Linux: Compress PDF – Reduce PDF Size

A scanned document saved as PDF can be too large, that is not always good.

For example, the large size of a PDF file won’t permit to send it by email because of the probable limitation on the maximum size of attachments.

In Linux you can compress a PDF file from the command line without losing its quality, with the help of ps2pdf tool, that is a part of ghostscript suite.

From this article you will learn how to compress a PDF file and significantly reduce its size from the Linux command line.

Cool Tip: Plan to send this PDF somewhere or just keep? How about to protect it with a password? This is really easy for ones who reduce the size of a PDF file from the command line! Read more →

First of all it is required to install the ghostscript suite that provides the ps2pdf utility:

$ sudo apt-get install ghostscript

Compress PDF File In Linux

Run the following command to compress and reduce the size of the LARGE.pdf file and save the result to the SMALL.pdf file:

$ ps2pdf LARGE.pdf SMALL.pdf

Effectiveness is obvious:

$ du -sh *.pdf
7,6M	LARGE.pdf
500K	SMALL.pdf

8 Replies to “Linux: Compress PDF – Reduce PDF Size”

  1. Thank you very much for your hack! It worked like a charm and I did learn something new.

  2. Exactly what I needed too. Thank you.

  3. Great “hack”. Compressed my PDF from 12,6 MB to 12,5 MB….

  4. wonderful: from 900.5 to 901.9. This is exactly what I was looking for! You made my day!

  5. from
    2.3M Fall_18-19-ACCT_422-PPT-11-1544528806-2018-12-11.pdf
    2.6M Fall_18-19-ACCT_422-PPT-11-1544528806-2018-12-111.pdf

  6. Thank you for this! On average, my pdf files are being reduced to half their original size.

  7. Nonsense. This created a larger file.

  8. The real great hack! Have 1.5GB pdf after processing some pages, this stuff gives me a 6MB file. WOW! Want know, why.

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