I have some tests with templates that are marked with blue color at the right answer. They are in pdf so it is not simple to edit, so I am trying to print it in someway without the blue marks - printing only the black text.

Is there some way to do this?

I already tried to print in gray scale and it doesn't work, the blue marks are printed in gray...

Thanks in advance.


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I wish to print everyething like the part "belecidas no texto anterior..." with letters in black and background in white.

  • Are you describing something like areas with solid blue fill, or highlighting behind the text? Is the objective to print the blue as white? How many pages? What OS are you using? If it is a limited number of pages, you could open the pages in an image editor, select the blue (global selection by color), and replace it. Or, select all black, select inverse and delete. – fixer1234 Dec 27 '15 at 19:08
  • highlighting behind the text, yes, I want to print blue as white(not as gray), the only part of the text that is highlighted is the correct answer; windows 10 professional; I tryed to open the pdf with the ms word to edit but it mixed everything disabling formats and everything... – Diogo Dec 27 '15 at 19:42
  • Could you upload a sample. – Tim Dec 29 '15 at 23:02
  • What about an application like FinePrint(.com)? You can selectively remove text and images before printing. It's not free, but they do have academic discounts of 20%, last I heard. – Patrick Seymour Dec 30 '15 at 3:06
  • AbleWord can edit pdf files. If this doesn't help, upload an example file for us to examine. – harrymc Dec 30 '15 at 11:57

It seems like the blue rectangles are separate from the text, meaning that they are painted below the text.

Here is how to delete the blue rectangles using AbleWord :

  1. Open the PDF file using AbleWord
  2. The text is organized in two columns, so click inside one column, and a column-border rectangle will appear.
  3. Note well the position of the rectangle, then move the cursor over its border. The cursor will change to a move cursor with four direction-arrows.
  4. Left-click the border and drag the column side-wise. The text will move, but the blue rectangles will stay in place. It doesn't matter if the moved column overlaps the other. Move the column enough so that at least a part the blue rectangles is outside the column.
  5. Move the cursor over each uncovered blue rectangle until the cursor changes as above.
  6. Click on the blue rectangle to select it, then press the Del key to delete it.
  7. When all the blue rectangles in the column are deleted, move the column back to its place.
  8. When all columns are done, use the menu "File / Save As" to save the updated document under a different name (just in case), and verify using a PDF viewer.
  • Also LibreOffice Draw should be able to open and edit PDF's. – David Dec 30 '15 at 16:24

(Low-Tech Answer)

You could try printing the document on a color printer, with the color ink cartridge(s) removed. The printer would need to have a separate cartridge for the black ink (not all do).

  • If you don't have a printer, you could try Ebay, Amazon, or even Best Buy (and then return it for a full refund). You might be out the cost of 1 black ink cartridge.

  • If you have a printer but it won't let you remove the color cartridge(s), try putting a piece of tape over the tip - or find the sensor and hack it.

  • nice and unthinkable, I will give a try and post the results in here. thanks. – Diogo Dec 30 '15 at 1:42
  • 1
    im not so sure this will work. Normal inkjet color print will use all cartridges to make all colors. blue and black are used with eachother. – Tim Dec 30 '15 at 2:21

a little more techie of an answer. A "simple" fix is to convert it to word, fix formatting, and save it back to pdf.

Would i be correct in assuming that it was hightlighted and scanned in? if so, saving as word may be the best option as i dont think you will be able to trick a printer into not printing it.

If it was highlighted with a program, adobe acrobat pro/standard should be able to correct it.


Unencrypted PDFs are partly text, so you could open the PDF in an editor that can handle that, find one of the text fragments the blue background block is added, try and understand the syntax (the color is probably in hex, like 0xFF0000, but you need to check), and replace the color by 'white'. Find/replace throughout the document, and you should be good.

if the PDF is encrypted, that won't work of course.

  • This is not true. PDF is a binary format, and 10-14 characters are binary characters to force programs to read the file as a binary file. PDF's are composed of a series of object elements, some of which might be text in nature, but equally content objects might be embedded gif, jpg's, tiff's, or png's. For example our scanners at work can scan documents direct to PDF, and the content objects are all encoded jpg stream data. The encoded stream data is not ascii, but is infact binary. – David Dec 30 '15 at 14:20
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Document_Format . From the PDF Spec: PDF files are represented as sequences of 8-bit binary bytes. A PDF file is designed to be portable across all platforms and operating systems. The binary representation is intended to be generated, transported, and consumed directly, without translation between native character sets, end-of-line representations, orother conventions used on various platforms. adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/acrobat/pdfs/… Furthermore any text stream often is compressed into a LZA stream. – David Dec 30 '15 at 14:25
  • If they say so... I have been regularly editing PDF files in Notepad for small changes. It might depend on PDF version and where they come from/which tool generates them. Of course, embedded images are binary. – Aganju Dec 30 '15 at 14:33
  • You should be very careful about how your editing PDF because at the end of the PDF document there is an index table which indexes all of the PDF objects by their byte position. – David Dec 30 '15 at 14:34
  • Yes, I learned that the length of each piece needs to stay the exact same. So if I remove or change a character in a text string, I fill up with blanks. And extending doesn't work. – Aganju Dec 30 '15 at 14:36

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