How to Print in Black and White

If you need to print photocopy-friendly documents or cut back on the amount of colored ink you use, you may want to know how to print in black and white.

How to Print in Black and White

In this article, we’ll take you through the steps to achieve monochrome copies using a range of printer models and applications. Plus, we’ll tell you what to do if your printer doesn’t print as expected.

How to Print in Black and White

In Windows and macOS, printers using a combination of black and colored ink can be configured to print using black ink only for every job.

For black and white prints, typically, your printer uses “grayscale” printing. This technique estimates the light and dark aspects of an image, with a variety of gray shades essentially using a mix of color inks.

To set your computer’s configuration to print black ink only select:

“Start” > “Settings” > “Devices” > “Printers & Scanners,” then select your printer then “Manage.”

Or you can change the setting before going to print from the application by accessing “Printing Preferences” found in the “Print” menu.

How to Print in Black and White on Mac

To print an image in black and white via Mac:

  1. Access “Finder” to find the image you need to print.
  2. Right-click on it, then select “Open With” and then “Preview.”
  3. Select “File” from the top horizontal menu.
  4. At the bottom, select “Print.”
  5. In the print menu next to the “Copies” section, select “Black & White.”
  6. Select “Print.”

How to Print in Black and White on Word

To print a Word document in black and white:

  1. Access the Word application and open the document you wish to print.
  2. Select “File” from the top horizontal menu.
  3. Towards the bottom of the menu select “Print…”
  4. Find and select the print in black and white option (the options available in the dialog box will depend on the printer).

How to Print in Black and White on Epson

To print in black and white using an Epson printer via Windows:

  1. Open the document you wish to print.
  2. Select “Printer Properties,” “Preferences,” or “Properties.” If these options are not available select “Options,” “Printer,” or “Setup.” Then select “Printer Properties,” “Properties” or “Preferences” on the next screen.
  3. From the “Print” dialog box, for the color setting, select “Black/Grayscale.”
  4. Select “Ok.”

To print to an Epson printer via Mac:

  1. Open the document you wish to print. If necessary, to expand the print window, select the “Show Details” button or click on the arrow shown next to the Printer setting.
  2. From the Printer pop-up menu, select “Print Settings.”
  3. Check the “Black/Grayscale” box, then “Print.”

How to Print in Black and White When Color Is Out on Epson

To force an Epson printer to print in black and white when the color cartridge is empty:

  1. Press “Windows Key + R” to open the Run command window.
  2. Enter “Control,” then select “Ok” to access the Control Panel.
  3. Select “Hardware and Sound.”
  4. Right-click on the printer you wish to set up.
  5. Click on “Printer Preferences,” then “Color.”
  6. Select “Print in grayscale.”
  7. Select the “High-quality” setting from the drop-down list.
  8. Select “Apply,” then “Ok” to save the changes. When printing, select “Ok” to confirm printing in black and white only.

How to Print in Black and White on Canon

To print to a Canon printer in black and white:

  1. Access and open the document for printing.
  2. Select the “Print” option.
  3. At the “Print With” drop-down menu, select “Color,” then “Black Only.”
  4. Complete the setup, then “Print.”

How to Print in Black and White on Windows

To set up your printer to print in black and white via Windows:

  1. Navigate to “Control Panel,” then “Printers and Scanners.”
  2. Find your printer, then select “Manage.”
  3. To set your print preferences, from the “Manage your device” window select “Printing preferences.”
  4. At the “Paper/Quality” section, in the color options select “Black & White.”
  5. Select “Ok” to save the changes.

How to Print in Black and White From PDF

To print a PDF in black and white:

  1. Open the PDF you wish to print.
  2. From the top menu, select “File,” then “Print.”
  3. Select “Preferences” from the gray pop-up box.
  4. Select the “Color” tab.
  5. Select “Print on Grayscale,” then “Use Black Ink Cartridge”
  6. At the bottom of the box select “Ok” to confirm the setting, then “Print.”

How to Print in Black and White on Google Docs

  1. Navigate to Google Drive and open the document you wish to print.
  2. Select “File” from the top menu.
  3. Select “Print.”
  4. From the pop-up window, select “Monochrome” under “Color.”
  5. Select “Print.”

Additional FAQs

What Printers Use Only Black Ink?

There is a wide selection of black ink-only printers that are laser, monochrome laser, and Inkjet models. To find them, search for “Printers” on Amazon and include the “Monochrome” filter option under the “Printer Colour Feature” section.

