Saving PDFs

You can save your changes to an Adobe PDF or PDF Portfolio in the original PDF or in a copy of the PDF. You can also save individual PDFs to other file formats, including text, XML, HTML, and Microsoft Word. Saving a PDF in text format allows you to use the content with a screen reader, screen magnifier, or other assistive technology.

If you don’t have access to the source files that created an Adobe PDF, you can still copy images and text from the PDF to use elsewhere. You can also export the PDF to a reusable format, or export images in a PDF to another format.

Adobe Acrobat Reader users can save a copy of a PDF or PDF Portfolio if the creator of the document has enabled usage rights. If a document has additional or restricted usage rights, the document message bar under the toolbar area describes the assigned restrictions or privileges.

Save a PDF

Use this method to save PDFs, including PDF Portfolios, and PDFs in which you have added comments, form field entries, and digital signatures.


Saving a digitally signed PDF invalidates the signature.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To save changes to the current file, choose File > Save.

    • To save a copy of a PDF, choose File > Save As.

    • In Acrobat Reader, choose File > Save As or File > Save As Other > Text.

    • To save a copy of a PDF Portfolio, choose File >Save As Other > PDF Portfolio.


    If you are viewing a PDF in a web browser, the Acrobat File menu is not available. Use the Save A Copy button in the Acrobat toolbar to save the PDF.

Recover the last saved version

  1. Choose File > Revert, and then click Revert.

About the Autosave feature

The Autosave feature guards against losing your work in case of a power failure by incrementally, and at regular intervals, saving file changes to a specified location. The original file is not modified. Instead, Acrobat creates an autosave file of changes, which includes all the changes you made to the open file since the last automatic save. The amount of new information that the autosave file contains depends on how frequently Acrobat saves the autosave file. If you set the autosave interval to 15 minutes, you could lose the last 14 minutes of your work if a problem occurs. Frequent automatic saving prevents loss of data, and is especially useful if you make extensive changes to a document, such as by adding comments.

You can apply autosave changes to the original files when you restart Acrobat. When you close, save manually, or revert to the last-saved version of a file, the autosave file is deleted.


If you use assistive technology, such as a screen reader, you may want to disable the Autosave feature so that you don’t lose your place when the file is reloaded.

The Autosave feature won’t work in the following cases:

  • A document that has its security changed. You must save the document to re-enable automatic saving of document changes.

  • A document created using the Web Capture feature or extracted from a larger PDF (Tools > Organize Pages > Extract). You must save the document to enable automatic saving of changes.

  • A document displayed in a web browser or incorporated into a container document that supports Object Linking and Embedding (OLE). This document appears outside the default file system and cannot support automatic saving.

Recover lost changes

To prevent lost changes after an unexpected interruption, enable the Autosave feature, which is the default setting.

Set up automatic saving

  1. In the Preferences dialog box under Categories, select Documents.
  2. Select Automatically Save Document Changes To Temporary File Every xx Minutes (1-99), and specify the number of minutes.

Recover lost changes after an unexpected shutdown

  1. Start Acrobat or open the file you were working on last.
  2. When prompted, click Yes to open the autosave file or files. If multiple files were open, Acrobat opens all of the files for you.
  3. Save the file or files with the same names as the files you were originally working on.

Reduce file size by saving

You can sometimes reduce the file size of a PDF simply by using the File > Reduce File Size, or File > Save As Other command. Reducing the size of PDFs improves their performance—particularly when they’re being opened on the web—without altering their appearance.

The Reduce File Size command resamples and recompresses images, removes embedded Base-14 fonts, and subset-embeds fonts that were left embedded. It also compresses document structure and cleans up elements such as invalid bookmarks. If the file size is already as small as possible, this command has no effect.


Reducing the file size of a digitally signed document removes the signature.

  1. Open a PDF in Acrobat DC.

  2. Choose File > Reduce File Size or Compress PDF.


    Adobe is testing the simplified optimize PDF experience with two different names - Reduce File Size or Compress PDF. Therefore, after updating to the latest release, you see either the Compress PDF option or the Reduce File Size option. From the functionality perspective, both the options are the same.

  3. Choose the location to save the file and click Save. Acrobat DC displays a message showing the successful reduction in PDF size.

    Reduce file size successful message


To reduce file size of multiple files, see Reduce file size of multiple PDFs.

  1. Open a single PDF, or select one or more PDFs in a PDF Portfolio.
  2. Choose File > Save As Other > Reduced Size PDF.

  3. Select the version compatibility that you need.

    If you’re certain that all your users use Acrobat or Adobe Acrobat Reader, limiting compatibility to the latest version can further reduce file size.

  4. (Optional) To apply the same settings to multiple files, click Apply To Multiple, and add the files. Click OK, then in the Output Options dialog box, specify your folder and filename preferences.


    The Apply To Multiple button is not available in PDF Portfolios.

To control changes and quality trade-offs, use PDF Optimizer in Acrobat Pro, which makes more options available.

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