PDF's too large to email, Please help ASAP!

Discussion in 'macOS Mojave (10.14)' started by Eagle 20, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Eagle 20 macrumors newbie

    Eagle 20

    Aug 24, 2019
    I have two PDF's I have to email to my Department of Attorney General (DAG), like yesterday! But I only have gmail and one of the PDF's is too large to even send by itself. So I am seriously in panic mode and need help fast :(

    One PDF is a four page letter, that when I right click and 'Get Info' it says it's 5.3 MB on disk. The other PDF is a LOT of enclosures (scans from a book, screenshots, etc) I put together as a PDF then used PDFCombo so it would have a table of contents. When I right click and 'Get Info' it says it's 69.8 MB on disk.

    I tried selecting both, right clicked and selected 'Compress 2 items'. The compressed file when I view it in the folder says 70 MB just under it. But when I right click and select 'Get Info' it says it's 83.9 MB on disk. Then I tried uploading to Google Drive, selecting both PDF's and downloading them. The compressed file when viewed in the folder says 70 MB just under it. But when I right click and select 'Get Info' it says it's 72.1 MB.

    Tried calling my DAG to see if they'd accept it if sent in gmail via Google Drive (being what gmail prompts me to do), but they have a stupid phone system. Called multiple times, waited to talk to someone, then after 16 minutes get a recording saying call back later and it disconnects. Until eventually I got a recording saying they were closed.

    Can someone please tell me if there's a way to shrink the file size so I can get these emailed?
  2. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    What is the file size attachment limit of your email provider? Do you have another email address with another provider which accepts larger attachments?

    Adobe Acrobat Pro DC has an option to reduce the file size "save as other - reduced file size pdf" . Looking at other compression options with some web providers I've seen numbers ranging from 10% to 50%. Assuming that your mail provider limit is 20 MB or so, it seems unlikely that you are going to get a 70 MB file down to 20. One option would be to break it into pieces.
  3. Eagle 20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Eagle 20

    Aug 24, 2019
    Gmail has an attachment limit of 25 MB, and my iCloud email has a limit of 20 MB.

    Last night I watched a YouTube video on how to reduce the size and tried the steps it outlined. Open each PDF, go to Edit then Export and from the Quartz Filter dropdown menu selected Reduce File Size. That reduced the first to 127 KB on disk and the other to 15.8 MB on disk. Which would be great if not for them being so blurry that the text can barely be read :(
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Upload the larger file to a file-sharing site.
    Then include a link to download it in your email to the DAG office.
  5. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    +1; I would suggest WeTransfer.com for this.

    With WeTransfer, you upload using a browser. You fill in the form with your email and your target's email along with a short comment. When the upload completes, they will send you and your target an email containing a link to download the file. They will also send you an email when your target downloads. For security, the uploaded file will be obscured to make it extremely difficult for anyone other than you or your target to access and they will delete the uploaded file in 7 days. Their service is free for single files or single ZIP archives up to 2Gb.
  6. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68040

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    There's also an iCloud feature called Mail Drop. It's offered automatically on iOS (when you're signed into iCloud), and is optional in the Mac Mail app on an account-by-account basis (Mail > Preferences > Accounts > [account] > Send large attachments with Mail Drop). When the Mail app detects a file that exceeds the mail service's size limits you'll be notified the file is too large and you have the option to upload the file to the cloud. A download link is added to your email message so the recipient can obtain the file.
  7. NoBoMac Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jul 1, 2014
  8. cajun67 macrumors regular


    Aug 29, 2011
    Even if you find a way to attach it, the same problem will exist on the other end. Their email server will reject it because of the attachment being too big.

    The best option, someone else already stated -- upload it to a file sharing service (e.g., iCloud, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), and send the link to the file in the email.
  9. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    The way to make the pdf smaller is to lower the file sizes of the scans you are including. Make copies of the images and see how low you can get the resolution while maintaining legibility. I've got much bigger files down to emailable size before. I found working in PNG format works better than JPG.
  10. JoeInMilwaukee macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2015
    Milwaukee, WI
  11. DrBrush macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2016
  12. Apple_Glen_UK macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2015
    West Sussex, England
    I use this site a lot. It's really useful: www.sejda.com

    It has an option to resize PDF's.
  13. Eagle 20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Eagle 20

    Aug 24, 2019
    Gmail by default wanted to send using Google Drive. It just automatically uploads the files and includes a share link in the email. But I didn't know if the DAG office would accept files that need downloaded via a link. I called to find out but the person I spoke to was just as clueless, basically told me to send the email and find out.

    So I let gmail do its thing, sent them via Google Drive, and just told the woman I was emailing them to she could call me if there's any problems. Hopefully there won't be. They're not exactly prompt when getting back to me, when they get back to me at all, and the whole situation has me ticked off as it is.

    Anyway, before I go into a rant about it LOL everyone keep their fingers crossed for me that she can download the files. At least it will buy me a couple weeks before the company sends another form response.
  14. Riwam macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2014
    Basel, Switzerland
    I used mega.co.nz to create a free cloud account.
    It requests just a valid mail address as the name of any new account and a freely chosen password.
    I have sent movie and music files to friends and relatives by simply giving them my account data, and those files were mostly well over a GB in size!
    A cloud account is the best way to pass no sensible big data to someone else.
    Sensible data is of course an entirely different matter since no one guarantees that the cloud should not be one day victim of hackers.
    However if clerks in an official institution (your case) accept or not to download files from a link to a cloud depends on their rules and policies.
    Good luck!
  15. jdw13 macrumors member


    Oct 2, 2015
    Boston, Maine, Chile
    Not just IOS, also MacOS, at least for me on Mojave using Apples’s Mail Application.
  16. Eagle 20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Eagle 20

    Aug 24, 2019
    Typically I don't send a lot of files, so I didn't want to make an account somewhere to do it, and I've never used the Apple Mail app. So I went ahead with sending the files via Gmail and Google drive. I haven't heard anything from the woman I sent them to, so who knows. It doesn't do me any good to try following up since her email last week was in response to an email I'd sent over a month ago :(
  17. radiotamarillo macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2015
    I had this exact same issue last week, so I can sympathise with how frustrating this is.

    The default settings of the Quartz "Reduce File Size" Filter in Preview does not do so well with PDFs containing large amounts of document scans; the results are often unreadable.

    The good news is there is a way to change those settings, and create permanent new options which will appear in the pop-up menu when you Export a PDF from Preview, so you'll be ready next time.

    It only involves copying, renaming and editing text files with the TextEdit app on your Mac.

    The full process is described in detail here

    I had to send some PDFs containing multiple pages of scanned documents and I was uncomfortable with the idea of uploading the file to the various online services which offer to shrink the file size, or indeed cloud services in general.

    With the new settings in Preview detailed above I was able to reduce the file size down to an email-ready size with no visual loss of quality at all.

    Another tip:
    When you export the PDF from Preview and apply your newly made "Good", "Better" and "Best" settings for file size reduction from the Quartz Filter popup, click the "Encrypt" box below. This will enable you to apply a password to the PDF that the recipient will need to open it. If you're dealing with a bank or insurer, for example, it could be something your recipient would already know – e.g. your customer ID number.
    The PDF icon will change to a padlock, and you can feel better about emailing sensitive information.
  18. mpainesyd macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    PDF Shrink app for Mac works well and lets you choose the degree of compression. You can also set it up as a droplet so you just drag the PDF file on to the PDF Shrink icon to do the compression. It creates a new file with _mail added to the filename.

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17 September 10, 2019