PDF Space Saving Techniques

In this tutorial you will learn how to save file space in your canvas course by compressing large PDFs with Adobe Acrobat.

1. Log into canvas

Need help with getting into Canvas?  Please click here for help.

2. Navigate to your course

Proceed to the course containing the PDFs that you'd like to compress. For example, a course with a file quota cap nearing max capacity.

3. Identify large PDF files in your course

Click Files in the Course Navigation Bar.


Canvas course navigation bar showing Files button

Your list of files will display, separated into columns labeled: "Name", "Date Created", "Date Modified", "Modified By", and "Size".

Click the Size column. This will sort your course files from largest to smallest down the page.

The top of the list is now displaying the largest file in your course. 

Canvas Course Files page showing file size column

4. Download large PDFs

1. Download files to your computer by clicking the Gear button that appears when hovering over the files on the very right side of the screen.



Canvas file showing settings gear dropdown and download button

5. Launch Acrobat Pro

From your local applications folder open Adobe Acrobat XI Pro. Your HSU computer should have this program already installed.

Uisng Windows 10:

    1. Click the Start Menu

    2. Type acrobat and hit the Enter key

Windows 10 Start Menu with a search for "acrobat"

Using Mac OSX:

    1. Click the Magnifying Glass in the top-right corner of the screen to search

    2. Type Adobe Acrobat and hit the Return key or click on the Adobe Acrobat program from the search results

Mac OSX searchbar with a search for "adobe acrobat"

1. With Acrobat loaded click File in the upper left corner.

2. Click Open...

3. Locate your downloaded PDF and open it

Acrobat File Menu with Open selected
Windows File Explorer

4. Again click File in the upper left corner

5. Select Save As...

Acrobat File Menu with Save As selected

The File Name field will be highlighted

6. Rename the document so you know which one is the compressed version

7. Click the Save as Type dropdown

8. From the list select: Adobe PDF Files, Optimized ( *.pdf)

9. Click Save

Acrobat Save As window with file name and save as type displayed
Acrobat Save As window with save button displayed

6. Re-upload your compressed PDF to Canvas

1. Proceed back to your Canvas course, to the Files section.

Canvas course navigation bar showing Files button

2. Click the green Upload button in the upper right.

Canvas File Upload button

3. Select the newly compressed file from where you saved it locally to your computer.

Compressed file in Windows File Explorer

 The compressed file will now be in your list of files.

Canvas files showing the regular and compressed version of the same PDF