Can You Print if One Cartridge Is Empty?

In Windows, use this workaround to force your printer to print from one full ink cartridge:

• Select “Start,” then “Control Panel.”

• Double click on “Printer and Faxes.”

• Right-click on your printer, then select “Printing Preferences.”

• Select the “Color” tab.

• Select the option that’s applicable depending on your printer model, e.g., option to use the black or color cartridge only.

• Depending on the cartridge that is out of ink, under the color option select “Grayscale,” “Print in Color,” or “Composite.” Composite combines the color ink for an almost black color.

• If you’re out of black ink, change the font for text to print in brown or dark blue.

How Do I Get My Printer to Print in Black and White?

To print in black and white to an Epson printer via Windows:

• Open the document you wish to print.

• Select “Printer Properties,” “Preferences,” or “Properties.” If these options are not available select “Setup”, “Printer,” or “Options.” Then select “Printer Properties,” “Preferences,” or “Properties” on the next screen.

• From the “Print” dialog box, for the color setting select “Black/Grayscale.”

• Select “Ok.”

To print in black and white to an Epson printer via Mac:

• Open the document you wish to print. If it’s necessary to open the print window, select the “Show Details” button or click on the arrow next to the “Printer” setting.

• In the printer options menu, select “Print Settings.”

• Check the “Grayscale” box, then “Print.”

Why Won’t My Printer Let Me Print Black and White?

Below is a list of some things to try if your printer refuses to print in black and white. After each tip, print a test page to see if the problem is resolved.

• Try rebooting it. Turn the printer off, disconnect the power source and all USB cables. Let it rest for five minutes, then turn it back on.

• See whether the ink level for the black cartridge is low or empty. If you need to replace it, be sure to install the new one correctly.

• Make sure your printheads aren’t clogged. Most printer models have an automatic printhead cleaning function (check your printers user guide for steps on how to run this).

Note: This function uses a lot of ink, so you may prefer to clean it manually.

If the problem still exists, you can use your computer to run a test to find out the cause and how to fix it:

• In Windows use “Windows Key + I” to access “Settings.”

• Select “Update and Security.”

• Click on the “Troubleshoot” tab.

• Select “Printer.”

• Select “Run the trouble-shooter.”

• Follow the instructions and apply the recommended fixes.

Why Is My Printer Only Printing in Black and White?

If your printer settings are set to “Color” and you have enough ink in your color cartridges, try the following fixes in Windows to get your printer printing in color.

1. Uninstall your printer and drivers:

• Access the “Run” command by pressing the “Windows Key + R.”

• Type “control,” then “Ok.”

• Select “Programs,” then “Programs and Features.”

• Select “Uninstall” for your printer.

2. Remove from the device:

• To access “Device Manager,” type “devmgmt.msc” in “Run” and select “Ok.”

• Expand the print queues, then right-click on the problematic printer.

• Select “Uninstall Device.”

3. Remove the printer:

• To access the “Control Panel,” type “control” in a “Run” command window.

• Select “Devices and Printer.”

• Right-click the problematic printer and select “Remove Devices.”

• Reboot your computer.

4. Delete temporary files:

• In a “Run” command window type “%temp%”, then select “Ok.” This opens the temporary files folder.

• Select all the files in the folder, then “Delete.”

• Reboot your computer.

5. Install the latest printer driver:

• Navigate to the HP Printer Driver page.

• Find your printer and download the latest printer drivers.

• Run and install the drivers on your PC.

• When prompted, connect your printer to your computer.

• Reboot the system (just in case), then try printing your color document again.

What Is the Best Black and White Printer?

The best black and white printers for 2021 so far include:

Processing Power:

• The Brother DCP-L5500DN, available on Amazon, can process up to 42 pages per minute.

Functionality:

• The Canon imageCLASS MF267dw, also available on Amazon, can print, copy and fax and much more.

Budget:

• For around $179.99, the Brother HL-L2350DW, available from adorama.com, is suitable for reasonably light printing needs.

Printing in Monochrome

Printing in monochrome/grayscale is not only environmentally friendly and cheaper, but it can also create stunning classics when used to print images. It’s perfect for printing crisp clear written documents suitable for photocopying.

Now that you’re caught up on how to print in black and white, did you use the grayscale setting to print an image? Were you pleased with how it turned out? Let us know in the comments section below.

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