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Convert Color PDF to Black and White

New Here ,
Oct 15, 2009 Oct 15, 2009

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Acrobat Standard 7.0

Mac OSX

Hello,

If I'm given a PDF with color i.e., graphs, charts, etc, how can I make the PDF black and white?

Thanks

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Create PDFs, Edit and convert PDFs

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Explorer , Jan 26, 2016 Jan 26, 2016
This is a good and quick solution – can be done within acrobatHow to convert a color PDF to grayscale | Converting PDF

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 15, 2009 Oct 15, 2009

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The easiest way would probably be to print to a .ps file using a B/W PPD and the distilling the resulting file back to a PDF.

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New Here ,
Oct 15, 2009 Oct 15, 2009

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Thanks. I thought about using a PS file but I don't know how to make black and white.

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Mentor ,
Oct 15, 2009 Oct 15, 2009

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If you could use perhaps Photoshop if you have it to remove the color.

Or a Graphics Program I love to use GraphicConverter It has a setting in which you can remove color. you can save in any Graphic Format and PDF as well. Cost about $70.00  but once you buy it incremenatl versions are free and major upgrades are dirt cheap.

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New Here ,
Oct 16, 2009 Oct 16, 2009

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Sadly a graphics programs is not an option. I'm trying to offer a solution to staff who use Acrobat 7.0 standard.

How can I do this with a PS file?

Thanks

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Guide ,
Oct 16, 2009 Oct 16, 2009

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Distill to a PDF, then in Acrobat go to tools> Print Production>convert colors> Device gray: Convert> Profile: grey gamma 2.2> don't embed profile.

Use advanced> output preview to toggle the black separation on and off to confirm the file is black only.

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New Here ,
Oct 16, 2009 Oct 16, 2009

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Thanks for the detailed steps. I noticed this only works in professional. Can you think of a way to do this in Standard 7.0?

Thanks again

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2009 Oct 16, 2009

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Print to a .ps file using the PPD of any B/W printer like an HP 4100, then distill the resulting .ps file.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 07, 2010 Sep 07, 2010

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Kinda scary-easy...

Go to File

Select Print

Change printer to Adobe PDF

Go to the properties tab

Find the button to click to change it to Black/white, and click it

Print the document - it will ask for a file name, so give it something different from the original or you will overwrite the original

Open the new document if it doesn't open automatically.

It doesn't always handle images well, and is truly black and white, but hey, it sure saves on printer cartridges!

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New Here ,
Jan 21, 2019 Jan 21, 2019

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Super EZ thank you!

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New Here ,
Oct 22, 2010 Oct 22, 2010

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Thank you.  Luke's process (post #5) worked, but the resulting document is larger than my color file.  I am trying to reduce the size of my file, is converting to Black and White not a helpful way to do this?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 22, 2010 Oct 22, 2010

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After converting the file, did you do a "Save As" (not "save")?

That should get rid of any extraneous information that is not needed any more.

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Engaged ,
Oct 22, 2010 Oct 22, 2010

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If not, under the Advanced Menu is PDF Optimizer where you have different settings to reduce the file size.

Be careful not to sacrifice quality of the file just to stuff it small enough to email. If you can't make it small enough, there are many FTP options you can look into.

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New Here ,
Oct 22, 2010 Oct 22, 2010

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Thanks for the quick responses.

Save as gave me exactly the same file size -- still almost 50% bigger than the color file. Any idea why the greyscale (I didn't do BW, I did greyscale) file would be larger than the color file?

Thanks,

Andrew

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Enthusiast ,
Oct 24, 2010 Oct 24, 2010

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Different compression setting to the original file?


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New Here ,
Aug 25, 2011 Aug 25, 2011

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Though you are asking about Acrobat 7.0, this post describes how to do this very well in Acrobat 9 Pro.  Maybe older versions are supported as well.

http://blogs.adobe.com/acrolaw/2009/10/converting-color-pdf-to-greyscale-pdf-an-update/

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Participant ,
Jun 10, 2013 Jun 10, 2013

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For any new searchers, the easy option whilst preserving meta-data (re-frying through PS destroys meta-data) is:

-Acro 9 and previous I think it was under menu Advanced : Preflight

-Acro X and later, go to the Tool section, and look for Print Production section, then Preflight

Under the PDF fixups, you should have Convert to Grayscale

This should force save a new copy, so your original remains untouched.

Preflight has a number of other useful compatibility tools and stuff to clean up your PDFs' binary, I highly recommend investigating this area 🙂

--AnTai

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New Here ,
Jan 16, 2014 Jan 16, 2014

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Dear all,

Simply open file using chrome then print using Adobe PDF (select B/W).

Goodluck.

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New Here ,
Jan 15, 2016 Jan 15, 2016

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If you have the means it is very simple.

Color PDF to Black & White PDF

Open the color PDF in Photoshop. Go to the menu up top...  Image> Adjustments> Black & White> Presets> Maximum Black> OK> (save or print)

Most of the methods mentioned in this thread will usually only produce a simulated gray scale image and it's not real pretty. It will look like your laser-jet is low on toner, if you will. The method I described here will give you a very crisp, all black & white image / PDF.

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New Here ,
Jun 07, 2016 Jun 07, 2016

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This method won't work very well for anything with text as Photoshop will rasterize the pdf when you open it. Also, although the original poster called what they wanted "black and white" they most likely want grayscale and setting your Black & White preset in Photoshop to Maximum Black would push all colors toward pure black. This would eliminate the distinction between colors in their graphs. The conversion methods within Acrobat such as using the preflight convert to grayscale, or just printing to pdf and selecting "print in grayscale" would keep the tonal differences between colors more accurately.

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Explorer ,
Jan 26, 2016 Jan 26, 2016

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This is a good and quick solution – can be done within acrobat

How to convert a color PDF to grayscale | Converting PDF

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 21, 2019 Jan 21, 2019

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And on behalf of Adobe, this is indeed the CORRECT method of doing this conversion with current versions (last four years)! Alternatively, you can use the Convert Colors tool of the Print Production tools to accomplish the same thing. No version of Acrobat prior to Acrobat DC and Acrobat 2015 are supported by Adobe at this point.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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New Here ,
Jul 05, 2016 Jul 05, 2016

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I had the same problem when I converted a 264 book created in 'Apple Pages' to PDF and then sent it to a commercial printer, who pointed out that this was a SERIOUS PROBLEM that might well mean the book could not be published. None of the forum suggestions worked, but by chance I found reference to a programme called 'Quite a box of Tricks' in a 17 year old manual from Adobe!

Despite the age of this book, I found that this programme is still available from www.quite.com. It downloaded in about 60 seconds and despite my initial scepticism, when I ran it on my file, all the text in the book was converted to pure black in 27 seconds - and unlike other solution ideas I tried, IT STAYED BLACK!

Downsides are 1. that it costs £150 and as it is a plug in for Adobe Acrobat, you need to have that programme too and 2. it will convert ALL text (except that set inside photos) to black, so if you have red/white/blue highlights in your work, you won't have them after the programme has done its job! Colour photos etc remain untouched.

Absolutely brilliant programme though and well worth it if your files are important!

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New Here ,
Jul 06, 2017 Jul 06, 2017

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None of the previously posted options worked for me.  Converting to greyscale, etc.

What worked was going to print, choose printer options or quality, then choose custom under print quality and then turn down the toner level from 8 to 1.

Worked like  charm.  No more grey.  I had some CAD drawings that for some reason they set the background to light grey. The USPTO won't accept any grey in the background.  This removed all the light grey and turned it to white.

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