5000+ Great Articles

How To Turn Photos & PDFs To Black & White On Mac

How To Turn Photos & PDFs To Black & White On Mac.

Except for some really old photos and stuff, everything else is now colored. There are even tools that let you colorize old photos using magical algorithms. While colors are so useful, there are times when you might want something purely black and white.

These are usually the times when you want to save on color inks and want to print something in grayscale. You will want to do this, especially when it is difficult to find a color configuration option for your printer.

There are several ways to turn your photos and PDFs into black and white on your Mac. All of these methods do not require third-party applications as you can accomplish the task using built-in applications on your computer.

Convert images to black and white using the Preview application

Preview has become popular with Mac users as it allows users to easily view different types of photo files and PDF documents on your Mac. It’s a great photo viewer app that has some photo editing tools built in as well. Unless you dug much deeper, you probably didn’t know it.

The app consists of several great photo editing tools, and one of these tools allows you to remove colors from your photos. With this feature, you can instantly convert your photos to black and white on your computer.

It’s pretty easy to use, but there is something you would like to know about it. When you perform a color conversion in the application, you will not be prompted to save your changes. Instead, it will automatically replace your color photo with a black and white one.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that you convert the photo, the color version of which you no longer need. Or, better, do an assignment with a copy of your photo.

Open the folder that contains the photo you want to convert to black and white, right-click the photo and select Open With, then Preview to launch the photo in Preview.

When the photo opens in preview mode, click the Tools menu at the top and select the Adjust Color option. Or press the keyboard shortcut Command + Option + C.

The box that opens on your screen will allow you to customize the color settings for your photo. Since you want to remove all colors from the photo and make it black and white, drag the Saturation slider all the way to the left.

Your photo will instantly turn black and white and you will see it yourself in the preview application.

Exit the app and your photo will be automatically saved.

Use the Photos app to convert your photos to black and white

Preview is a convenient way to convert your photos to black and white when your photos are available in the Finder. However, in most cases, users choose to save their photos in a photo management application, such as the built-in Photos app on Mac. This is because these apps make organizing your photos much easier than the file explorer tool.

If your photos are also saved in the Photos app, you don’t need to access them using the Finder to preview them later to convert. The Photos app itself has some great editing tools built in, and you can use them to retouch your photos.

One of these features allows you to remove colors from your photos, and this is how you access and use it.

Launch the Photos app on your Mac and double-click the photo you want to convert to black and white. Then click the Image menu at the top and select Show Editing Tools.

All editing tools available in the app will appear in the right sidebar. Choose the Black & White option and your photo will instantly reflect your changes.

If you are not achieving the desired result with the above option, you can try dragging the Saturation slider all the way to the left in the Selective Color section.

Unlike Preview, Photos does not automatically save black and white versions of your photos. You need to click the Finish button at the top to save your changes. This gives you the option to revert your changes if you decide not to continue.

Convert PDFs to Black & White on Mac

Setting up your printer to print PDF documents in black and white every time you want to print a specific PDF file does not save time. Instead, you can leave the file blank and then simply click the Print button to print it.

Getting rid of colors in PDFs is easy with the Mac Preview software. Here’s how to do it.

Right-click the PDF you want to strip out and select Open With and then Preview.

When the preview opens, click the File menu and choose Export. This will allow you to export a colorless version of the PDF file.

On the next screen, you apply magic. Choose Black & White from the Quartz Filter drop-down menu. Then choose a location to save the file and click “Save”.

The file you just exported from Preview will be completely black and white. All colors will disappear and you now have a printable version of the original color PDF document.


Converting your photos and PDFs to black and white is useful in many cases, like when you send a file to someone and they need to print it in black and white, but they don’t know how to do it. Your original black and white versions will make life much easier for them, and sometimes for you.

How To Turn Photos & PDFs To Black & White On Mac

Exit mobile version