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How To Print Grayscale on Mac

Printing On Mac

Do you have to submit grayscale photographs for your art project but don’t know how to print them from your Mac? Thankfully, the process is not as complex as it seems.

Quick Answer

To print grayscale on Mac, open the file you wish to print, click “File”, and select “Print”. From the “Copies & Pages” drop-down, select “Quality & Media”. Check the “Grayscale Printing” option and click “Print”.

To help make things easier, we have written an extensive guide on how to print grayscale on your Mac with easy-to-follow instructions. We will also discuss the difference between grayscale and black-and-white printing and some troubleshooting methods if you can’t find grayscale settings on your Mac.

Printing Grayscale on Your Mac

If you don’t know how to print grayscale on your Mac, our following 2 simple step-by-step methods will help you accomplish this task with minimal effort.

Method #1: Printing Word Documents

To print your word documents in grayscale on your Mac, select the grayscale settings in the following way.

  1. Open the word document you need to print.
  2. Click “File”.
  3. Click “Print”.
  4. Choose “Quality & Media”.
     Image 116
  5. Check the “Grayscale Printing” box.
  6. Click “Print”.

To set the grayscale printing option as a preset, select “Save Current Settings as Preset…” after selecting “Grayscale Printing”, enter a name for the preset, choose which printers to save the settings for, and click “OK”.

Method #2: Printing Images or PDF Files

Follow these simple steps if you wish to print any pictures or PDF files in grayscale.

  1. Open Finder and locate the PDF or image you wish to print.
  2. Right-click the file, select “Open With”, and choose “Preview”.
  3. Click “File” in the toolbar and select “Print”.
  4. Select “Paper Type/Quality” in the drop-down menu instead of “Preview”.
  5. Click “Color options” at the bottom, and select “Grayscale” in the “Color” section.
  6. Click “Print” to print your file in grayscale.
Image 117
Keep in Mind

You can select “Black Print Cartridge Only” in the “Grayscale Mode” to only use the black ink in your printer.

Difference Between Grayscale and Black & White

When printing in grayscale mode, the printer forms multiple shades of gray for every color, utilizing any required ink from your printer. Grayscale printing creates a more photographic version of any file and is mainly used when printing images and drawings.

On the other hand, black and white printing is monochromatic and utilizes only the black and white color that turns everything darker on your file than a specific threshold to black and the rest to white. This mode is ideal when printing written documents cost-effectively, as it saves you a lot of ink compared to grayscale.

Can’t Find Grayscale Printing on Your Mac?

If you cannot find the grayscale print settings on your Mac, try these troubleshooting methods to resolve the issue.

Method #1: Reconnecting the Printer

To get the grayscale settings, try reconnecting the printer to your Mac by following these easy steps.

  1. Unplug your printer from the power outlet and disconnect it from your Mac.
  2. Open the Apple menu and navigate to “System Preferences” > “Printers & Scanners”.
  3. Select the malfunctioning printer from the list and click the “-“ icon.
    Image 118
  4. Click “Delete Printer” if prompted.
  5. Reconnect your printer to the power source and your Mac, and check if you can find the grayscale option now.

Method #2: Resetting the Printing System

If you can’t locate the grayscale option on your Mac, reset your printing system using these steps.

  1. Open the Apple menu.
  2. Select “System Preferences”. 
  3. Click “Printers & Scanners”.
  4. Locate your printer, right-click on it, and choose “Reset printing system”.
    Image 119
  5. Click “Reset” in the pop-up to confirm your action.
  6. Add your printer to your Mac again and see if the issue has been resolved.

Method #3: Updating Software

To fix the issue of the grayscale printing option not showing, update your Mac software in the following way.

  1. Connect your printer to your Mac, either wirelessly or using a cable.
  2. Open the Apple menu.
  3. Click “System Preferences”.
  4. Open “Software Updates” and check if your printer is showing in the list.
  5. Click “UPDATE”.


In this guide, we have discussed how to print grayscale on your Mac. We have also discussed the difference between grayscale and black-and-white printing.

Moreover, we introduced and described a few troubleshooting methods to resolve the missing grayscale option on your printer settings.

Hopefully, your question has been answered, and you can print high-quality documents using the grayscale mode.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I print black and white on Mac Preview?

To print in black and white mode using the Preview app on Mac, right-click the file you wish to print, select “Open With”, and choose “Preview”. Click “File” on the toolbar and select “Print”.

Select “Image Quality” instead of “Preview” in the drop-down menu, and select “Black and White” in the “Color Correction” section. Click “Print”.

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