How to Exclude Colors when Printing on a Mac (Print in Black and White)

Have you ever wanted to print a document using just black ink from your Mac? This tutorial will show you how to do just that.

Background

Sometimes when printing an email, document or other file, you don’t want to use your color ink because the images or colors in the documents are unimportant. Here’s how you can conserve your color ink by printing in just black and white. Since the process can vary quite a bit between versions, we’ve broken the instructions down into two main sections – current/modern versions of macOS (Catalina, Big Sur etc) and older versions of OS X (Snow Leopard, Lion etc).

Print in Black and White (macOS)

Though the option to print in black and white isn’t nearly as buried as it used to be, printing in macOS can look a bit different from app to app. For example, when printing from the Calendar app the way print in black and white is to place a check in the the Black and white box that’s found in the Options section.

bring in black and white from the Calendar app in macOS

When printing from the Chrome browser, the interface is a bit different. This time you need to switch the Color Mode from Color to Black and white in order to print in black and white.

print in black and white from the Chrome browser in macOS

Printing from the Notes app is different too – in this case you need to place a check in the Black & White box.

print in black and white in the Notes app in macOS

As you can see from the examples above, the “print” screen on your Mac can be a bit different from app to app, but switching to “black and white only” isn’t too buried in the settings (like it used to be).

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Print in Black and White (older versions of OS X)

  1. Select Print from the File menu as normal
  2. os x print menu

  3. Select the small “drop-down arrow” next to the Printer: field.
  4. an arrow pointing to a menu named Printer
    click to enlarge

  5. Select the Layout menu.
  6. an arrow pointing to the Layout menu in the OS X Print menu
    click to enlarge

  7. Choose Quality & Media from that list.
  8. selecting the Quality and Media option from a list
    click to enlarge

  9. Place a check in the box labeled Grayscale Printing. Click the Print button.
  10. a box labeled Grayscale Printing in the Print dialog box in OS X
    click to enlarge

  11. Now your file will print using just black ink – no colors will be used. That’s it!

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