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I have an existing PDF with a totally black background and all text is white.

Is there a way to get the text to print black and the black background to not print at all?

I have Bluebeam and Adobe PDF.

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4 Answers 4

Funnily enough there are "legitimate" use cases for this, notably people with low vision. Acrobat and other readers can override colors for display (eg Ctrl-I in Evince and via the Accessibility menu in Acrobat Reader X) but strangely not for printing. What you can do, though, is use GhostScript's pdf2ps converter (or a fake PS printer driver that just writes the file) to get a postscript file, then edit the file by putting

{1 exch sub} settransfer 

as the first line in the file and then printing that PostScript file. That way you get a more faithful rendering of the doc than you would if you converted the PDF to an image and inverted that.

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I've done something like this (on Windows) by installing a PostScript printer driver and then telling it to print to file to capture the output. The same concept should work on other OSs. It should be noted that PostScript files are just text files that can be edited with most text editors. –  martineau Jul 16 '12 at 22:38

According to this page, you may be able to accomplish it with ImageMagick. However, the PDF will be converted to images before it is inverted. If the quality isn't sufficient because of this, you should be able to adjust the DPI number.

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The purpose of a PDF document is that it will always look and print the same, no matter what platform its on. So the act of printing the document differently defeats its intended purpose. Third party PDF viewers/editors add a lot functionality that Acrobat Reader doesnt have, but I havent seen anything that will do this... But I havent ever looked for this feature, so its possible I might have overlooked it.

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In Acrobat Reader X

Edit->Preferences->accessibility Select: Replace document colors Select: Custom color

Set remaining options according to personal preference.

Note: This does not change the document, just your view and they way it is printed.

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