12 Replies Latest reply on Nov 26, 2009 5:35 PM by Was DYP

    How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?

      Hello, I have some knowledge in graphics design, but very little about color management.
      Currently I need to convert an instruction manual I made to black and white output only. We'd prefer to keep the indesign (.indd) and it's source images in their respective colors, but when exporting the document to a pdf my printer can use, we'd like to make that document a black and white pdf, as it's a black/white manual anyway. A little color conversion isn't to bad, as long as it's reasonable. all images that might give trouble are in greyscale anyway.

      So how do I export a full color indesign document to a black&white/greyscale pdf?

      ps:
      very newb question, but if you don't ask, you never learn:
      When do you use the colours "registration", and when do you use "paper"?
        • 1. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
          You can create the PDF with RGB or CMYK
          ingredients and convert it later:
          1. by Quite a Box of Tricks by www.quite.com
          In my older version is no choice for a Dot
          Gain.
          The conversion isn't fully color managed,
          concerning the source spaces (IMO), or it's
          not obvious.
          2. by Acrobat Professional, here version 7.
          >Tools > Print Production > Convert Colors
          > one of CMYK/RGB/Gray/Lab > Convert
          > Dot Gain 15% (example).
          The same problem - it's not obvious which
          source spaces are assumed.
          3. perhaps by PitStop (don't have it).

          Definitions:
          Black: K-only black for text and vector graphics.
          Registration: appears on all plates, is used for
          registration marks.
          None: nothing printed.
          Paper: paper color, can be changed from white to
          beige for instance, as a simulation of paper color.
          Nothing printed.
          These categorys are defined as used in PageMaker.

          Accurate generation of K-only docs (thanks to
          Larry Tseng and Lou Dina for discussions):
          Choose in Photoshop:
          RGB: sRGB (for instance)
          CMYK: ISO Coated (for instance)
          Gray: Black Ink ISO Coated (by loading ISO
          Coated as 'generator').
          Spot: 20%
          Synchronize by Bridge. It's eventually neces-
          sary to synchronize Acrobat manually.

          RGB image --> Grayscale
          New doc --> CMYK image,same size, empty
          Copy Grayscale and paste into the K-channel
          of the CMYK image.

          Place image in InDesign doc.
          Everything else (vector, text) by K-only.

          Make PDF/X-1a (all colors unchanged) using
          ZIP compression for images (not JPEG).
          The empty channels don't consume much file
          size.
          Note: here we have a fully synchronized and
          color managed CMYK workflow, opposed to using
          Grayscales in print-ready files.

          Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
          • 2. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
            Level 1
            Can't believe I forgot to reply, sorry.
            This was helpfull. So unfortunately you can't do this straight out of indesign, or rather, straight through the pdf export dialogue.

            As I have the standard suite, I don't have acrobat professional.
            My printer has pitstop, but advised me to just convert everything to greyscale, because if it is converted in pitstop, the risk is that the grid may become to dense and the ink could blend over.

            So i ended up converting all the images to greyscale, for this project, that wasn't to bad.

            Thanks for the reply.
            • 3. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
              Thanks for the feedback.

              I have to correct one of my statements
              ('Paper' doesn't print), as tested by
              InDesign CS2:

              If we draw
              a) a rectangle with 'Black', and
              b) an overlapping rectangle with 'Paper',
              then the overlapping part has paper color.

              This is the result of the PostScript opaque
              painting model. 'Paper' knocks out the black
              area, but 'Paper' doesn't put ink onto the
              real paper.

              Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
              • 4. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
                M_lauralop

                I am also trying desperately to convert my CMYK colors into a grayscale so that when I print the document the printer only uses K (and C=0 M=0 Y=0)

                 

                And I saw this bit of info you wrote a few months ago. I am working working with photoshop CS4. I tried to follow it but I found the following difficulties. Hope you don't mind me writing over your text.

                 

                 

                RGB image --> Grayscale
                New doc --> CMYK image,same size, empty
                Copy Grayscale and paste into the K-channel of the CMYK image. - (It only allows me to copy onto the CMYK layer but not onto the Black so I had to Drag layer onto channel delete the black layer and rename my new layer as black but then the document changes from CMYK to Multichannel and I have to re-change the mode again to CMYK but this already prints CMYK...)

                Place image in InDesign doc.

                Everything else (vector, text) by K-only.

                 

                (...then when I placet that CMYK file into InDesign, and PDF it, on the output preview still separates the grayscale image into CMYK and when I print, the printer still prints CMYK instead of only K)

                 

                So then I say OK so.. let's use the Multichannel document instead, which it actually seems to print on K only (while CMY=0), it only allows me to save as PSD. and when I try to place it on Indesign... I have a message saying that this file is using an unsupported colour space, only RGB,CMYK, lab, indexed, and bitmap are supported by the photoshop filter

                 

                 

                On top of that I have been asked for a Jpeg image in black and white which prints only K (while CMY=0). I have tried with channel mixed presets and even though the info on screen is now C=0, M=0, Y=0 and K= various values, when I send it to print. The printer still prints with all the CMYK colours

                 

                 

                Any advice would be so much appreciated!

                 

                Thank you

                • 5. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
                  Larry Tseng Level 1

                  Hello M_lauralop,


                  Here's how to paste grayscale content into the K-channel of a blank CMYK image:


                    1. Call up the channels palette

                    2. Switch off cyan, magenta, yellow

                    3. Select the black channel

                    4. Paste in the grayscale


                  Hope this helps.


                  Larry

                  • 6. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
                    M_lauralop Level 1

                    Hi Larry,

                     

                    Thank you for your message.

