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Change colour to black & white?

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Or Print to PDF First, then convert the PDF to Gray Scale after.

This is not exactly Black & White, but the results will look closer

to how it looked on screen (Yellow is lighter than Brown).

I wish the Viewport Advanced Properties would have "Gray Scale Only,"

in addition to B&W Only. But easy enough to do it in the PDF.

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I use gmm18's method. Simply print the sheet(s) to PDF using Mac's built-in PDF capabilities, then use Save As and select the Quartz Filter called "Gray Tones". I do this all the time and it works well. One bit of caution: some colors might not print to gray scale as expected, but this can be easily seen and solved once you actually print the resultant gray scale PDF...

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Peter et al,

Thanks for the suggestions. I would prefer to print in a gray scale as I show concrete as a solid gray object for example.

However, I am getting stuck after 'Save As' as I can't find 'Gray Tones' in the dialog box, which only asks for the name of the file

and where it should be located. Quartz Filter has been enabled under VW Preferences.


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

What I do is select the viewport and edit it's class attribute overrides (assuming you're using class attributes). Typically, I select all classes and set the pen color to black. I leave everything else as is so they will print in grey (if they're color).

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Hi Again, You can set your computer to always use Preview, but Acrobat Reader will take over as the default pdf viewer if you let it. You can change the default pdf (and other image file) viewer by selecting a single document in the Finder and going to its "Get Info" window. In there you can choose which application to use to open that particular document, or all other similar documents.

Glad you were able to find the gray tones filter. I have used it for years and have always been happy with it.


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In a finder window select a pdf document. Don't open it - just select it.

File > Get Info

Toward the bottom of the window will be "Open with:" (there is a collapse triangle next to it. If it is collapsed, click the triangle to expand it.)

In the pull down choose Preview.app

Click the "Change All..." button

You will get a "are you sure" warning. You are sure.

Until you change it back, double clicking on any pdf should cause Preview to launch and open the pdf.



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For those that have one of my PDF manuals: If you set preview to be the default PDF viewer, and you open my PDF manuals with a double click, the manuals will open in Preview and Preview will NOT display any of the movies, or movie icons.

If you right click on the PDF manual, you can still choose open with... Acrobat Reader.

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Michael/ Peter,

I have tried and failed to make Preview my default PDF viewer. When I open the Preview app. I can't find the 'Change All' button. Where is it? Since I can only print PDF's from Preview (I get an error message with Adobe) I really would prefer to use Preview.


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The option is not in Preview, the option is in the Finder.

Go to the Finder and select a PDF file. Go to the FIle menu and choose Get Info. There is a box called Open with:. if it is just one line, click on the triangle to open it. Choose Preview in the drop down box. Click the Change All button and it will set all PDF files to use Preview as the default application.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Alora and All,

Sorry about that. I really should do these things when I am awake. I put the wrong link. So you should redownload and then follow these instructions.


GrayscaleMe can be placed on the Desktop, or in a folder with an alias on your Dock. In this example, GrayscaleMe is on the Desktop for ease of screenshots.

1) Export the view you want from VW as a pdf.

Step One

2) I save it to a folder called "To Be Grayed". NOTE this workflow will change the original file! So if you want a colored copy of the pdf, make sure you duplicate it.

Step Two

3) Drag and drop the files you want to convert onto GrayscaleMe.

Step Three

4) GrayscaleMe will ask you to confirm that you want convert the files. There is no going back to the colored version if you click "OK".

Step Four

5) After GrayscaleMe has run it will append the file with"_bw".

Step Five

6) Now all your selected files are converted to grayscale.

Step 6

Edited by fargo3
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