8 Proven Methods to Reduce Scanned Document Size

Last updated on March 12, 2024

Summary :

Learn about the best methods to significantly reduce the size of scanned PDFs to save storage spaces. There are methods for scanned documents and their digital copies.

Table of Contents

Reduce Scanned Document Size

Reduce Scanned Document Size

It is crucial to reduce the size of scanned documents for efficient storage and faster sharing. Because high-resolution scans can consume significant disk space and be cumbersome to email or upload.

By reducing these file sizes, users can save storage, improve document management, and enhance accessibility without sacrificing quality.

This guide explores practical methods and tools for minimizing scanned document sizes, offering 8 ways to optimize digital file handling.

Reduce Scanned PDF Size Online Free

If you already have a digital copy of your scanned documents, then a PDFgear online PDF compressor is your best option to reduce their sizes.

You simply need to upload a scanned document PDF, choose a compressor model, and download the compressed document.

Upload PDF File to PDFgear

Upload PDF File to PDFgear

However, it limits PDF files to up to 50MB and doesn’t support batch-compress. Downloading PDFgear breaks these annoy easily. PDFgear is compatible with Windows, macOS, and iOS. No limits on file size or file quantities, no subscription, or no watermarks.

PDFgear – Free Compress PDF Documents

PDFgear offers all its features to users at no cost, making it a prime candidate for your go-to solution in compressing scanned PDF files.

Adjust Scanner Settings

A practical method to reduce the size of scanned documents is to adjust your scanner settings. You can reduce the resolution and set the color to black and white or grayscale to create smaller documents.

Scan Document to Black and White

Scan Document to Black and White

Reduce the DPI

If you don’t need your PDFs to be high quality, you can save a lot of space by reducing the DPI (dots per inch) of the scanned images. This will make the images less sharp, but they will still be readable.

Reduce DPI while Scanning

Reduce DPI while Scanning


OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software can convert scanned text into editable text, which dramatically reduces the size of the PDF.

Free Document OCR Software

Batch converts scanned PDFs into small-sized text-based Microsoft Word and TXT.

Luckily, with OCR software, you can transform your scanned PDFs into editable and small-sized Word or TXT documents. This method works best with text-based PDFs.

Convert PDF to Word

Convert PDF to Word

Remove Unnecessary Pages

If you have a large PDF file, you can remove the blank pages or unwanted pages and split them into smaller files to reduce the overall size. There are many software programs like PDFgear available that can help you split PDF files.

Delete Blank Pages wth PDFgear

Delete Blank Pages wth PDFgear

Crop the Document

If your scanned document contains a lot of white space, use PDFgear to crop the document to remove the white space. This will reduce the document size and improve its readability.

Crop PDF

Crop PDF

Scan Low-Size PDFs in Mobile

Apart from compressing the output scanned PDF files, another practical method is reducing the size of scanned PDF during scanning. And apart from reducing the scan DPI which brings about quality loss, you can also try cropping out the unwanted areas, or save the scan as an image.

Free PDF Scanner for Mobile

PDF Scanner HD is the best free scanner app for iPhone and iPad without a subscription. Get it from the Apple App Store.

Resize the Dimension of the Document

Open a scanned document in PDF Scanner HD > Tap the Edit button > Hit Crop > Adjust the area to remove any unwanted part from the border of the scanned document, which would take up redundant storage space if not. Be careful not to crop out anything important!

Resize the Dimension of the Document

Resize the Dimension of the Document

Save the Resized Document as a JPEG

Save your document as JPEG (JPG), and you’ll find it in your camera roll. After that, the output JPG file will have a remarkably smaller size than the original PDF scan.

Save the Document as a JPEG

Save the Document as a JPEG

Batch Compress Scanned PDFs

When working with bulks of scanned PDFs, a batch PDF compressor is certainly helpful.

The PDFgear is a robust desktop PDF converter as well as a compressor that features a high compression ratio without compromising PDF quality, faster and steadier compression/conversion, and support for bulk compression.

It can help you get your Adobe Scan PDF documents under 50~100 KB a page, and around 20 MB in total, which would be perfect as Email attachments. And more features are waiting for you to find out.

Best Free PDF Compressor | PDFgear

Batch compress scanned PDF documents at a high compression ratio on Windows, Mac, and iOS for free.

Now hit the Download button above to get PDFgear for free on your Windows, Mac, and iOS, import the PDF documents, and start the batch compression.

Compression Settings

Compression Settings


Why is My Scanned Document Size So Large?

It may be because your document is too large. To reduce the size of color-scanned documents, consider the following: High DPI settings, which measure dot density, can lead to large file sizes.

For text documents, avoid DPI values over 300. Instead, opt for 200~250 DPI during scanning or use PDFgear Compressor to shrink the PDF size without compromising quality.

Can I Reduce File Size while Scanning?

Certainly! If you’re using a device-connected scanner, optimize settings for smaller file sizes: switch to black-and-white scans, reduce resolution, opt for formats like JPEG or DOCX, and enable file compression.

How to Reduce the Size of Documents Scanned in Color?

Color-scanned documents are typically larger than their black-and-white counterparts. To shrink the file size, simply upload it to PDFgear Online Compressor, select a compression mode, and reduce the size.

To Sum Up

As there are three excellent methods provided, I believe you have found one that suits you and have followed the tutorial to reduce scanned document PDF to a smaller size. PDFgear will fit right in with your work routine, and you’ll be impressed by its steady performance!

Moreover, the PDF reading and PDF editing feature that PDFgear offers will be a terrific help for your work and document management. So please make sure to give PDFgear a try! If you have trouble using PDFgear or any insights you’d like to share, please leave us a message in the comment section below.

Hint: Please do not confuse the “reduce file size/resizing file” referred to in this post, as in reducing the file size that it occupies on your device storage space, with the resizing as in resizing the scanned document dimension.

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