                     

                    You see... I may be thick but still can't manage to paste anything from the grayscale document onto the black channel of a blank CMYK

                    I have tried many times (copy and paste as well as cutting and paste) but the only thing it appears on the channel is the empty selection frame.

                     

                    This are the steps I'm following _I wonder where is my mistake:

                     

                    1. I go to CMYK blank document - click on channels and switch off C M Y (and  CMYK) channels so only black is on

                     

                    2. I go back to my grayscale document "command-copy" and back to the blank CMYK document - go to black channel "command-paste" and... Only the rectangle selection tool shows up! No image at all anywhere. try to paste it onto the layer and same happens Only the selection is pasted

                     

                    3. I go back to my grayscale document - duplicate layer with the image (perhaps by dragging it I may be able to paste it) so I drag it onto the blank CMYK document and I find a sign saying operation can be requested because the destination document cannot accept the layer.

                     

                    And then the rest is so confusing as I try to paste the channel gray into the blank CMYK channels and then it shows as an alpha channel but not on the layers and when I save it the result is just white.

                     

                     

                    I may need more spoon-feed instructions.

                     

                    Thank you

                     

                    M_Lau

                    • 7. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
                      Larry Tseng Level 1

                      Hello M_Lau,


                      ... Only the rectangle selection tool shows up! ...


                      The blank CMYK image needs to be the same size (in pixels) as the grayscale.


                      ... No image at all anywhere...


                      Be sure to execute a Select All while in the grayscale image before copying or else nothing will be copied!


                      Hope this takes you the rest of the way...


                      Larry


                      • 8. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
                        Printer_Rick Level 4

                        Starting with grayscale image

                         

                        1. Command click on gray channel

                         

                        2. Save selection

                         

                        3. Mode CMYK

                         

                        4. Select all, fill with white

                         

                        5. Load saved alpha

                         

                        6. Invert selection

                         

                        7. Layer: New Fill Layer: Solid Color. 100 K

                         

                        That is a Photoshop solution. But you have InDesign? You want all color output as grayscale? (Maybe I've misunderstood). If so you can leave all images color.

                         

                        1. In Photoshop with no documents open: Edit Color Settings. By CMYK, Custom CMYK. Black Generation "Maximum"

                         

                        2. Hit OK, but NOT to the whole Color Settings dialog, just the Custom CMYK dialog. Again in the CMYK pull down, "Save CMYK" Put the profile in your Color Sync folder where InDesign will see it. After you save it CANCEL. You don't really want to alter your color settings, you just want to create the Max Black Generation profile

                         

                        3. In InDesign. On top most layer create a white box to fill the whole page. Blend Mode "Color"

                         

                        4. Change the transparency blend space to RGB

                         

                        5. Assign the new Max Black CMYK profile to the ID document

                         

                        6. Check with Separations Preview, you should have K channel only

                         

                        7. Output PDF/X1a. By Output: Destination: "Document CMYK." You must flatten transparency when you output PDF. The PDF result will be black and white, K channel only.

                         

                        Message was edited by: Printer_Rick added one sentence to step 7

                        • 9. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
                          M_lauralop Level 1

                          Hello Printer Rick,

                           

                          Thank you for that one, it worked!

                           

                          I followed the photoshop steps. I saved the file and placed it onto an indesign document. Exported as pdf and yes, the colour is now only black.

                           

                          But my next challenge is:

                           

                          When I print that document (our printer is a cannon CLC 5151) it prints the document with colour CMYK instead of only black. (and I know this printer prints in black only when using indesign documents in B&W).

                           

                           

                          Also if I create a new indesign document with the new black only file, I export a jpeg. and when I open this Jpeg in photoshop it has lost all the info so it's again CMYK info.

                           

                           

                          Thanks a lot

                           

                          M_lau

                          • 10. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
                            Printer_Rick Level 4

                            M_lauralop wrote:

                             

                             

                             

                            Also if I create a new indesign document with the new black only file, I export a jpeg. and when I open this Jpeg in photoshop it has lost all the info so it's again CMYK info.

                             

                             


                            Don't go JPEG from InDesign. That's RGB output.

                             

                            M_lauralop wrote:

                             

                             

                             

                            When I print that document (our printer is a cannon CLC 5151) it prints the document with colour CMYK instead of only black. (and I know this printer prints in black only when using indesign documents in B&W).

                             

                             

                            Have you tried printing composite grayscale? You can probably leave everything in full color. Then print composite gray from ID or Acrobat

                             

                            Your print device accepts either Gray or RGB. You can't submit CMYK (probably not)

                             

                            I misunderstood your original intent. I thought you needed to prepare a K only file for commercial printing. But if you are simply sending data to a print device I would use composite grayscale.

                            • 11. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
                              M_lauralop Level 1

                              Hi Printer_Rick

                               

                              Thanks so much for the tips.

                              No, you didn't misunderstand I needed to find out about both issues, as sometimes I have been asked by the printers to provide a k only file.

                               

                              Yes, I don't have any problem printing with indesign as the image comes out in black. It's when I'm trying to print a photoshop (psd or jpge) image even after having converted it onto black only.

                               

                              Thanks a lot for your help and advise!

                               

                              M_lau

                              • 12. Re: How to export a CMYK document to a black/white or greyscale pdf for print?
                                Was DYP Level 3

                                I see this question coming up a lot. What I do not understand is why are are you not exporting from ID as a grayscale eps file. You can then repurpose the eps file however you want it, distill to PDF open as grayscale in PS etc.

                                 

                                I use export to grayscale eps all the time when I want to have a black only channel. If you need for some reason to turn it into a K only CMYK file, import as grayscale, add three spot channels, split channels which will make four separate files, then merge channels which combine the four files into 1 CMYK file. Just select the one file with the image in it as the K channel.