How to Convert PDF to Grayscale Using Acrobat


Follow this step by step tutorial to learn how to convert a PDF to Grayscale using Adobe Acrobat X.

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Adobe Acrobat provides with various tools for review and editing of documents, form, tables etc. as a Portable Document Format (PDF). It is an effective way of presenting information in a fixed form close to its publishing results. You can also convert Grayscale PDF in case the document has to be used as such. This then makes the document ready for printing. To learn how to convert a PDF to Grayscale, follow this step by step tutorial.

Step # 1 — Select ‘Convert Colors’

If you need to print out in Grayscale PDF, you can simply go to the “Printer Properties” and change the color properties to Grayscale. Alternatively, you can change the color of the document from the “Tools” task pane as well. Move there and click on “Print Production”. From the drop down list, click on the “Convert Colors” option and a new dialog box will open.

Step # 2 — Select checkbox ‘Preserve Black’

Set the Conversion Profile to “Gray Gamma 1.8” and move over to the “Output Intent” section. Make sure to tick on the check box titled “Convert Colors to Output Intent”. Set the profile to “Gray Gamma 1.8” and under the “Convert Options” section, tick on the check box titled “Preserve Black”. This will save the content which was already in black and white.

Step # 3 — Choose ‘OK’

Once done click on the “OK” button and once the confirmation window opens up asking whether or not you would like to proceed, click on “Yes”. And there you have it. The document has now been converted into Grayscale and this is all about how to convert PDF to Grayscale.


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  2. I tried this but some images were filling in so instead I exported as a pdf. Click settings before saving and select output to grayscale. Then run the ps back through distiller to convert back to pdf.

  3. Another QUESTION: Often, when I produce a PDF from an Indesign document file, outer-glow effects on my text boxes disappear as if I turned the outerglow off. Not sure why.

  4. Well done video!
    Also… QUESTION: Why do my files increase in size when I convert it to gray-scale from CMYK or RGB? (I would think it would decrease. Is it trying to preserve the color info?)

  5. I was trying to ensure that only the cover page printed (and clicked) in color. I succeeded by printing to Adobe Pdf>opened  monochrome pdf in Acrobat Pro>Switch out the front cover page with the color cover. My customer was concern with how much color they were printing.

  6. If you can't see PRINT PRODUCTION, then go to VIEW > TOOLS > click on PRINT PRODUCTION.
    Then it will show up also in your Tools bar on your right.
    It works also on Adobe Pro XI.

  7. Hi the "Convert Colors to Output Intent" which you go about to check at 0:28 is grayed out. Can you help me how to get this working?

  8. This tutorial is not applicable to the current version of Adobe Acrobat Pro. Fortunately Adobe rearranged the tools into an unintuitive wordpress type arrangement.

  9. Hey, I have a scanned document which was sent to me by a 3rd person and this guy didn't scan it properly. The scan looks bluish instead of white and thus when I print it it on my B/W printer I get a grey background instead of white. Is there any way to convert the image to only black and white without the gray shade?

  10. If you guys can''t find print production (I am on Pro XI) clocking on that menu looking thing under tools (its on the right of the tools submenu) then click print production to check it and have it displayed on the tools menu.  Hope it helps. It took 5 mins of head scratching to find it.

  11. I figured it out by myself.
    You need Adobe Acrobat, which is not the same as Adobe Reader. There is a trial version for download.
    Thanks for the video!


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