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dave9621
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Export Grayscale PDF from a color InDesign doc

Feb 16, 2010 8:42 PM

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.

 
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    Feb 17, 2010 7:52 AM   in reply to dave9621

    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

     
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    Apr 13, 2010 3:52 PM   in reply to dave9621

    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.

     
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    Apr 13, 2010 3:57 PM   in reply to MFS11501

    You can, however, PRINT them to grayscale PDF. Be sure to set your black handling to output all blacks as rich black, though, to avoid screened100%K elements.

     
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    Apr 13, 2010 3:59 PM   in reply to MFS11501

    And if everything in the ad is already on the K plate, a normal Exported PDF without color conversion should be fine.

     
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    Apr 25, 2011 5:51 PM   in reply to Dov Isaacs

    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.

     
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    May 13, 2011 6:12 PM   in reply to dave9621

    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.

     
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    May 13, 2011 6:41 PM   in reply to dave9621

    There are several work arounds.

     

    BUT...

    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!!

     
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    Dec 14, 2011 7:40 AM   in reply to dave9621

    Just set up your regular print menu for grayscale output, print to file for a .ps file,  open the .ps file in Acrobat and you should have a Black and White version.

     
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    Mar 13, 2012 1:05 PM   in reply to dave9621

    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.

     
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    Sep 18, 2012 5:43 AM   in reply to Printer_Rick

    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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