A much needed feature is a setting in the Export as PDF to export a color ID document as grayscale. I, like many designers I'm sure, often am asked to create a black and white or grayscale version PDF of an existing document. Right now I have to create a copy of the document, drop in grayscale images, strip out the colors and replace with tints of black. The other solution is to use Acrobat Pro to do the conversion, sometimes simpler, but not elegant by any means. It seems like it would only make sense to have this option available in the Export panel "Export as grayscale" or something. What do you think Adobe, is this doable?? I see a lot of people looking for it when I Google it.
The question is not whether it is doable, but rather whether any way it could be done automatically would be acceptable. Simply stripping off the color information and using the result often yields results that are very low in contrast with imagery that to put it mildly is not very pleasant.
Those of us familiar with analog black and white photography may recall that black and white films were designed to provide sensitivity to different colors in a manner that would yield realistic results. Even then, serious photographers often used colored filters over their camera lenses to further fine tune the results.
Those of us who often need to create monochrome images from color digital images typically treat each image individually to yield realistic and pleasing results.
Thus, be careful what you ask for. A one-size-fits-all conversion from color to grayscale for a whole document can yield very mediocre results.
Dov, thank you for your well thought out, and correct, response. I agree with you whole heartedly about the sensitivity to different colors when converting to grayscale. In a perfect world when I design for black and white I carefully convert every image and balanced them as needed and build the InDesign document as a grayscale doc from the beginning. But what I'm really craving is the quick fix for a document that is done in color that a client now needs in grayscale. I get this a lot for newspaper ads. We do an ad for a magazine in color and then they say "hey, can I have this in black and white, we're going to run the same ad in a newspaper". If I could just export that same ID file as a grayscale PDF I'd be done. In this case I'd be willing to sacrifice a little quality...the same trade off as converting the PDF to grayscale in Acrobat Pro would be fine by me.
Thanks again for your answer, I hope the wizards at Adobe can come up with a good solution...it's not a big feature, but a simple one that could save me a lot of hassle here and there.
You can specify "grayscale" as an output option when you export an eps file. Why would this option not also be available for pdf or even jpg exports? Granted, you may not like the quality, in which case, you can always do things differently, but I do a LOT of B/W newspaper ads, and not being able to export pdf's as Grayscale is a real pain in the butt.
The flaw in your argument is .... we all already use a one-size-fits-all solution (conversion in Acrobat). Adobe makes us use a Rube Goldberg process, and the end result is the same as if you had an "export to grascale" option in InDesign.
I've found that after exporting a CMYK print-ready pdf, if I want to convert to grayscale I do so in Acrobat. Under print production and preflight, you can go to the digital printing section and choose B/W which also does several other fixes, or you can just convert to grayscale in the pdf fixups section of the preflight window.
There are several work arounds.
It would be great to include this as a PDF export option. Even better if you could apply a 'colour profile' or similar to darken or lighten the resulting imags.
That would be SWEEEET!!
Not sure if someone has suggested the following:
1. Assign a Maximum GCR CMYK profile to the InDesign document. It is fairly easy to create one of these profiles in Photoshop.
2. Change the Transparency Blend Space to RGB.
3. Draw a paper filled box over the entire page. Change the blend mode to Color. I like to put this box on a top layer that I can hide to restore color to the document.
4. Output PDF/X-1a. You will probably see a warning about the blend space, but continue on with the export.
Resulting PDF is CMYK with empty CMY plates. Be advised this procedure should be used when all you want is a quick PDF with everything on the black plate, quality not being a major issue. It may be helpful if you want to avoid Post Script, Distiller, or an extra step in Acrobat Pro.
Grayscale Preview and Export is now available in InDesign CS6.
I had written a small blog post about how to use it: http://blogs.adobe.com/vikrant/2012/05/indesign-cs6-grayscale-preview- and-export/
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