How to convert PDF files to grayscale using Acrobat XI Pro

Learn how to convert PDF files to grayscale using Acrobat XI Pro.

By February 21, 2014

 

How to convert PDF files to grayscale using Acrobat XI Pro
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How to convert PDF files to grayscale using Acrobat XI Pro

Donna BakerFebruary 21, 2014

  1. Open the color document you want to convert to grayscale and save a copy.
  2. In the Tools pane, click the Print Production panel and select Convert Colors.
  3. For the Matching Criteria, pick an option from the Object Type drop-down or leave the default Any Object to convert the entire page to grayscale.
  4. In the Conversion Attributes, choose Gray Gamma 2.2 for grayscale conversion.
  5. Click OK and review the warning message. Click Yes to process the file.
  6. The modified page displays all content such as text, graphics, and images in grayscale.

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Products covered:

Acrobat XI

Related topics:

Edit PDFs

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8 comments

Comments for this tutorial are now closed.

Lori Kassuba

3, 2016-03-02 02, 2016

Hi Derek,

You’ll need to do this in a tool like Photoshop where you can desaturate the image.

Thanks,
Lori

Derek

2, 2016-02-19 19, 2016

No particular file type, just generally speaking.  Instead of grayscale, I was wondering if there was a setting to convert to monochrome.

Lori Kassuba

4, 2016-02-18 18, 2016

Hi Derek,

What type of document are you starting with? Are you trying to convert spot colors to b/w?

Thanks,
Lori

Derek

3, 2016-02-12 12, 2016

Is it possible to convert to pure black and white and not grayscale?

Lori Kassuba

12, 2015-05-06 06, 2015

Hi Bob Lanham,

Are you referring to the steps necessary to convert to grayscale in Acrobat DC?

Thanks,
Lori

Bob Lanham

1, 2015-05-01 01, 2015

I prefer the ‘Convert To Grayscale’ option that is available in ver XI. Several steps fewer. So I reverted back to ver XI.

Lori Kassuba

9, 2015-04-28 28, 2015

Hi tena dick,

Yes, the Preflight fixup is another way to convert your color file to grayscale.

Thanks,
Lori

tena dick

4, 2015-04-23 23, 2015

This didn’t work for me (some was grayscale/other was color). I export to a color pdf, then go to VIEW/TOOLS/PRINT PRODUCTION/PREFLIGHT/PDF FIXUPS then double click on Convert to Grayscale!

Lori Kassuba

1, 2015-02-11 11, 2015

Hi H Fiedler,

Have you tried synchronizing your Creative Suite (Cloud) applications for consistent color in Acrobat under Edit > Preferences > Color Management?

Thanks,
Lori

H Fiedler

3, 2015-02-06 06, 2015

I convert tmy native indd documents to grayscale using the Acrobat output options. My commercial printing company has a digital printer that has no adjustments (so they say). Having a problem with images coming out very dark. Tried Gamma 2.2 and also Dot Gain 30%, but no difference. Any thoughts?

DD

4, 2015-01-18 18, 2015

Very very useful tip. The best one in the internet. Thanks a ton

Lori Kassuba

2, 2015-01-05 05, 2015

Hi Dick Dunbar,

Good point - if you don’t want to permanently change the PDF, you can use the Print in grayscale option in the Print dialog.

Thanks,
Lori

Dick Dunbar

6, 2014-12-30 30, 2014

For me, it doesn’t matter if a document is colored or not for screen viewing.  So I just select “Gray Scale” on my printer menu.

Shini

5, 2014-10-06 06, 2014

This was very helpful. Thanks a ton!

Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-07-25 25, 2014

Hi Bill Vojtech,

I don’t know a way to do this in Acrobat Pro. but it might be possible using JavaScript. Can you post your question here and select the JavaScript category so our Experts can help?
http://answers.acrobatusers.com/AskQuestion.aspx

Thanks,
Lori

Bill Vojtech

10, 2014-07-23 23, 2014

At work we often produce and print pdfs that should be color on one side and grayscale on the other. We found that you can convert individual pages to grayscale and when you print the copier will register one color click for the color side and one black click for the grayscale side. This saves money as black clicks cost less. The problem is we usually have pdfs that are 500 pages. We have not figured out how to convert the odd pages to grayscale all at once. We’d have to go through the document and convert the pages one by one. Is there a way to convert all the odd pages, or to select a range in a multi-page document?

Lori Kassuba

12, 2014-04-28 28, 2014

Hi Greg Mouning,

We’ve updated the tutorial to be a bit more clear on converting to grayscale. This feature requires the Pro. version of Acrobat. You should be able to specify an exact size by putting the same number in both the minimum and maximum dropdown but I’m not getting consistent results.

Thanks,
Lori

Greg Mouning

2, 2014-04-25 25, 2014

Thanks for your response Lori. It is nice to know you may specify different text sizes when invoking Greyscale conversion. Does this featire work for all versions of Acrobat? I am trying your example with Acrobat XI and am unable to effect specify text sizes. Can you ellaborate the differences between minimum and maximum test sizes?

Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-04-25 25, 2014

Hi Greg Mouning,

In this example, it didn’t convert because the minimum font size was set to 24. But you bring up a good point, in that it’s a bit confusing in the current example.

Thanks,
Lori

Greg Mouning

5, 2014-04-23 23, 2014

Is the example you provide, why didn’t the blue text just below the heading and blue text below the graphic on the right hand side of the page not change to gray?

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