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change background color of pdf pages?

New Here ,
Aug 03, 2016

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I have a CMYK PDF document that was meant to be printed on tan paper.  It turns out that it will be printed on white paper.  Could I shift the color of both the background and the text and images so the result will look like it was printed on tan?  Or is there a way to shift just the white background to tan?
Thanks.

The short answer is no!

The solution is to go add a background and otherwise adjust colors in your source document from which the PDF was made.

The longer answer is a bit more complicated. PDF files do not have the concept of a “background color” for a page. Most applications simply layout the content of a page on a “blank” background, i.e. one that has no color at all, which is very different than an explicit white background. A white background would need to be defined as a rectangle filled with white covering the entire printed area and positioned behind any other content. Such “white” (typically defined as CMYK=0,0,0,0) does not print anything. If you had such a page background, you could conceivably change the background to some other color via the vector edit capability (via Illustrator) from Acrobat for every single page.

However, since you also want to shift the color of all the content as well, this becomes a monumental task.

          - Dov

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Edit and convert PDFs, Print and prepress

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change background color of pdf pages?

New Here ,
Aug 03, 2016

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I have a CMYK PDF document that was meant to be printed on tan paper.  It turns out that it will be printed on white paper.  Could I shift the color of both the background and the text and images so the result will look like it was printed on tan?  Or is there a way to shift just the white background to tan?
Thanks.

The short answer is no!

The solution is to go add a background and otherwise adjust colors in your source document from which the PDF was made.

The longer answer is a bit more complicated. PDF files do not have the concept of a “background color” for a page. Most applications simply layout the content of a page on a “blank” background, i.e. one that has no color at all, which is very different than an explicit white background. A white background would need to be defined as a rectangle filled with white covering the entire printed area and positioned behind any other content. Such “white” (typically defined as CMYK=0,0,0,0) does not print anything. If you had such a page background, you could conceivably change the background to some other color via the vector edit capability (via Illustrator) from Acrobat for every single page.

However, since you also want to shift the color of all the content as well, this becomes a monumental task.

          - Dov

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Edit and convert PDFs, Print and prepress

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 03, 2016

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Moving to the Acrobat PDF Editing and Exporting forum

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Enthusiast ,
Aug 03, 2016

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Obviously you can change the page background and text color as well, see the image.

Go to Preferences (press Ctrl+K) and select Accessibility

Page-background.gif

Thanks

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New Here ,
Aug 04, 2016

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Thanks,philippanmei, but your method only changes the color as displayed on the monitor.  I need to have the color change in the printed copy.

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 04, 2016

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The short answer is no!

The solution is to go add a background and otherwise adjust colors in your source document from which the PDF was made.

The longer answer is a bit more complicated. PDF files do not have the concept of a “background color” for a page. Most applications simply layout the content of a page on a “blank” background, i.e. one that has no color at all, which is very different than an explicit white background. A white background would need to be defined as a rectangle filled with white covering the entire printed area and positioned behind any other content. Such “white” (typically defined as CMYK=0,0,0,0) does not print anything. If you had such a page background, you could conceivably change the background to some other color via the vector edit capability (via Illustrator) from Acrobat for every single page.

However, since you also want to shift the color of all the content as well, this becomes a monumental task.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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New Here ,
Mar 06, 2020

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Thank you so much philippanmei.

Almost all my readings are on-screen, and I just needed a way to relax my eyes by using a backgroung color less bright than white.

I've been looking for this very simple solution for days !

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New Here ,
Apr 08, 2020

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philippanmei's solution works every time and takes about 3 seconds.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 05, 2016

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If you want to have a full color page, you have to make a colored rectangle on the background as other described.

But when it comes to shift everything and every content as if would be printed on colored paper, you have to set any item to overprint and you have to communicate with the printer, that this is as it is wanted, otherwise the printer would probably consider it as handling error and remove the overprint property.

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New Here ,
Jun 20, 2018

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Hello from Australia,

I would like to suggest this can be done quite easily in Windows and Acrobat X or XI. 

Here are the steps I use for files with black text on any scanned background color other than white.

I use it on BIG files (usually several hundred pages)

Please read this whole message before you try it - you need to decide how you will do the final delete steps. You may need to install a script or a tool.

* Open your scanned PDF file (easiest in Acrobat X or XI).

* Delete unwanted pages.

* TIP: Extract and save a couple of pages from the source file to check the process.

* Select Print.

* Set printer to: Adobe PDF.

* Select Advanced.

* In the left panel, select Output.

* Under Colour select Separations.  The output file will have four page sets of separations.  The Black page is the fourth page.

* Click OK.

* Check best page scale (usually: FIT)

* Click Print.

* Select the output folder and enter a file name in the dialog box (maybe hidden)

* Press OK - ### be prepared to wait a few seconds for a couple of pages, or a LONG time for a big file (the created file will open automatically.

* Check the fourth page in the displayed file has black text on a white background.

* Select Tools > Action Wizard

* Select Delete Pages - ### see the steps following the end of this procedure to install the Delete Pages wizard or other Delete Page option.

* Press Start

* Check Odd Pages is selected

* Press OK.  It is quick - this reduces file to two pages per set the Black separation is the the second page of each set.

* Click the close button at the top of Wizard panel to reset the Delete Pages wizard

* Run Delete Pages and check Odd pages is selected again.  Reduces the file to only the Black separation.

* Check at least the first few pages are black text on white.

* Save the file.

If you only want a white background, job is done.  If you want to add a different background, there are various ways described in this forum and elsewhere.

*** The Delete Page wizard is available as an Adobe sequence (script) file from https://acrobatusers.com/actions-exchange/delete-even-or-odd-pages.  The downloaded filename ends in .sequ.  If you have Acrobat X or XI, double click it and it installs, for other versions see  https://answers.acrobatusers.com/how-I-install-action-sequence-file-q200594.aspx or search for: Acrobat install .sequ files

The wizard appears in Tool > Action Wizard with the name Delete Pages.  Its default setting it to delete odd pages.

Hope that helps people in the future.

Kind regards,

Rob.

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Explorer ,
Nov 01, 2019

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Hi

i read your post

 

Hello

I have a Lego instruction manual for Ghostbusters Fire Headquarters as a PDF, unfortunately the background is black, as is the printed manual, makes it difficult to read.....need to change the background to white..

tried Acrobat PRO, Edit, preferences, accessibility, but although I can change the background to white, I only have a save as option which doesn’t save the changes. If the saved file is opened in a browser it’s not changed.

would this just replace the black background with white ? Don't want to,lose the other colours as the various Lego bricks are different colours.....thanks

 

thanks

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New Here ,
Jan 21, 2020

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I got an Error 404 when I went to the script link.

There is an easy way to delete only odd pages, at least in Acrobat DC.

Go to 'Organize Pages' and in the page range box, select 'Odd Pages only', which will highlight all the odd pages, and then hit delete.  Then repeat a second time to leave only the 'black' pages.

This solution worked really well for me.

 

 

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New Here ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Can you just create a Word document with all the features you want and then save as a PDF?

There's a page color function in the ribbon under the design tab. I'd probably do that and then edit the PDF with my Adobe DC.

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