Acrobat Pro DC - How can one convert a PDF from color to black & white?

Community Beginner ,
Jun 14, 2015 Jun 14, 2015

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Seems like the old option under Preflight for Convert to Gray Scale is gone and I can't find anything else that might do it. Any help out there?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Jun 14, 2015 Jun 14, 2015

Hey shubus,

We would certainly help you.

Open the PDF in Acrobat DC and choose "Print Production > Preflight" and choose Convert to grayscale under Convert Colors category.

screen2.png

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Anubha

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 14, 2015 Jun 14, 2015

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Hey shubus,

We would certainly help you.

Open the PDF in Acrobat DC and choose "Print Production > Preflight" and choose Convert to grayscale under Convert Colors category.

screen2.png

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Anubha

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 26, 2017 Dec 26, 2017

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Any possibility this answer can be updated to the 2017 version - my options don't match and, although I figured it out eventually, an updated screen shot showing the current interface would help others.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 26, 2017 Dec 26, 2017

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I don't think it changed much, and you can post screenshots yourself of the new location, if you wish...

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 26, 2017 Dec 26, 2017

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I didn't think of that - duh!! These screen shots are from the Windows version (Windows 10 Pro).

2017-12-26_15-46-50.png

2017-12-26_15-53-42.png

2017-12-26_15-30-49.png

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Explorer ,
Dec 26, 2017 Dec 26, 2017

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The preflight choices in the current version of Acrobat DC include both convert to grayscale and digital printing b/w. They do not produce the same results. Convert to grayscale may leave a spot plate; and all 4 (CMYK) plates are still there even if content is only on the black plate. Digital printing b/w puts everything only on the black plate and only a black plate still exists; there are no CMY plates in the document any more.

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Dec 26, 2017 Dec 26, 2017

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The Digital Printing (B/W) profile under the Essentials Preflight Library has much more baggage than you really need simply to convert colors. Some of the checks and fixups are highly irrelevant. In the same Essentials Preflight Library, you are much better off using the single fixup Convert color to B/W in the Color spaces, spot colors, inks group which limits it operations to strictly conversion to grayscale.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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New Here ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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Hi Dov,

 

The instructions are helpful but they dont' work anymore. You can't chose "save pdf" - instead of going ahead with "Print" document. Throws up an error saying - chose save instread of print... I've tried many other setting including in print production - which is not what I actually want to do... Just a long long work arround. None work.

 

I can't believe I'm paying a billion $ company for software that has overlooked such a basic function on a program.... Why do adobe not have a simple menu option like in Photoshop and Illustrator for document colour management that allows you to convert to grey scale. Would that be too simple???

 

- Tania

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New Here ,
Mar 28, 2022 Mar 28, 2022

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Thank you!!! This really helped 🙂 

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New Here ,
Jun 08, 2018 Jun 08, 2018

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How do I access the Print Production tab??  Or the Preflight in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC?  Not seeing the same tool bar...

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New Here ,
Jun 08, 2018 Jun 08, 2018

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right after I posted this..I found it!!!!!!!!!!!

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 15, 2015 Jun 15, 2015

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That did it! Options have moved around a bit in the DC version. 

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 15, 2015 Jun 15, 2015

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Hi Shubus

That's great

Thanks for your reply.

Regards,

Anubha

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 15, 2015 Jun 15, 2015

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While this does get me a great greayscale image, I must lament the inability to produce a decent black & white (NOT grayscale) pdf.  The workaround of converting to a 300dpi "tiff" file still works of course, but the loss of resolution is very noticeable.

Outside of Photoshop, I'm not aware of a solution to this yet, but at least grayscale is fine.

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Contributor ,
Jun 16, 2017 Jun 16, 2017

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IS there a way to only convert certain pages? I noticed when you select preflight only pages the analyze and fix option goes away. Also how do you get to this forum from the Adobe Forums page? I had to google the question and find the forum that way. Otherwise on the main site I keep getting redirected to a non support forum.

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New Here ,
Oct 09, 2017 Oct 09, 2017

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Is there a way to convert specific pages?

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Oct 09, 2017 Oct 09, 2017

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Somewhat of a kludge, but extract the pages you want to convert as a separate PDF file. Convert them to grayscale with Preflight. Then import them back into the original PDF file and delete the color versions of those pages.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 18, 2021 Apr 18, 2021

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I tried all of these options, but none of them worked. What worked for me to get a monochrome image (black and white, no grey) was the following:

1. Open the PDF in Photoshop in RGB mode

2. Use the Image->Adjustments->Black and White and set all the values to -200

3. Adjust the levels with Image->Adjustments->Levels and drag the leftmost slider all the way to the right.

4. Save as Photoshop PDF

 

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