How to Convert a PDF to black and white using the print function.

Follow our quick guide to convert your PDFs to grayscale in no time.

  1. Open the document inside the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click CTRL + P on your keyboard to reveal the print menu.
  2. Select Microsoft Print to PDF from the Printer tab.
  3. Tick the Print in grayscale (black and white) - you should see it below the Printer menu.
  4. Click on ‘Printer destination’. You’ll see an option to ‘Save as PDF’. Select this option and click save. Choose a name for it and a location to save it.

How to convert a PDF to black and white with Adobe Acrobat Pro.

You can use Adobe Acrobat Pro to edit your document and create a black and white version.

  1. Through the Advanced tab at the top, click on to Preflight.
  2. Within the Preflight box, select PDF fixups
  3. Select Convert to Greyscale
  4. Click Analyze and Fix to convert your PDF to black and white

If you have an older version of Adobe Acrobat, you’ll find the Preflight option within the Tool > Print Production panel.

Get a free trial of Acrobat Pro and convert your PDF to black and white today.

Benefits of removing colour from a PDF.

Converting a PDF to black and white can improve your documents and save you time in the long run. Some of the top reasons to make a PDF greyscale include:

  • Smaller file sizes. PDFs without colour take up less space than colour files. This is because there is less information needing to be stored. Converting your PDF to black and white can make it easier to share when you’re limited by file size, as well as free up space on your device.
  • Save on ink. Coloured ink is much more expensive than black. Converting a PDF to greyscale will prevent it from being printed in colour( which can be very easily done in a busy office and where the printer automatically detects colour settings). Prevent mistakes and save money on ink by saving all PDF files in black and white when the colour isn’t needed.
  • Get a preview. Make sure your infographics, graphs, and diagrams don’t lose data when printed by saving a copy in grayscale. You can then tweak the colours in the original document as needed.

Ready to get started? Explore the full menu of Acrobat features and learn how you can optimise your PDF files.


Get answers to the most common questions about how to convert a PDF into a black and white document.

Should I use a free online tool to convert my PDF to black and white?

There are some online services that will offer to convert your PDF into a black and white file for free if you upload the document into their system. We always recommend approaching these sites with caution, as they can pose a risk to security due to the potential for malware and other privacy breaches.

How do you create a PDF?

Within Adobe Acrobat it’s easy to create a PDF. Within the program, just select Create PDF and then select the file or files you want to convert.

From another program, for example Microsoft Word, go to the Print options and change the printer destination to Print to PDF. Choose the destination for your file and a newly created PDF will be saved there.

Learn more about how to create a PDF in our step-by-step guide.

How do I create a PDF from images?

PDFs are versatile and can be created from a variety of sources, including images like JPG and TIFF files. You can check out our handy guide to Converting Images to PDFs or follow this quick summary:

  1. Open Acrobat and select Enhance Scans.
  2. Choose the file you want to convert. Most image and scan file formats will be recognised by the software.
  3. Click the magnifying glass to get Acrobat to identify errors. You can accept or edit these one at a time. Then click Done when you’re finished.

How do I print my PDF?

You can set the printing colour from within Adobe Acrobat by accessing the File menu and choosing the Print option. Locate the button for Advanced Options and click it. Under the Output settings make sure the colour is displayed as Composite Grey. Your PDF will now print in shades of grey .

Get more tips on printing PDFs.

More tips for using Acrobat.

Try our other tips and guides to make the most of Acrobat.

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