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Tech tips

How to shrink a file for easier sending

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It’s estimated that more than 4 billion people use email globally. That means over half of the world’s population enjoys the practicality of immediate mail services. Yet even a service as convenient as email comes with a set of downsides.

For example, if you’ve ever tried to send a large file through email, you’ve probably groaned in frustration. That’s because email inboxes love to tell us that our files were way too big to go through. When you get the error “Message is too big” or “Your email is too large,” it’s time to find some creative workarounds.

Your solution depends on the inbox you’re using as well as the programs downloaded onto your computer. For instance, if you use Adobe Acrobat, you can click File > Save as Other > Reduced size PDF and you’re good to go. Sadly, most fixes aren’t that easy, which is why we put together this comprehensive guide to shrinking email attachments.

It all depends on the format you’re using

Sure, you can head to a free site like smallpdf.com. But you probably don’t want to download files from the internet all willy-nilly. We recommend using simple fixes you can do from your computer. No internet connection is required.

Without further ado, here’s how you can reduce the file size on documents. This works for PDF, JPG, TIFF, PNG, DOC and DOCX files. We’re covering a ton of bases to help you!

1. How to shrink Doc and Docx files

First, we recommend removing any unnecessary images. They might look nice, but they’re blowing up your file size. If you need images, no matter what, try to reduce their size. Just a little bit of shrinking can go a long way.

Next, you’ll want to save the file in the most recent Word version you can. Older versions aren’t ideal for this purpose. Also, try to cut down on formatting as much as you can.

If none of these fixes work, it may be time to save it as a PDF file. If you go down that route, though, you may still need some help.

2. How to shrink PDF files

First, you can always try the Reduced size PDF option mentioned in the intro. This is pretty quick and easy. You can also use Adobe Acrobat’s PDF Optimizer, which gives you more control over how your newly-shrunken file will look.

If you’re using Word, there’s another trick to try. Go to File > Save As, where you’ll see an Optimize for: option. Click Minimum size. Here’s an example of what that will look like:

Oh, and you can also use Adobe’s Online PDF Compressor. Unlike smallpdf.com, Adobe is a reputable company, so we don’t take any umbrage with using its free websites and downloading PDF files from them. To compress files for free, follow these steps:

  • Head to Adobe’s Online PDF Compressor.
  • Tap or click Select a file.
  • Browse your computer for the file. Select it and hit Open.
  • Now that your PDF is on Adobe’s server, select your compression level.
  • Then, hit Compress.

From there, you can tap or click Download to save the newly compressed file to your computer. You’ll get a much smaller version that will hopefully attach to your emails.

3. How to shrink TIFF and PNG files

This is pretty easy. First, look around the image and ask yourself if there’s anything you can crop out. Any white borders can go away. You can even better frame your photo by editing it to be smaller.

If you don’t mind taking it from the top, rescan the image. You’ll want to use a lower resolution, like 96 DPI. If all else fails, try converting it to a JPG format instead.

4. How to shrink JPG files

Just like TIFF and PNG images, a nifty shrinking tip you can try is to rescan the file at a lower resolution. Shrink the image, crop it and get creative when removing empty space and other unnecessary details.

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