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Sometimes I need to print a pdf file that has a black background or some heavy background images, and that sucks up a lot of ink. Is there any method to remove the background from PDF files before printing?

Anything that works on Windows or Linux.

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Are you really sure that what occurs as 'background' to your eyes isn't really a black box that is painted onto the page first (and hence not 'background' but common page content), before all the other strokes and fills are done? –  Kurt Pfeifle Jun 25 '12 at 11:46

1 Answer 1

In Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can set a custom background color (in this case: white) within the as part of the accessibility options.

The following instructions are for version 9. Other version should be similar.

  1. Press Ctrl + K or go to Edit -> Preferences.

  2. Under Categories, select Accessibility.

  3. Check Replace Document Colors and Custom Color.

  4. Set Page Background to white.

  5. Click OK.

Note: This will only work for some PDFs. Others will not retain the changes when printing.

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@Bruce: did this solution really work for your file(s)? –  Kurt Pfeifle Jun 25 '12 at 11:46
@pipitas I tested with one of the files I need, and it worked. I didn't test all of them though. A few of them might be using black boxes instead of backgrounds (like you mentioned) and these probably won't work. –  Malabarba Jun 25 '12 at 16:55
@pipitas Actually, I apologize for the confusion, but this method does NOT work. It hids the background when viewing the PDF, but when printing it the background is still there. –  Malabarba Jun 25 '12 at 23:40
@BruceConnor: I checked with other documents, and I was wrong to assume that it would work for all text-based PDFs. It works for some, however. I don't know why. –  Dennis Jun 26 '12 at 0:48
That's what I suspected. That's why I asked... –  Kurt Pfeifle Jun 26 '12 at 11:50

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