13 Replies Latest reply: Aug 7, 2012 6:22 AM by rob day RSS

    Color PDF to Black and White

    SebastiaoV Community Member

      Hi guys,

      I have an InDesign file of a magazine which is printed in black and white. A friend sent me a color PDF for an event to be include in the inside pages. I was wondering if

      1) should i previously convert the pdf to black and white to minimize any printing problem or

      2) when i export the InDesign file to PDF i put an ouput preset for the whole magazine PDF to be converted in black and white?

       

      What do you think is the best thing to do? by the way, how can i convert a color PDF to Black and White?

       

      Thanks for any info,

       

      Cheers,

      Sebs

        • 1. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
          MW Design MVP

          Is the magazine a composite gray (cmyk or rgb gray) or is it actually k only values?

           

          If it is actually gray scale, I use Acrobat's "convert to grayscale" preset to pre-convert PDFs before placing.

           

          Take care, Mike

          • 2. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
            Steve Werner ACP/MVPs

            Currently, this has to be done with Acrobat. You can't do it in InDesign.

             

            If you have Acrobat X, use these steps:

             

            In Tools, make sure the Print Production tools are showing (panel menu). Choose Tools > Print Production > Convert Colors. In the Conversion Attributes section, choose Conversion Profile and pick a grayscale profile (for example, one of the Dot Gain or Gray Gamma profiles). Click OK.

             

            If you have Acrobat 9:

             

            Choose Advanced > Print Production > Convert Colors, and follow the remaining steps.

            • 3. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
              Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

              InDesign does not yet support conversion to grayscale during export to PDF, so if you are placing this PDF and exporting, rather than distilling/printing to PDF, you'll need to convert the color PDF to grayscale before palcing, or convert the larger PDF after export. I think the first option is a no-brainer, myself, and it's pretty easy to do in Acrobat Pro.

              • 4. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
                Jeffrey_Smith MVP

                InDesign does not yet support conversion to grayscale during export to PDF

                Hmm, using the word "yet" implies that this may eventually happen... know any secrets

                • 5. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
                  Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                  If I did, I couldn't say. Theres a bit of a sneak preview over at ID secrets, though. I haven't checked it out.

                   

                  As far as "yet" goes, we all hold out hope for the future, don't we? Grayscale support has been one of those long-requested additions that has to make it into the program someday.

                  • 6. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
                    Jeffrey_Smith MVP

                    If I did, I couldn't say.

                    I know, I just couldn't find the facetious emoticon.

                     

                    Grayscale support has been one of those long-requested additions that has to make it into the program someday.

                    By the time it does, we will be living and working in a paperless world of the future, that we won't have any need for grayscale.

                    • 7. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
                      Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                      Jeffrey_Smith wrote:

                      Grayscale support has been one of those long-requested additions that has to make it into the program someday.

                      By the time it does, we will be living and working in a paperless world of the future, that we won't have any need for grayscale.

                      Oh ye of little faith. I expect print to last for many more years, slimmed down, perhaps, but that probably also means it will be higher quality work for those willing to pay.

                       

                      I gave up being a bench jeweller about 18 years ago because my eyes and shoulders couldn't take the strain anymore. At the time, mainstream jewelery was moving very heavily into mass-production casting, but I have no doubt at all that were I to choose to get back into high-end hand fabrication I'd have no trouble finding work. I feel the same way about print. Magazines and advertising will probably move more and more toward the all-digital end of the spectrum, but people will still want beautiful books and artwork.

                      • 8. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
                        SebastiaoV Community Member

                        Thanks guys for the very useful info. By the way, the magazine use Only Black tint. I guess just K value, not CMYK Black. Would that be a problem of any kind for conversion purposes?

                        • 9. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
                          MW Design MVP

                          K only values produces a single plate with varying degrees of black values. So yes, you are using (or need to achieve) the K component of CMYK, not composite black made up of a mixture of either CMYK to produce a rich black or RGB which gets converted to a rich black either when the PDF is created or processed.

                           

                          Point is, you can make the magazine in full color or a mix of color modes, make the PDF, and use the "convert to gray scale" command in Acrobat and it is K only. And Acrobat does a very fine job of it too.

                           

                          Take care, Mike

                          • 10. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
                            Vikrant Rai Adobe Employee

                            Grayscale support has been one of those long-requested additions that has to make it into the program someday

                            The feature is available in CS6. InDesign CS6 has the capability to preview grayscale,  and export to a grayscale PDF.

                            See Export and proof grayscale PDFs. and a blog post: Grayscale preview and Export.

                             

                            Is this something that will help your workflow?

                            • 11. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
                              rob day MVP

                              Grayscale support has been one of those long-requested additions that has to make it into the program someday

                              The feature is available in CS6.

                               

                              The export to grayscale feature is welcome because you no longer have to export via distiller to get a grayscale conversion, but it's not grayscale support—there's still no grayscale color space available in ID. Converting to grayscale rather than authoring in grayscale has potential problems like this:

                               

                              Screen shot 2012-08-07 at 8.57.44 AM.png

                               

                              converting to this:

                               

                              Screen shot 2012-08-07 at 8.57.34 AM.png

                              • 12. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
                                Steve Werner ACP/MVPs

                                Yes, but InDesign's conversion to Grayscale is the same as Acrobat does in the Color Conversion and Preflight panels.

                                 

                                It's often not practical to author documents in grayscale. Often the grayscale output is to create a grayscale duplicate of a document already being output in color.

                                • 13. Re: Color PDF to Black and White
                                  rob day MVP

                                  Right, I understand the conversion is color managed and the ability to bypass Distiller or Acrobat is a good thing. But there's still no grayscale color space or profiling (like there is in Photoshop), which causes previewing confusion. "Why do my grayscales change in ID" is a forum FAQ.