How to Reduce the Size of Your PDF File with Bluebeam


As of yesterday afternoon, Reduce File Size was winning the PDF Insider’s poll for Best New Bluebeam PDF Revu Feature of 2009. And I’m not surprised. Prior to Bluebeam PDF Revu v 7, it was a highly requested feature. And once we rolled it out, users like you kept on giving us props, not only for including it in version 7, but for giving you more control over how you reduce your PDFs.

You see, in Bluebeam, when you choose to reduce the size of your PDF, we don’t just shrink it. We let you decide what elements of the file to reduce.  Take a look at this example:

  1. Save Mode: Save as the current PDF format, or as a 1.4 Compatible or 1.5 Compressed PDF
  2. Images: If your PDF includes images, go here to convert them to a different format, adjust image DPI or change color depth.
  3. Fonts: If you don’t need to embed fonts with your PDF, then drop ‘em here!
  4. Miscellaneous: Just what it sounds like – a smorgasbord of file elements that, if not needed, can greatly reduce your file size
  5. Estimated File Size: Here’s the killer feature of Bluebeam’s Reduce File Size functionality. As you adjust file reduction settings, you’ll get a preview of how much Revu could reduce the PDF size, if that element is changed.

For more about reducing the size of your PDFs, check out this video. And remember, to keep on PDFin’!


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7 Responses to “How to Reduce the Size of Your PDF File with Bluebeam”

  1. Todd G. Says:

    This does not work at all. I can’t achieve more that a 3% size reduction. Am I doing something wrong here? Acrobat can reduce it by 90%.

  2. Leon P. Says:

    I agree with Todd. We have not had success with file size reduction. Still send to admin staff to optimize with Adobe.

    • Kyle from Bluebeam Says:

      Hi Leon, It might be best if I have one of our tech support specialists get in touch with you to determine what happening. Can you send me a few more details, including the type of files you’re working with, version of Revu and which operating system? You can email me at kyle (at) so I can get you in touch with the right person.

      Best, Kyle at Bluebeam

  3. Alex S. Says:

    I agree. I still prefer to send to adobe for any kind of size reduction, deskewing, and pdf optimization. Just cannot seem to get bluebeam to produce the same quality.

    • Kyle from Bluebeam Says:

      Thank you for the comment Alex. If possible, can you send me a sample file that was difficult for you to reduce in Revu. I’d like to run it by the Bluebeam support team to see if they have any tips or tricks to offer.

      kyle (at)

  4. Thomas Frey Says:

    I was able to effectively use the file size reduction options for a PowerPoint file. I first created a PS file by printing to a printer driver that is PS compatible and configured to create a file. The PS file for a 34 slide presentation with graphics BMPs/JPGs/PNGs came out to 190 Megs. I then converted this PS file to a PDF using the stapler app and this created a 9.2 meg file.

    Then within BlueBeam using the file size reduction I converted all BMPs and PNGs to JPEG and used a 200 DPI image resolution. This reduced the 9.2 meg file to 1.3 megs. This was achieved without changing the DPI of any images because the highest was 181 DPI.

    This is better than Adobe’s file compression.

    One thing about the BlueBeam app that could be improved is the estimate that is provided prior to saving the file. The estimates were in the range of ~35% and file was much better than that.

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