How difficult could it be to reduce a PDF file size? Apparently, in this instance, very!

Google Docs generated PDFs have risen to monstrous sizes, relatively speaking (and I’m not alone). Recently, I needed to convert a Google Docs generted PDF, from 5MB to under 2MB, due to an upload limit.

  • I tried to compress the said PDF through MacOS Preview’s built in “Reduce File Size” filters which in this rare instance didn’t work.
  • I then tried myriad of other ways, like exporting to Microsoft Word and compress it, while the Word generated PDF was sufficiently compressed, the formatting as is expected from Word had gone haywire.
  • I even tried Readdle’s PDF Expert - both on iPad Pro and Mac - and its “Reduce File Size” function, which is only available in their paid version BTW.. and drumroll please, it didn’t work as well, just reduced the size by 1%.
  • I dislike all things Adobe (story for another day), so didn’t even bother trying the Acrobat Reader.

Hours of wasted effort later, I stumbled upon this Google support forum answer, which pointed me to a beautiful little website called I❤️PDF at and IT WORKED LIKE MAGIC - reduced the size from 5MB to 60 KB, without degrading the quality.

Highly recommended, although I suggest studying their privacy policy if your document is sensitive.

Thus ends this tale. Happy compressing!