How to Send Large PDF Files by Email

How to Send Large PDF Files by Email

Email and PDF files seem like the perfect match – everyone has email, and everyone can open a PDF - but sending large files by email isn’t always easy.


1. Smash

2. Compress the PDF File

3. Upload to Your Cloud Storage and Share a

4. Split the PDF into Smaller Parts

If you deal in PDFs (Portable Document Format), you’ve likely already run into problems when it comes to file size. It doesn’t take long before the file that you create is just too big to be attached to an email and the dreaded ‘too large to send’ warning appears on your screen. With PDFs being an important part of many professional and creative workflows, there must be a solution.

Here are four ways you can send a large PDF by email that might work for you.

A file transfer service like Smash (the best alternative to WeTransfer) is the first choice for many who are tasked with emailing a big PDF file. A few simple steps

  1. click or tap to select your PDF on your device.

  2. enter a recipient’s email address

  3. click send

  4. your file is on its way.

It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s reliable, and these are exactly the qualities that professional PDF creators are looking for when they are transferring large ones. With Smash, there are no limits on the size of the PDF file that you can send. You can also copy and paste a sharing link with ease, and it’s even environmentally friendly, too.

Smash powers PDF transfers by email on the Mac desktop, on both iOS and Android devices, and via the Smash website. Thanks to its new add-in for Outlook, now you can even email your large files such as PDF files, without leaving Outlook. No file size limits, as always!

No matter how you send your PDF files with Smash, the experience is the same: smooth, simple, and blazing fast. What’s more, if your business relies on uploading and sharing large PDF files as part of everyday workflows, the Smash API provides a simple way to integrate file sharing into your stack at cost-effective rates – in fact, you can get started with the Smash API with a free, 14-day trial, no credit card required.

Compress or Zip

Compressing your PDF so that it is small enough to attach to an email is one of the methods that Adobe, the company behind the ubiquitous PDF (Portable Document Format) file format, recommends ensuring your email gets where it is meant to. Adobe even offers a free PDF compression tool that can take a large PDF file and reduce it in size without losing file quality. The tool allows you to choose between High, Medium, or Low compression levels and estimates how large the resulting file will be so you can be sure to appease the Gmail gods.

The downside? Well, the free compression tool tops out at 2GB so, if your PDF file is already larger than that, you are out of luck. Of course, Adobe is happy to sell you a subscription to their Acrobat Pro software that will allow you to adjust the quality of images and compress your large PDF file into something more manageable, but do you really want to subscribe to software just to get a file where it needs to be? Add to this the fact that a lot of compressed PDF files end up looking rather meh when it comes to image and text quality, and compressing the file isn’t always a great solution.

Cloud Storage

Another alternative that Adobe recommends is uploading your file to a cloud storage solution and sharing a link via email. This solves the problem of the ‘too big attachment’ as you’re only sharing a link and it’s also likely that you’ve got access to a cloud service already. Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Apple iCloud, or Dropbox are all household names and uploading a big PDF file to any one of them and sharing a link is a cinch.

You might run into issues on a couple of fronts, however. Take storage space, for one: almost all of these services have hard limits on the amount of data you can store on your cloud drive and if you hit that limit you can’t share that latest large PDF file. You can also run into issues of speed as cloud providers don’t prioritize your transfers over those of larger corporate customers. And then there’s the issue of access: the link you share needs to be the right one for the person and the file in question. Should you share a link to a PDF they can only view online, or do you want them to be able to download the file? Will you share a folder or just an individual file? And what happens when you no longer need the file: does it get automatically deleted or does it just take up space on your drive forever?

File Transfer Service

If your PDF is too large to send in a single email, maybe you should try and send it in multiple emails. One of the great things about the PDF format is that you can divide a file into smaller parts with just a few clicks or by dragging and dropping selected pages. If your large PDF file can be rapidly divided into three or four not-so-large PDF files, you might be able to send them as attachments to individual emails.

While this gets your large PDF file where it needs to go, you do have the added complexity of sending multiple emails. Important File 1 of 4, Important File 2 of 4… this doesn’t really put the most professional face on your hard work. You might also find that dividing the file is great for simple text documents or PDFs where there are clear divisions in terms of chapters or sections; indeed, sending Section 1 and Section 2 in separate emails might make perfect sense. But if your file is not easily divided into coherent sections or if there are a lot of images that you are going to be forced to slice to get the split done, this can be far from ideal.


What is the best way to send a large PDF file by email? In a word: Smash.

Smash is fast, reliable, easy, environmentally friendly, and robust. It’s also the choice of creatives and professionals the world over who need to get large PDF files where they are required by email. With a user-friendly interface, mobile apps for Android and iOS, and the Smash API for developers who need to facilitate large PDF transfers as part of their existing workflows, there’s a Smash option for everyone. There are no file size limits so, no matter how big your PDF file is, you can transfer it in seconds with Smash.

Need To Send Large PDF Files?

Use Smash, it’s no file size limits, simple, fast, secure and free.

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