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  1. #1
    paulc is offline Junior Member
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    Default Export b/w PDF from InDesign color.

    Can anyone tell me how to export a black and white PDF file from InDesign which has been rendered in color? Or do I have to go back to whatever placed files I have put in InDesign (in this case Illustrator & Photoshop)?
    Last edited by paulc; 10-24-2008 at 08:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Lukas Engqvist's Avatar
    Lukas Engqvist is offline Senior Member
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    Two options:
    1) when you print to postscript you can choose greyscale, then distil to a PDF.
    2) create a colour PDF and use a preflight action to turn the PDF into grey.

  3. #3
    rich apollo's Avatar
    rich apollo is offline Senior Member
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    You can't export directly to B/W as InDesign (as of CS3) doesn't recognize greyscale. I don't know if this is different in CS4.

    You can very easily convert the PDF in Acrobat, however, via the Convert Colors dialogue or the Preflight panel.

  4. #4
    almaink's Avatar
    almaink is offline Senior Member
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    Not changed in CS4 either. Easily converted in Acrobat, perhaps but not quickly. Certainly not if it's a 360 page perfect bound book! I know I did one last week and waited for almost 2 hours while it converted. Why is there still no grayscale option for direct PDF output? I can do it from other applications, so I know it's gotta be doable. The thing that kills me is this question has been asked many times, does Adobe listen or just pretend to? I'm beginning to wonder...

  5. #5
    Stephen Marsh is offline Senior Member
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    Another option to create a fast RGB grayscale on a Mac, is to open the PDF in Apple Preview and do a save as - selecting the grayscale Quartz filter.

  6. #6
    oxburger's Avatar
    oxburger is offline Senior Member
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    A solution may be to get pdf creator shareware or freeware. These are set up like printers and since you are technically "printing to" a .pdf and not "exporting" out of InDesign, you have the option of selecting "grayscale" in the print dialog box.
    Last edited by oxburger; 04-20-2009 at 09:10 AM.

  7. #7
    almaink's Avatar
    almaink is offline Senior Member
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    The main problem with using both the built in quartz engine and after-market PDF makers is transparency. Flattening can and does cause issues I'd rather not see. Same problem with writing postscript and distilling...

  8. #8
    loafintree is offline Junior Member
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    I know this is old but there is another option.

    Go into your swatches-->ink manager.
    Choose any color other than black and alias it to process black.

    It will still show up as the original color in InDesign but will change to black when output to PDF. Most, if not all Adobe products determine color by the name so an alias of black tells it to make whatever color it is black. Note: black will be same "tint" as original so if you have a 100% yellow, it will turn to 100% black, not a grey derivative.

  9. #9
    almaink's Avatar
    almaink is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by loafintree View Post
    I know this is old but there is another option.

    Go into your swatches-->ink manager.
    Choose any color other than black and alias it to process black.

    It will still show up as the original color in InDesign but will change to black when output to PDF. Most, if not all Adobe products determine color by the name so an alias of black tells it to make whatever color it is black. Note: black will be same "tint" as original so if you have a 100% yellow, it will turn to 100% black, not a grey derivative.
    You can not set a process color to an alias. So your idea won't work for converting process to B&W.

  10. #10
    mattbeals's Avatar
    mattbeals is offline Senior Member
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    Rather than tinkering with a bunch of this or that, faux gray scale, Quartz PDF filters, aliasing, etc just do what Lukas suggested. It's the simplest, highest quality, most reliable and most effective way to do it. It's a no-brainer.
    Matt Beals
    The views expressed here are my own personal views and are not those of my employer.


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