+1 Vote for PDF Squeezer

I have a 3Gb 8800 page set of PDF records I need to share with a staff member in another state

The file was to big to open on her Windows computer

I read this week about a Mac app called “PDF Squeezer” on SetApp which reduces PDF size with minimal impact on image quality

I gave it a try - it took about 90 seconds to run and reduced the file down to 96 MB - that is a reduction factor of over 30:1

Readability of the squeezed file is excellent

This is stunning


Thanks for the tip, @rkaplan! I’ve never used PDF Squeezer before, but could definitely see it being useful. It’s amazing how many gems like this are included with Setapp.

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PDF Squeezer is just great.

It is one of the apps I did not know about before I discovered it on Setapp and that I bought in a heartbeat when I canceled my Setapp subscription.

PDF Squeezer is able to achieve an impressive grade of compression without me being able to discover any signs of any degradation of quality. It is much more than just a UI for quartz filters (that also could be applied using ColorSync): it has become an indispensable PDF tool for me that I am using for almost any file I share via email or the internet.


that is impressive. I believe both PDF expert and pdf pen can optimize file size but may be not as good as pdf squeezer.

Based on the recommendation, I just bought and downloaded the app and tried it. I did not have a 3GB file to test but 175MB pdf catalog, it reduced that to 56.3MB. The second file I tested was a 123MB pdf ebook and it compressed that to 9.7Mb (very goood !!!)


I find that playing with the settings after a few weeks is worthwhile to dial in the exact level of quality vs size that you want.


Absolutely. Although I have to say that I am quite pleased with the three profiles that come pre-installed with the app. If I have a huge PDF, even the most cautious profile in PDF Squeezer will suffice (no visible degradation, good results). I never go further than “medium compression” (depending on the PDF no or almost no visible degradation and even smaller files).

I just tested a 103 Mb PDF on PDFExpert. It only has 3 choices for reduction: low, medium, high for quality of images. With the “low” quality the PDF went down to 4.3 Mb and the many images in the PDF were perfectly fine to my eyes. Yes, quality went down a wee bit, but nothing noticeable. Obviously if the PDF contained a lot of high quality photographs then I wouldn’t use the low setting, but for most things this seems perfectly fine. Not as nuanced as PDF Squeezer but very good!

I’ve never even noticed the extensive Preferences window! Probably because I’ve never felt a need to adjust PDF Squeezer in any way. Its performance has been entirely satisfactory right out of the box!


I’ve mentioned before what a nice surprise this app has been. I just discovered that, in the preferences, there’s a number of automations:


Solid find. I see it’s scriptable. I’ll probably filter for large PDFs in DT and optimize them. I assume that you’d want to preserve all annotations/metadata in that case.

I tried compressing the same 3GB PDF file it with Adobe Acrobat (paid version). The file was too large to open (or at least it would not open after 15 minutes) even on a Mac Pro with 384 Gb memory.

I was able to open it with PDFPenPro but when I tried to optimize it I got a beach ball so it was impractical.

We use it to reduce reports from the field techs to save space. I set up the services function so they can right click and “squeeze” the file.

So much easier for the non-techies

This is a solid app that I bought outright as I do not have the set app subscription. Found on bundlehunt for $5 a while back, bought 3 licenses

It’s great. I have a DEVONthink smart rule set up to compress PDFs automatically.

on performSmartRule(theRecords)
	set theProfilePath to "[ path to .pdfscp file ]"
	tell application id "DNtp"
		repeat with eachRecord in theRecords
			set thePath to path of eachRecord
			set theResult to do shell script "/usr/local/bin/pdfs " & quoted form of thePath & " --replace --profile " & quoted form of theProfilePath
			if theResult is "" then add custom meta data 1 for "mdfilecompressed" to eachRecord
		end repeat
	end tell
end performSmartRule

Works very well.


Thanks @rkaplan for the recommendation. I routinely need to reduce file size on slide decks after exporting them as PDFs, and while there are lots of ways to get it done, PDF Squeezer makes it dead simple and so far is drastically reducing the files with relatively no loss in quality for my use case.

Their command line interface tool is brilliant. I set up a Keyboard Maestro macro that passes the selected file from Finder and outputs the file directly. Perfect.

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Thanks for this script example. Epic Games v Apple evidence database is a few GB smaller now. :slight_smile:

I did find a few PDFs segment fault (returning a CLI error using pdfs or crashing the GUI program) but almost everything went through. Sent diagnostics and an example file to support.

I also re-learned I’m definitely a 300dpi guy. 150dpi just doesn’t cut it for magazine or journal scans, even though the OCR is still fine.

Plus I thought it was cute that the CLI tells you it won’t run until you pay $10. I was happy to and I think this is a smart and fair trial limitation.

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Have license to this but haven’t used for a long time. Had occasional issues with it squeezing PDF files that made them not text searchable; no issue searching text in originals.

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