How Tos

How to optimize PDFs exported from MS Word

When it comes to publishing documents online, PDF is the standard format. However, for creating documents MS Word remains one of the most popular applications. Even if you create your documents in MS Word, it allows you to export them as PDF files. Moreover, you can optimize PDFs exported from MS Word which ensures your documents will remain at a high quality but become smaller in size.

PDFs that are too large are problematic when it comes to publishing and sharing them online since a lot of services impose size restrictions. Luckily, MS Word enables you to easily optimize your PDFs.

How to optimize PDFs exported from MS Word

To begin with, open the file you want to export as a PDF. Navigate to File -> Export.

The Export menu will appear. Click on the “Create PDF/XPS” button and a new dialog will be displayed.

On the “Publish as PDF or XPS” screen you have two options. The “Standard” option which is also the default one is suitable for both online publishing and printing, but it will result in a significantly larger file. If you need to shrink the PDF’s size select the “Minimum size” option. However, keep in mind that using the second option may result in a PDF file that’s not the best quality for printing.

Another thing you may need to think through is what fonts you are using in your documents. The most practical solution is to use only system fonts, meaning the fonts that come preinstalled on your operating system.

Those are the fonts everyone has installed. If you use other fonts in your MS Word document and you send it to someone who doesn’t have it, the system will replace it with one of the default fonts. This may result in weird looking formatting. However, if you export that file to a PDF the font will be embedded in the document. This will ensure that others can view the file just as you can, but it will also make the PDF larger.

As a result, if you need a small PDF file, just stick to system fonts such as Arial, Calibri and Times New Roman among others.

Another thing that may increase the size of your PDFs are the images they include. There’s not much you can do to shrink an image heavy PDF except to refrain from using too many photos in it. Plain text PDFs can be compressed more easily and result in smaller, thus easier to share files.