When working with PDFs, sometimes it’s necessary to reduce their file size so they can be uploaded somewhere or sent over e-mail. There are many on-line services that can do that, but there are privacy concerns when using those, since PDFs can often contain sensitive data.

Apple’s desktop OS offers many built-in options for PDF compression, but they can be tricky to use for those who are not familiar with Apple Script, the creation of Automator workflows or with using Quartz filters in the print dialog.

João was looking for a simple, free utility that would allow him to compress files directly on Mac, without any hassle. The developer then decided to create Lightweight PDF. The app has a small window which accepts any PDF you can drop into it. The file is compressed in-place and the reduction can be substantial. During my tests, the app was able to reduce the file size by more than 70% on some of the documents, without any noticeable loss in quality.

Lightweight PDF is a free app, it can be downloaded from the Mac App Store.

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