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Create a grayscale PDF?

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  • Create a grayscale PDF?

    I would like to create a grayscale PDF file from InDesign.

    I am a faculty member of a university that teaching graphic communications. I have a project that requires students to create their own grayscale tint scale to help them understand imagesetter calibration. When they create the PDF file from InDesign, they get a CMYK PDF file. I would like to simplify the process so that they don't have to eliminate the extra channels before exposing film. Anyone know how to do this?



  • #2
    Re: Create a grayscale PDF?

    what version of Indesign?

    how do you know that it is cmyk?
    do you use Pitstop?
    printing separations?

    Have you set the ID prefs to output blacks accurately (not as a rich black)?
    Try leaving off the trim marks (which are in registration color, and will give you cmyk for sure).


    • #3
      Re: Create a grayscale PDF?

      We are using Adobe CS3 on both Mac and Windows machines.

      While we don't have anything but black in our InDesign document, our RIP creates a CMYK file. I would like a single color file to simplify it for the students. While I can turn off the extra separations and only expose the black, this extra step (while important) is frequently excluded by students. This can be costly and time consuming.

      No we don't have Pitsop. I did switch the ID prefs to output blacks accurately but it still seems to produced a 4C PDF file. I also left off the marks without success.


      • #4
        Re: Create a grayscale PDF?

        I don't think the problem is with the PDF file, it's with your RIP.
        I made a black only PDF from ID CS3 (opened it in Acro, ran Pitstop to verify).

        I normalize the file and all I get is a single black (using Esko).
        What RIp are you using?
        You may want to check to see if there is a setting for ignoring the blank channels.


        • #5
          Re: Create a grayscale PDF?

          Hey Hans, how about simply making a postscript file from Indesign (Composite Gray) and then distill it?


          • #6
            Re: Create a grayscale PDF?

            Callas pdfColorConvert can do this quite easily. It's pretty in expensive. If you want more info or a demo let me know. You can find it here at the callas website.

            Matt Beals
            The views expressed here are my own personal views and are not those of my employer.


            • #7
              Re: Create a grayscale PDF?

              Check your InDesign Preferences under " Appearance of Black". Make sure that the selection for Printing/Exporting is set to "output all blacks accurately" ( as opposed to "output as rich black"). Then have them make their tints scale ( and any text ) using only a pure black in InDesign. The result should be a Black only file.

              Side note: Getting students into the habit of checking files, making adjustments like turning off unwanted seps etc. , is NOT a bad thing.


              Sorry, did not read the other responses first.
              But I agree with David. What does the PDF looked like in Acrobat as far as separations ? If you only have black in Acrobat then your rip is very funky.

              Edited by: Peter D Lewis on Feb 1, 2008 4:47 PM
              "you never know how the past is going to turn out"


              • #8
                Re: Create a grayscale PDF?

                Could be the PDF job options settings you are using too. Is color management switched on? It is by default in a lot of the standard job options that come with distiller.


                • #9
                  Re: Create a grayscale PDF?

                  Hi Hans,

                  I might be hopping on pretty late...

                  There is also a small application called 'Instant PDF' from Enfocus that uses preset virtual printers (with your joboptions and print settings) to create the PDF files.
                  I takes over all separate tasks (creation, distilling, delivery).

                  Next to your creation settings you also have the full potential of PDF Profiles and Action Lists, which allow you to do extensive editing on the PDF file as well.

                  It's a crazy little app, which works pretty well.

                  You can check it out here:

                  It has a full featured 30 day trial.
                  Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky - try to take over the world!


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