10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2011 3:03 PM by bit_jockey

    Printing Black and White in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9


      Hi there,


      Can somebody please explain how to print my color pdfs as B/W so I'm not wasting my colour ink. I have tried many of the different settings but it keeps on going back to it's default?



        • 1. Re: Printing Black and White in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9
          MichaelKazlow MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          The best way to do this is within the printer driver to your printer not within Acrobat. If you wish to Acrobat can use its preflight capability to change nonprotected pdfs to greyscale.

          • 2. Re: Printing Black and White in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9

            I have the same need; to print in black and white (monochrome) so as not to waste color ink

            Please explain in more detail how and what to set.


            I am using a Mac, OS10.5.6

            Elsewhere I have seen a tip only applicable to Windows.


            I have tried to print pdf documents setting the print dialogue to use color matching from the printer.

            I have then set my printer profile to black and white or grayscale.

            NOTHING works.


            I have seen advice to use the Advanced Print settings in Acrobat Pro but the settings seem complex and I don't know what I am doing in them.


            So, can someone please explain clearly how to get Adobe Acrobat Pro to print in black and white or grayscale? When I do NOT want color?


            Thank you

            • 3. Re: Printing Black and White in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9
              Stix Hart Level 5

              The settings you need to change are in the Print Properties dialogue box, you get a link to it when you go Ctrl+P.  This will change it until you change it back or reboot.  To make the change permanent go to Printers & Faxes in the Control Panel, right click the printer, go to Printing Preferences and change it there.  To get even more technical install two printer drivers for your colour printer and make this permanent change to one of them, then when you choose your printer you can choose either a colour one or a black and white one.  HTH.

              • 4. Re: Printing Black and White in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9

                Have you actually tried it ?


                I have Adobe Acrobat 9.1.2 standard ( and Distiller ) but whenever I print a document and select Black & White in the Paper/Quality tab in the Properties dialog from the Print Dialog Acrobat completely ignores the setting and produces another colour PDF. Has anybody actually tested this software ?


                In previous versions of Acrobat there were problems with occasional words or symbols or diagrams being rendered in Colour but the majority of the document was Black and White so it wasn't too much of an issue. However, now with version 9 it seems producing a Black and White image is beyond it.


                I'm beginning to wish I'd never moved to version 9 it seems far more buggy than previous version. I'm going to have to find a colleague who has an older version and get them to do the translation for me!

                • 5. Re: Printing Black and White in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9
                  jallisy Level 2

                  My color pdfs will print out in B&W and/or grayscale. You may be setting the print options to B&W or grayscale, but you still need to inform the printer device to override the default Adobe settings and go with the B&W settings of the device. Different printers will have different options: typically look for Advanced settings labeled ICm or Image Color Management and make sure that the ICM is set to be handled by the printer and not by Adobe and then choose your black and white or gray scale settings. You can even create a grayscale copy of a color pdf if you expect to print it out often and are fearful of forgetting to change the settings.

                  • 6. Re: Printing Black and White in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9
                    clarkep Level 1

                    I'm not actually printing out to a printer here. I have a coloured PDF and I'm trying to create a black and white version. So I bring up the PDF in Acrobat. Select 'file-print'.  I select 'Adobe PDF' as the printer. In 'properties' I say 'Black and White'. Then press 'ok'. And then Adobe gives me another colour PDF file, as far as I can tell, identical to the orignal one!

                    • 7. Re: Printing Black and White in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9
                      Bill@VT Level 7

                      If you have the Color PDF and want to change to a B&W PDF, the simplest way is to follow the suggestion to use preflight. Well, at least you can go to greyscale. Pure B&W may be another issue. You can also convert to greyscale with the Convert Colors under the Advanced>Print Production. The only solution I have seen for full B&W is not very acceptable, but is to save to TIFF, used a graphics editor to get B&W and then open back up in Acrobat. I think that the typical suggestion would be just to go to grey.

                      • 8. Re: Printing Black and White in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9
                        Stix Hart Level 5

                        Without getting into an academic discussion about B&W and grayscale, generally grayscale is accepted as the equivalent of B&W for commercial printing purposes, if that is what you are doing.  I always like to check using the separations preview, just turn black of and make sure the PDF is blank.

                        • 9. Re: Printing Black and White in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9

                          I also got annoyed with this problem. There is an easy way around it.

                          Import the graphic into the free XnView. Select "Image" then "convert to grey"

                          Save as pdf

                          • 10. Re: Printing Black and White in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9

                            My biggest challenge is printing pdfs of schematic diagrams where color is used to signify "layers" in a drawing.  Hardest one to read is "yellow" on white for lines or text.


                            I found a solution, however it may apply to my specific printer only (Sharp MX-2300N).


                            From  the print dialog, select "Properties" next to the printer name.

                            From the priter properties popup, select the "Main" tab, and check "Black and White print".

                            From the "Color" tab, make these selections:

                              Color Mode:  Select "black and white"

                              Color Adjustment:  Check "Text to Black"

                              Color Adjustment:  Check "Vector to Black"


                            Other printers may have similar configuration options.