If you need to print in black and white or in grayscale from your Mac, you might be hard-pressed to find an option to do so in the standard print window. OS X supports a number of different printers; however, besides general “quality” sliders, many of the drivers do not have an option to limit color settings. Nevertheless, you can still use a relatively straight-forward OS X feature to print a document in either grayscale or black and white.
- Press Command-P to print your document
- Use the PDF menu and select “Open PDF in Preview”
- Choose “Export…” from the File menu
- Ensure “PDF” is used as the output format
- Choose either “Gray Tone” (for grayscale) or “Black & White” from the Quartz Filter menu.
- Save the document to your Desktop.
This option uses Apple’s built-in PDF-handling routines, which are part of the core image management framework in OS X called Quartz. One component of this framework is Quartz Filters, which give programs the ability to use centralized filters somewhat like plugins, and apply these filters to most graphic content rather easily.
Apple allows these filters to be applied to content in Preview when you export it as a PDF, so you can use this ability to limit colors in an exported document. In some cases, you can export a document and apply these filters directly in a program, but if not then this approach in the print dialogue should suffice.