Is it possible to let a (colored) pdf tell the printer it wants to be printed in black/white? An alternative wording of the question is: can I use latex to to set the pdf's default printing mode to b/w?

By b/w I mean black and white rather than gray.

This question is similar to is it possible to display color only in PDF viewer, not printed page? as well as to Implementing full-page Screen-Only & Print-Only in PDF. The key to my question is that I want to hand over a single pdf file that by default is shown in color on screen, whilst by default gets printed in b/w, without needing a user that configures b/w printing.


  • I thing for text you can use \usepackage[monochrome]{color} (colour is switching off). For images: maybe ghostscript will help ... handyfloss.net/2008.09/making-a-pdf-grayscale-with-ghostscript. Yes always add a MWE :)
    – Bobyandbob
    Mar 8 '17 at 14:47
  • hmm, thanks, but adding [monochrome] changes the screen version to monochrome, too. That is not what I have desired. I want it to be colored on screen.
    – ingli
    Mar 10 '17 at 14:50

Try this, in the Preamble:


Keep in mind that anything with a color specification, even if white, will print as black.

However, the above has no effect on raster images. It only affects text, and TeX-generated drawings.

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