Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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.

share|improve this question

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.

share|improve this answer
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.

Edit: That link appears to be dead now, but it can be accessed in the Internet Archive at the following link:

share|improve this answer
@fixer1234 Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I have added a link to that page on the Internet Archive. – bdr9 Nov 17 '15 at 19:55

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.

share|improve this answer

Using ImageMagick worked for me, although the outputfile is about 50 times larger than the input one.

convert -density 300 -negate input_file.pdf output_file.pdf
share|improve this answer
The command line (in luinux) was : convert -density 300 -negate input_file.pdf output_file.pdf – Catchaca Jan 19 at 22:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .