How to Print Black and White on Mac in 2022?—Everything You Need to Know

Printing in black and white is known as grayscale printing. It is very beneficial as it saves the color ink and uses only black ink. As you know, black ink is a lot cheaper than the other inks, so it’s economical.

However, if you are not using a laserjet or monochrome printer, then you will need to change your printer’s settings to print in black and white.

If you don’t know how to print in black and white on Mac, we are here to help you out.

How to Print Black and White on Mac
Print Black and White on Mac

Broadly speaking, the print option is often hidden away in settings, depending on either type of printer you are using, or the type of document you are printing.

For example, the steps to enable grayscale printing will be different for printing an image file, then for printing a word document or pdf file.

So, in this post, we will discuss in detail how you can print different kinds of files in black and white on Mac.

How to Print an Image in Black and White on Mac?

Macs have a pre-installed preview application that allows you to see and print images easily.

So, you can open images in that application and then directly print them with customized options.

If you want to print an image in black and white on Mac, then you should follow these steps:

  1. Open Finder, it is on the left-most side of the Dock.
  2. Locate the image you want to print using the Finder.
  3. Right-Click on the image, so a drop-down menu will appear.
  4. Hover the cursor on the Open With option.
  5. Click on Preview from the list of applications. Your image will open in the Preview application.
  6. From the top bar, click on the File option.
  7. Click on the last option from the drop-down menu, Print.
  8. You can also use Command + Print to go to this option.
  9. In the Print Settings, simply select the Black and White option that is located next to Copies.
  10. Click on Print, and your document will be printed in Black and White.

So, just by following a few simple steps, you will be able to print your images in black and white. You can uncheck the option later when you want to print a color image.

How to Print a Word Document in Black and White on Mac?

Printing a word file in black and white is also pretty simple, but the settings are a bit different.

So, to not miss anything, we will discuss the steps in detail.

  • Open the Word document, either by directly opening the file or opening Word first and then locating the file.
  • Click on File in the top left corner of the window. A menu bar will appear
  • Click on the Print option on the left side, which will be right in the middle.
  • You can also use Command + Print to go to this option.
  • Here, you can select the available printer and the preset.
  • Select the Black and White option in Preset and click on Print.
  • The Print option is in the bottom right corner of the Window.

You have successfully printed your Word document in black and white. If have a constant need for printing documents in black and white, you can purchase a monochrome printer to save both time and money.

How to Print a Document from Google Drive in Black and White on Mac?

While you can download the document, open it in Word, and then print using the above steps, there is also a simple and direct method to do it.

Hence, to save your time, let us share the short steps that will allow you to print a document directly from Google Drive in black and white.

  • Go to your Google Drive using the web browser on your Mac.
  • Open the document you want to print in Google Docs.
  • Click on the File option from the top menu.
  • Click on the Print option.
  • A pop-up menu will appear in front of you.
  • Click on the options in front of Color and select Monochrome.
  • Click on Print in the bottom left corner.

Monochrome and Black n White, both mean the same thing. However, sometimes users can get confused when they don’t see Black and White written in the options.

Using the above steps, you can easily print a document directly from your Google Drive.

How to Print a PDF in Black and White on Mac?

Mac opens PDF in the Preview app, so the steps are pretty much similar to what you used for the image file.

However, considering that the document is a large PDF file with many pages, some settings are a bit different.

Here are the steps you can follow to print a PDF document in black and white.

  • Open the PDF document that you want to print.
  • The document will automatically open in the Preview app.
  • Go to the Print settings using the same steps mentioned above.
  • You can either go from File>Print or through using the direct command.
  • Once in settings, check the box, Black and White, in front of Copies.
  • Click on Print.

The options for printing and editing on the Preview app are limited on Mac. If you need to print PDF documents regularly, you should download one of the advanced PDF readers.

If you have a colored PDF document, you can also convert it to a black and white version for both digital and print ease.

How to Create Black and White Printing Preset on Mac?

You can save your print settings as a preset if you are going to use them regularly. Hence, you can create a custom preset for black and white printing for quicker access.

To do this, you need to follow these simple steps:

  • Open the Preview application.
  • Click on File>Print to open the print settings.
  • Check the Black and White checkbox and alter other settings as per your needs.
  • After you have selected the settings you want to use for black and white printing, you can save it as a preset.
  • Click on the Preset drop-down menu.
  • Click on the option “Save Current Settings as Preset”.
  • Now you can name your custom Preset and also select whether you want to use it for this specific printer or all your printers.
  • After you are done, click on OK.

After creating this Preset, you will be able to directly access it. You simply need to select this preset and all of your saved settings will be automatically loaded for printing.

Printer Not Processing a Black and White Print? Here’s What to Do

Rarely, do you face an issue when even after you have changed the settings, you are not getting black and white prints from your printer?

Either you are getting blank pages or still color prints.

So, here are some of the fixes you can try to get rid of this issue.

  • Try rebooting. Turn off your printer, remove all the cables, let it rest a while and then turn it on again. Most of the time, this solution works perfectly.
  • Clean your printheads. Sometimes, your printheads get clogged so you are required to clean them manually.
  • Check if your drivers are up to date. You can go to your Printer settings and update the drivers.
  • Check if your black ink cartridge is low or empty. If it is so, you must buy a new one and replace it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set my Mac to print Black and White?

You can go to settings and change the Print settings to monochrome or black and white option. The option is available once you go to print settings. However, the location of print settings is different for each application.

Why won’t my Mac let me print Black and White?

Your Mac doesn’t stop you from printing in black and white, you just have to change the color printing option in settings. To do that, go to print settings and change the preset from color to monochrome or black and white.

How do I print a PDF in Black and White on a Mac?

You can open the PDF either in Preview app or any specific PDF app that you have downloaded. Go to Print settings and select the monochrome option before finalizing the print command. You will have your document in black and white.


Hopefully, now you are caught up on how to print black and white on Mac. We have shared how you can print different kinds of files in monochrome and also helped you create your own custom preset.

Printing in black and white is both economical and fast. Black ink is a lot cheaper which saves you money when printing in only black and white.

Let us know in the comments whether you were satisfied with your monochrome prints.  

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