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As you probably knows AirPrint doesn't have an option for grayscale or B&W printing.

My printer doesn't have a setting to print in grayscale.

Is there any iOS app that converts a PDF to a grayscale PDF?

2

I have not been able to find an app that would do this for you. It is very possible that Readdle's PDF Office can do this for you, however I do not have this app and it is a subscription premium service. I could not confirm from their website or the AppStore for sure that they have the feature to convert to gray-scale, but they bill it as a fully functional and professional PDF suite. Their app Scanner Pro does have the option to save as gray-scale, but the source has to come from your iOS camera. I could not find an option that lets you import a pre-existing PDF into Scanner Pro. Adobe Acrobat isn't even worth mentioning.

I also looked at trying printing directly, but like you said, the printer needs to support conversion to Gray-Scale in order for you to be able to print a color document from the AirPrint as gray-scale. I looked at Readdle Printer Pro, however that did not give the option to convert to gray-scale either.

That being said, if you have a Mac as well as an iOS device, I can provide you with a bit of a convoluted work around.

If the PDF is on your iOS device, you will need to transfer it over to your Mac. You can accomplish this using iTunes, or emailing or messaging the file to yourself, etc. Once the document is on your Mac:

  1. Open PDF in Preview
  2. Choose File>Export...
  3. Under Format: select PDF
  4. Under Quartz Filter: select Gray Tone
  5. Click on Save

The PDF will be converted nicely to a gray-scale document which you can then print.

Sorry I couldn't come up with an actual iOS app that was capable of this.

I have no association with Readdle other than I have purchased several of their apps for use on my iOS devices, which is why I mentioned them in the post. They build very good apps with functional UI's that are pleasant to work with, which is why I chose to buy these premium apps instead of using free alternatives.

  • 1
    Thanks for the suggestion regarding the Mac procedure. I have also Scanner Pro and Printer Pro but as you wrote they don't have an option for converting to greyscale an existing file – Guido Preite Aug 16 '15 at 15:46
  • I have the suspicion that PDF Office might have the feature to convert to gray-scale, as it is an option on Scanner Pro. I just wasn't able to confirm that as the case. I think you can download the App for free without signing up for the service or paying for it on iTunes. This may give you a features list that tells you whether or not it does. – AMR Aug 16 '15 at 16:01
  • Do you mean PDF expert (price around 10$)? because I don't see an app called PDF Office from Readdle – Guido Preite Aug 16 '15 at 17:02
  • PDF Office by Readdle... Ah! It is probably only for iPad. It wasn't clear from your post if you meant iPhone or iOS in general. – AMR Aug 16 '15 at 18:57
  • PrintDirect looks like it has many more options for printing that Printer Pro... The only problem is that it looks like it accesses printer settings, so if your printer doesn't have the option to natively select Gray-scale.... – AMR Aug 16 '15 at 19:34
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With iOS 9 AirPrint now has the option to print Black & White.

This solve my problem, there isn't yet an app to convert a PDF to a Black & White/Greyscale PDF but now I can print Black & White and I don't need to edit the PDF before the print.

Screenshot:

Black & White AirPrint

0

I know that this will not make any changes to the file, but I hope it will make changes to the outputs.

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility
  2. Toggle "Grayscale mode" to "On"
  3. Then try printing your PDF once again.
  • Thanks for the suggestion, In these days I can't try your suggestion but I will let you know (but I don't think it will work, however thanks for posting, I didn't know this accessibility option – Guido Preite Aug 16 '15 at 15:44
  • This method does not address @GuidoPreite question on printing as it does not alter how documents are encoded and therefore printed. The only effect that Grayscale mode has is changing the iOS display to grayscale. The analogy would be watching a modern television broadcast on a Black and White TV. The person watching on B&W will see in grayscale, however anyone capable of viewing in color, in this case the printer will see the color. – AMR Aug 18 '15 at 3:06
  • @AMR, Thank you for posting the comment, but have you tested it? – Anton Todorov Aug 25 '15 at 20:48
  • Yes. Document is color. Also if you change to B&W and then do a screen capture of you iPhone (Power & Home Buttons simultaneously) and then look at the photo that transfer over PhotoStream to your Mac, the photo of the screen capture is in full color. – AMR Aug 25 '15 at 21:57

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