8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 1, 2015 9:20 PM by Stephen_A_Marsh

    Exporting PDF as grey scale



      I am trying to export the pdf in greyscale mode, but in pdf i still see the cmyk colors.

      I am using indesign cs6

      In the output section i have selected the color destination, then gray gamma option to print in grey scale. But pdf is still having cmyk colors embeded in it

      can u please guide me ?

        • 1. Re: Exporting PDF as grey scale
          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          How are you deciding that there are CMYK values in the PDF? In Acrobat if you click on any object with Output Preview's Object Inspector, you'll get its color space. If you use the Separations preview the values you see will depend on the chosen Simulation Profile. So if you included the gray profile with your PDF like this:


          Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 7.43.46 AM.png

          The Output Preview with a CMYK simulation profile will show the conversion from the gray space to CMYK:


          Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 7.46.05 AM.png


          If you choose the embedded gray space you'll get the actual gray value:


          Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 7.46.34 AM.png


          If you don't include the profile when you export the PDF, all of the page items will be DeviceGray. In that case the gray values will show as unchanged on the Black separation even when you choose a CMYK Simulation Profile:


          Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 7.49.48 AM.png

          • 2. Re: Exporting PDF as grey scale
            raghugada Level 1

            thanks for that,

            then what about cmyk and rgb ?

            • 3. Re: Exporting PDF as grey scale
              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              then what about cmyk and rgb ?


              If you export with the Color Conversion setting set to Convert to Destination and the Destination set to a gray profile there won't be any RGB or CMYK objects in the PDF. Everything will be either DeviceGray (no profile included) or ICCBasedGray (profile was included).


              Acrobat's Separations Preview shows you the output values of the page objects if they are converted to a chosen Simulation Profile and not the object's source color space and values. You have to use Object Inspector to get the source color space and values.


              Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 10.19.18 AM.png

              • 4. Re: Exporting PDF as grey scale
                raghugada Level 1


                If i want the output in cmyk then what all the settings i need to make ?

                • 5. Re: Exporting PDF as grey scale
                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Set the Destination in the Output tab to a CMYK profile. In most cases it should be Document CMYK.

                  • 6. Re: Exporting PDF as grey scale

                    Hi Rob, can you also help me? Where can i find grey profiles and where do i put them? on Mac OS X ElCap using Indesign CC (latest)... been going nuts that I can't make a grey scale pdf. I don't have any profiles in Indesign for it, so I've been doing color then going into Acrobat and converting it there.... profiles in acrobat i only have the Gamma 1.8 and 2.0. would think that those should also show up in InDesign. Notice you have an sGrey profile???


                    Any help would be much appreciated, its been driving me nuts for years!!!




                    • 7. Re: Exporting PDF as grey scale
                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Gray profiles won't necessarily show with any export setting—PDF/X-1a only allows CMYK and spot color. They also won't show when you choose Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers). If you choose PDF/X-4 and set the Color Conversion to Convert to Destination you should see any installed gray profiles at the bottom of the list.


                      You can also make and save gray profiles from Photoshop for use in ID. Open Color Settings and from the Gray dropdown menu choose Custom Gamma..., Custom Dot Gain..., or Load Gray...., edit, and Save Gray...


                      So to make an sGray profile you could choose Custom Gamma...., set the gamma to 2.2, edit the Name, click OK, choose Save Gray..., and save the profile to one of your profiles folders.


                      You can also make a Black Ink gray profile from any CMYK profile via Load Gray. Choose Load Gray and select a CMYK profile—it will load with a Black Ink prefix. Choose Save Gray, save it to a profiles folder and it will be available in InDesign and as a gray profile. Black Ink profiles can be assigned to grayscales in Photoshop, so if you were working on a color print project destined for Uncoated GRAcol 2006, you could make a Black Ink-Uncoated GRAcol 2006 profile for color correcting the project's grayscale images.

                      • 8. Re: Exporting PDF as grey scale
                        Stephen_A_Marsh Adobe Community Professional

                        As Rob points out, use the Object Inspector found in Output Preview in Acrobat Pro 9 or later. Take care that solid black elements remain as solid black, depending on your settings they may not!


                        Prepression: InDesign – Grayscale PDF Export