For the last ten week me and 9 other students have worked on a report. And the final version of the report needs to be printed in black&white (so no color). The easiest method is use the grey setting of the printer. However, many picture in the report are now unclear. Therefore, I would like to ask you guys the following question: "Is there an option in latex which automatically prints the pdf in black&white?"

This is the following setup I use for latex


\usepackage[monochrome]{color} % if I use this I get an error: option clash for package color.

and if I put in behind the documentclass like

\documentclass[a4paper,11pt,monochrome]{scrbook} % it still prints the pdf in color.

I hope one of you guys can help with this.

  • do you run latex or pdflatex?
    – user2478
    Jun 20 '11 at 20:04
  • The answer provide below does work, however the figures in the latex document are still in color. My main concern is to get the pictures to be printed in b&w. @Herbert: I use texnicenter with the option latex => pdf. Does this answers your question. Thanks for the quick replies.
    – user5489
    Jun 20 '11 at 20:58
  • I searched a little but didn’t find an answer how to convert included graphics to greyscale. The monochrome option simply converts commands like \color{green} to b&w. But it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) affect on external graphics. I think you have to convert the graphics yourself … May you would like to change the title to something like “How to convert external graphics automatically to black&white“
    – Tobi
    Jun 21 '11 at 6:57

I guess that one of the other packages loads color with options, but I don’t know which …

Note that it’s recommended to use the newer xcolor instead of pdfcolor


pdfpages causes the error.

Update 2

Load (x)color before pdfpages:


Test \color{green} Green

I am looking for the same solution. Until now, I just found the unsatisfying answer that all included pictures or in your case pdf-pages are not affected by the monocrome option. See https://superuser.com/questions/165461/setting-color-latex-generated-pdf-to-print-in-black-white

Maybe to solve this issue you want to convert your pdf file pdffile.pdf at first to grayscale. The following application of your pdf-converter (as a shell command) should work in principle - but it unfortunately does not to me:

$ lpr -P PDF -o saturation=0 pdffile.pdf

Maybe someone can improve my answer.

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