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converting PDF to grayscale

May 20, 2008 7:56 AM

I am using Adobe CS 3, Acrobat 8 Professional, on Mac OS 10.4.11

I am trying to convert a full color PDF document to grayscale. I tried to click Advanced > Print Production > Convert Colors and then Grayscale, but it is not working.

I tried clicking Print and then choosing a PDF option, but it is taking unreasonably long and not finishing.

So how can I convert it to grayscale?
 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2008 2:09 AM   in reply to (Raizy_Flamm)
    You might want to try 'Quite a box of tricks' (www.quite.com). Apart from converting color PDF's to Grayscale very fast, this plugin can rotate, resize or downscale your PDF-file.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2008 12:31 AM   in reply to (Raizy_Flamm)
    Are you selecting the various colour space at the top and telling each
    of those to convert?

    You need to fine-tune slightly - it does work

    Jon
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2008 2:45 AM   in reply to (Raizy_Flamm)
    Another option is...

    On the PDF do a Save As > Postscript

    Then go to Settings > Output > Colour > Composite Grey

    Then run that through Distiller.

    It's worked for me
     
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    May 24, 2008 2:31 AM   in reply to KC29
    But why perform those steps if the conversion inside Acrobat works?
    We're dealing with PDF objects so there's no reason why it shouldn't
    work (make sure you're fully patched though) ....

    Jon
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2008 10:30 AM   in reply to (Raizy_Flamm)
    The Acrobat conversion will indeed make a grayscale (one color) file. These settings will give you a starting point: Advanced> print production> convert colors> document colors- device cmyk: convert> action: convert> profile: gray gamma 1.6> blending profile> device gray> conversion options> don't embed profile.
    To check your grayscale PDF, use the output preview (print production> output preview) and toggle the black sep. on and off. Another option is to use Pitstop.
     
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    May 30, 2008 2:45 AM   in reply to (Raizy_Flamm)
    I am trying to do the same thing, but in Acrobat Pro 7.

    The problem is that the document has the text set in rich black instead of only black. When I convert it to gray, it comes out 84% - 96% black, depending on the profile and option that I use.

    In the Profile, there is only gamma 2.2 and gamma 1.8. How can I add gamma 1.6, or 1.0? I think if I do that the conversion will be the way I want it.
     
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    Jun 2, 2008 9:25 AM   in reply to levonk
    Make sure you DON'T EMBED the profile and ensure you PRESERVE the black
    objects ...

    Jon
     
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    Jun 4, 2008 10:05 AM   in reply to (Raizy_Flamm)
    I tried this in acrobat 7 and some of the black builds still don't convert. It's probably just another problem that was addressed with the new CS3, hence the reason there is gamma 1.6 in acrobat 8 and not 7. I'm trying to convert a 33 page pdf booklet that a lady sent to me. Unfortunately adobe made this option available but not fully functional, which sucks because explaining to her what the problem with her pdf is much harder and more time consuming than converting it to grayscale myself.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 6, 2008 10:26 PM   in reply to (Raizy_Flamm)
    I have this problem too - some objects doesn't convert. I used Acrobat 7 some old version - it worked fine, but updated it to 7.1 - now it leaves some objects CMYK. When I try to edit those objects in Photoshop - it gives me a warning: "Could not complete your request because a colour was specified using an unsupported colour space". With the old Acrobat all I had to do is to take this object to another page (I have an "empty" file specially for this task), convert it there to SWOPv2 for example - and I was able to work with it from there. Now it doesn't convert anymore.
    I am afraid it's something with color settings - that's scary because I don't understand much in it, it's so complicated - because when I took one of those files on another machine and tried to open this "problem" object - it opened in Photoshop without problems (CS3) and showed that it is... Grayscale!
    Please, help, any ideas? I need to fix up to 20 files every day...
    Thank you in advance
    Vera
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 6, 2008 10:37 PM   in reply to (Raizy_Flamm)
    I used PitStop to change the colors and add more black to them, then I used the convert colors option in Acrobat, and it worked.

    Vera, you may also need to get PitStop for your job. It has many options that Acrobat does not have, and is faster.
     
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    Jun 7, 2008 3:17 PM   in reply to (Raizy_Flamm)
    With pdfToolbox from callas (check out the pdfColorConvert feature) it is a one click operation that works each time (and neither requires the use of arcane gamma value profiles nor any configuration). Black will and up on black plate only, and 100% (or more) black will come out as 100% black. Demo available at www.callassoftware.com. Apologies for the shameless plug.

    Olaf Drümmer
    callas software
     
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    Jun 10, 2008 1:19 PM   in reply to (OlafDrümmer)
    I think sometimes it's shameful not to plug ... especially if you think
    the products fits the bill - it's all about solutions.

    Jon
     
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    Jun 10, 2008 2:32 PM   in reply to (Raizy_Flamm)
    Olaf's plugin is by far the best solution, especially if you're converting on a regular basis.
     
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    Jul 1, 2008 11:53 AM   in reply to (Raizy_Flamm)
    Hi,
    I had some trouble with this same issue of converting a color pdf to grayscale. I realized that in my particular pdf, just using the Tools/Print Production/Convert Colors function was not enough. Somehow there were extra spot colors inadvertently added to the file. Here are the steps to follow to make sure this works correctly if you are wanting to convert the entire pdf file to a grayscale image:

    (I am using Acrobat 7.0.9 on a Mac OS X, 10.4.11 system)

    1.) In your pdf file go to Tools/Print Production/Ink Manager click on the bottom left corner box that says (Convert all spots to process). Click okay.

    then

    2.) Go back to Tools/Print Production/Convert Colors. Click on (Device Gray: Convert) Action: Convert. Profile: Select your profile of choosing....for me it was 10% Dot Gain way at the bottom). Convert Pages: All. Conversion Options: Don't Embed Profile. Check box that says, Preserve Black Objects. Click okay.

    This should resolve any problems with those extra colors that will not convert to grayscale since they are assigned as spot colors.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if this works for anyone. just tried it once.

    Good luck!
    Janell
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 13, 2008 12:31 PM   in reply to (Janell)
    Acrobat 7 was the first incarnation of the convert colors option - I
    would recommend using Acrobat 8 which was better but Acrobat 9 which is
    superb ...

    Jon
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 27, 2010 1:28 PM   in reply to (Jon_Bessant)

    How can I do the conversion on a batch of PDFs?

     

    It seems Acrobat's file formats for saving or exporting are different whendoing one a t a time than they are if you wanted to batch them.

     

    Thanks.

     

    Bob

     
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