Like Word documents, you shouldn't have any trouble uploading PDFs to the Learning Space, as these are usually less than 1GB in size. However, you should still consider the steps below to help increase download speeds for others.

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  • Before you proceed with any of these suggestions, be sure to keep a back up of your work as the quality of images could potentially be lost permanently.
  • It can be tempting to use 3rd party software that compress files for you - but beware that many of these sites could infect your device with a virus.

1. Save efficiently from Word

The "Save As" dialogue box.

By saving a PDF in 'Best For Electronic Distribution And Accessibility' mode it can be possible to reduce the file size substantially. Beware though that this could affect the formatting of your document so ensure you check it thoroughly before you submit. It can also be worthwhile checking the file size difference by selecting 'Best For Printing' too, although this could affect video content and any hyperlinks.

Exclamation mark iconImportant: If adding as a resource to Learning Space, we recommend uploading the original file such as a Word .docx or PowerPoint .pptx. Although larger in size than a PDF, supplying the original file ensures that the document is accessible to the widest range of users enabling them to avail of Microsoft Office's built-in accessibility features resulting in a better user experience.

2. Use the preview function on your Mac

Reducing the file size on Export.

Mac has a built in functionality that can shrink files by more than half in size. Simply open the file in the Preview application by double clicking it, click export, and then from the Quartz Filter dropdown select Reduce File Size.

3. Use Acrobat DC

Using the "File" menu to save an optimised PDF.

Acrobat DC is installed by default on University machines, and has built in functionality to optimise PDFs. There is a general Standard setting that should be suitable for most documents however by the amount of optimisations can be configured. Check the link in the Useful Links section for more details.

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View the Apple Guidance On Compressing A PDF and Guidance on how to compress a PDF using Acrobat DC for further details on files sizes and compression.

Question mark iconFurther Support 

For further support on Learning Space, or to report any issues with this guide, please get in touch with the Digital Learning Team via dlsupport@falmouth.ac.uk. Alternatively, please refer to the numerous help guides found on our Knowledge Base

View the Accessibility Statement for all of our support guides.