Most folks know that color printing is more expensive than black & white printing. However, many don’t know that the software they are using to create their projects (such as word processing or graphic design software) may assign a color other than black to content/text they think they are setting up to print black & white. Anything other than black (K) will be counted as a color print. In other words, if any color on any page includes anything other than K values (even 1% of C, M or Y in any pixel), it will count as a full color print.
As a company that receives hundreds of files per day, many sent for print on a rush basis, we don’t always have the time to inspect files to determine how they will print, or how our machines will account for black vs. color impressions. So, the best way to make sure you get what you pay for is to “pre-flight” files on your end.
Do you have Acrobat? Not the Acrobat Reader, the real thing — Adobe Acrobat. If so, here is what you’ll want to do to make sure you get black ink prints at black & white print prices:
Once you’ve converted your document to a PDF (see our prior articles about creating PDF-X/1a files), open it in Acrobat. Go to View –> Tools –> Print Production. Select “Pre-flight” from the Menu which appears to the right. In the dialog box which appears next, click the arrow next to PDF fixups. A list will appear below. Click the “Convert to grayscale” profile and then click on the button which says “Analyze and Fix”. Your file is now ready to be sent to the printer as a black & white print.
This is a basic fix. If you need to grayscale only certain pages of your file, please contact us for assistance.