up on your Preview window
  3. Choose File, then choose Export
  4. Click on the Quartz Filter pop-up menu
  5. Choose Reduce File Size

Once you choose to reduce the file size, you should be able to make even lengthy PDF visual documents small enough to send as an email attachment.

Note that compressing a PDF file can reduce the quality of the document, resulting in grainy images, text, or handwriting that was scanned to PDF.

Read More: Where to Find Scanned Documents on your iPhone

I find that Preview does a pretty good job at reducing the size of the PDF file without compromising any of the overall quality of the document.

Add Effects to PDF in Preview

Did you know that you can also use Preview to modify a PDF before you send it as an email? Here’s how you can find this nifty feature:

  1. Open the Preview app and the PDF file that you want to modify
  2. Choose File, then choose Export
  3. Click the Quartz Filter pop up menu
  4. Choose the filter that you want

There is a whole host of options that you can choose from to change your document, including changing the colors, applying a filtered layer, or to change the tone of the visual.

This feature is great if you receive or scan a lot of color documents but need to send them by email as black and white only.

Your recipient and their expensive color printer inks will indeed thank you.

Crop a Portion of Your PDF

Is there a section of your PDF that you want to omit before sending it off again? Preview also makes that quite easy to accomplish. Here’s the steps for easy cropping:

  1. In the Preview app, click Show Markup Toolbar button
  2. Click the Rectangular Selection button
  3. Click and Drag the portion you want to keep
  4. Click the Crop button in the Markup Toolbar to confirm your selection

If you cropped out more than you though or changed your mind, you can undo the crop by going under Edit and then clicking the Undo button. This will revert the PDF back to its original version before the crop.

Rotate A PDF page (Or The Whole Document)

Sometimes when you receive a PDF file there will be a page that is turned a different way than the rest of the document.

Other times the whole document will be flipped upside down, making it hard to read.

No need to fear. Here are the steps in Preview that allow you to easily rotate one, a few, or all of your pages back upright again:

  1. To rotate one page: scroll to the page you want to rotate and click on the Rotate button. It looks like a box with an arrow pointed above and to the left, and is found along the top toolbar in Preview
  2. Keep clicking until you rotate your image to your desired orientation
  3. To rotate multiple pages: Click View > Click Thumbnails or View> Click Contact Sheet.
  4. Select the pages that you want to rotate
  5. Click the Rotate button until you reach the desired orientation

Annotate or Sign a PDF Document in Preview

Many legal documents require a signature by the recipient. But when the document is in its digital PDF format, it can’t be signed by hand like a faxed paper copy.

Preview also has the capability to type anywhere you want on the document, including your signature where it is needed. Follow these steps to add text to your PDF before emailing:

  1. In the Preview app, click Show Markup Toolbar button
  2. To add a Note: Choose Text on the toolbar
  3. You can slide the box to any part of the document and click Text Style on the toolbar to adjust the size, font, and color of the text in that box.
  4. To add a signature: Choose Sign on the toolbar
  5. Choose Click Here to Begin
  6. Using your trackpad, sign your name and click done when finished
  7. Find your signature along the top and Click on it
  8. Slide your signature box to any part of the document that’s needed

Draw Or Circle On Your PDF

Is there an important segment of your PDF that needs to be circled or captured in some way so that it is clear to who you are sending it to?

Thanks to Preview, you can sketch on your PDF in almost any way imaginable. This is how it’s done:

  1. To Draw In Preview: With your PDF open, Click Draw in the toolbar
  2. Change the color and boldness by clicking the Border Color and Shape Style buttons in the toolbar
  3. To Circle: Click Shapes in the toolbar
  4. To Change the color and boldness of the outer edge, click the Border Color and Shape Style buttons in the toolbar
  5. If you want to fill your shape in with color or make it non-transparent, click the Fill Color button in the toolbar

John Hammer

Hi i'm John Hammer, Founder and Author of Gizbuyer Guide. Ever since the original Xbox, PlayStation, and iPhone I've purchased and worked on all kinds of consumer tech products, gaming gadgets and operating system softwares. To this day my curiosity has never left, and my aim is to guide and share my knowledge on technology as I continue to experience the latest of the consumer electronics industry.

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