Make PDF to Black and White – It is Easier than Your Imagination

Last Updated on July 22, 2022 by Tina Clark

When you need to reduce the PDF file size or print it, making a PDF in black and white/grayscale is the simplest choice. Moreover, the B/W or gray-scaled PDFs save on ink and make sure your infographics, graphs, and diagrams don’t lose data. But how do you get the optimal effect when you convert PDF to grayscale or black/white? Here are the 5 most frequently used methods you should know.

PDF to Black and White

Part 1: How to Save PDF to Black and White (Grayscale) Directly

Converting a PDF file to Grayscale allows you to print a PDF on a monochrome printer or save colored ink when publishing on a color printer by printing it in grayscale instead of color. All text and images in such documents are stripped of their color information and are presented as grayscale shades of gray that are similar in intensity.

Step 1: When you need to make PDF documents in Grayscale or black and white, you can right-click the desired PDF file in your Windows Explorer. After that, you can print a PDF on a monochrome printer or save colored ink when using a color printer.

Step 2: To make the file black and white, select the PDF Output Settings tab from the selection and check the Output PDF as Grayscale option from the drop-down menu. You can find all text and images lose their color information and take on corresponding shades of gray.

PDF Output Settings

Part 2: A Simple Method to Convert PDF to Black and White

To convert the colored PDF files to B/W or Grayscale, PDFelement is the simple solution to remove the colors, reduce the PDF size, and customize the content of the PDF. It enables you to make changes to the text in PDF files by adding, deleting, or changing the content. Moreover, you can customize the fonts, font color, and background color according to your preferences. You can also protect the PDF documents by encrypting them and protecting them with a password. Forms may be created, altered, and completed with the help of this program as well.

1. Convert PDF to black and white or Grayscale with the original quality.

2. Reduce the PDF sizes with different levels and multiple parameters.

3. Adjust the fonts, font sizes, background colors, texts, and others easily.

4. Extract the texts, fonts, and images with advanced algorithms.

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Step 1: Download and install PDFelement on your computer, you can launch the program on your computer and select the Open Files button to import the PDF files you want to convert. You can simply drag and drop the file from the file manager to the desired location.

Open PDF for Conversion PDFElement

Step 2: On the top menu bar, click the Print button to make PDF to grayscale. In the Print pop-up window, you can check the Gray Print option and select Wondershare PDFelement as the printer. After that, you can click the Print option to save a grayscale PDF.

Print Gray PDF PDFElement

Step 3: Click the File menu and choose the Save to option to save the new version. You can also change its texts, font type, add images and also add objects. Moreover, there are features to add, delete, extract, reorder, rotate, and crop pages within clicks.

Save Gray PDF PDFElement Win Download Mac Download

Part 3: How to Convert PDF to Black and White via Preview

Preview is the built-in method to convert a PDF file to black and white without an additional application. To modify the color scheme of your PDF document before printing it, you only need to update the settings of the PDF. Moreover, Preview allows you to save a black and white PDF file without having to print a single page from the document.

Step 1: Open a PDF file using the Preview app by selecting the File option. After that, you can import the desired PDF file you want to convert from the directory in which the file was stored.

Step 2: Choose the Save As option from the File menu on the left-hand side. Select the Gray Tone option to make the PDF to B/W or Grayscale, which is available in the Quartz Filter's drop-down menu.

Grayscale Preview Mac

Part 4: How to Convert PDF to Black and White with Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is the most frequently used PDF reader, which enables you to convert PDF to Black and white. The Preflight option of Adobe Acrobat not only removes the color of the PDF documents but also analyzes the contents of a PDF to determine its validity for print production and a variety of other conditions that you can specify.

Step 1: Open the desired PDF document in Adobe Acrobat. Go to the Tools menu and click on the Print Production button to get started. Simply click the button to tweak the parameters. From the drop-down menu that displays, you can choose Preflight from the list.

Choose Preflight Option

Step 2: Scroll down the list of options until you reach the Convert Colors option. When you expand this menu, you'll see all of the color schemes. To make the PDF in black and white, double-click the Convert to Grayscale option in the Convert to Grayscale menu bar.

Step 3: In the associated drop-down menu, you can choose the dot gain as 20%. If you're working on the better stock, choose a lower dot gain percentage. With this copy, you now have the choice to save the converted PDF with a name and location of your own.

Part 5: How to Convert PDF to Black and White Online

When you need to convert PDF to black and white or grayscale online, Sejda is the desired online photo editor. It enables you to edit the PDF files, fill & sign PDF, add images to PDF, and create links in PDF. Moreover, you can also cover part of the PDF page with a white rectangle so the contents are no longer visible.

Step 1: Go to the Sejda with any web browser and click the Upload PDF file button to upload the desired file. Moreover, you can drag and drop the PDF you need to convert. Moreover, you can also upload files from Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and more.

Step 2: Select the Grayscale Conversion from the drop-down menu and wait a few seconds. Once you have converted the PDF to black and white, you can simply click the Download button to save the converted PDF file to the hard drive of your computer.

Sejda Convert PDF to Grayscale


There are various methods for converting a PDF to black and white or grayscale. If you frequently need to convert PDF files to black and white, it is recommended to use the PDFelement or the more costly Adobe Acrobat Pro. On the other hand, if you're only converting the file once, online tools may be the best option.

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