With vision difficulties, my grandpa can't read text whenever backgrounded by dark color in the PDF in the screenshot beneath. Click here to download it, or see some of its pages at Google Books. It's too unproductive to remove each use of the dark background color one-by-one. Thus how can I, in one brisk stroke?

I've Adobe Acrobat DC Pro, Foxit PhantomPDF, and Nitro Pro. Acrobat states no background to be removed. They and SensusAccess converted the PDF to a Word file's that's too deformed.

enter image description here

  • Have you tried Preflight and correction in Acrobat? You can change color of the background to white. Jan 2 '19 at 8:48
  • 1
    The thing is they are not backgrounds but actual boxes with color. WHich si why they cant be removed as you would remove backgrounds.
    – joojaa
    Jan 2 '19 at 9:55
  • You can try converting to CMYK in Acrobat, making color separation, emitting only those plates which do not contain the colored boxes and converting the resulted PS back to readable PDF with Distiller. Nobody guarantees anything. You can lose colored texts, for example if you cannot make them black.
    – user287001
    Jan 2 '19 at 10:07
  • @user287001 Where can I find details and screenshots of those steps please?
    – NNOX Apps
    Jan 3 '19 at 5:59
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    @Greek-Area51Proposal This method is useless. All blueish happen to be colored with a Pantone spot color. This method removes also blueish texts. User mrserge has shown a workaround.
    – user287001
    Jan 9 '19 at 23:55

As I'm sure your grandfather will not read 2+2 with Pantone 302C printed edition, this should work fine for you. What we will do: convert everything to CMYK, then replace specific CMYK value with other and we will do that by using standard Acrobat Pro Fixups.

  1. All the blues (100% and shades) in the document are Pantone 302 C color. You can check that by opening Tools → Print Production → Output Preview.
  2. Open Tools → Print Production → Preflight and switch to Fixups. Preflight -> Fixups
  3. Search for Convert All Spots to CMYK and run Fix. Now all colors in your document are CMYK.
  4. Scroll to the page 22, as this is the first page with background fill you want to get rid of. Open again Tools → Output Preview and read CMYK value of the background. As I was converting Pantone with simulation to U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2, my CMYK values for background are 10:2:0:5. It's ok, if you will have different values. Just write them down as you will need to use them later.
  5. Open Tools → Preflight and switch to Fixups. Then click Options → Create Fixup. Name your fixup whatever you like and fill in CMYK values for target and destination. In target and destination you must choose Destination/Alternate color model CMYK (%). Just click on the button and choose it from dropdown. Then click Ok and run a fixup. Create Fixup
  6. Enjoy document without background. Here is your final PDF document with fixup applied.

P.S. Next time if you need to remove some other color, just change CMYK values for the same fixup and run it again. And be careful to check if there are any objects that shall not be removed but are in the same color; if so, this fixup will not be right choice.

  • Thanks. +1. Will this fix-up change text written in this color (Pantone 302C), like the headings? My grandpa doesn't want them changed.
    – NNOX Apps
    Jan 9 '19 at 5:04
  • Can you please see superuser.com/q/1392128/269574 too?
    – NNOX Apps
    Jan 9 '19 at 5:30
  • 2
    Main reason why I made conversion to CMYK is because in headings 302C is 100%, but in background is only 10%. So by converting to CMYK I can target only background color and don't touch headings.
    – mrserge
    Jan 9 '19 at 7:42
  • @Greek-Area51Proposal If the grandpa doesn't read well cmyk blue text, the color maybe can be changed back to Pantone 302C.
    – user287001
    Jan 11 '19 at 14:30
  • It is absolutely not a problem, since there is only 3 shades of 302C used in the document. You can easy transform them back to corresponding Pantone. Just take same Fixup and modify it to convert to spot by searching for a correspinding CMYK value. Background is already white so it will not affect the result.
    – mrserge
    Jan 11 '19 at 20:45

Why not just go to to the Content tab (in Acrobat) and then go to "Edit Object". I can probably remove all the boxes in 15 minutes (I already did almost 100 pages in 5 minutes). It's so easy. Just go page to page click the boxes and hit your delete button. You don't need plugins like others suggested. If you were to do a mass edit (if possible) on all 886 pages, or even preflight the whole darn document, it's just going to crash you (or you would wait an hour) if you have a mediocre computer system.

enter image description here

  • My grandpa has at least 20 PDFs like this, and this doesn't answer my question when I explicitly rejected this one-by-one gruntwork.
    – NNOX Apps
    Jan 8 '19 at 6:44

With plugin for Acrobat https://www.enfocus.com/en/pitstop-pro you can change selected color inside pdf. Select blue and set to white.

  • Can you please add more detail? Are you referring to PitStop Pro > Global Changes > Change Specific Color?
    – NNOX Apps
    Jan 3 '19 at 8:13
  • Sorry, now haven't Acrobat and don't wanna to install. But your way PitStop Pro > Global Changes > Change Specific Color looks good. Some years before regularly changed colors with this plugin. Jan 4 '19 at 21:12
  • I don't know how to use 'Change Specific Color' though? This add-on looks somewhat complicated to use.
    – NNOX Apps
    Jan 7 '19 at 6:15
  • 1
    I don't think that for this small purpose Pitstop Pro licence would be a good investment.
    – mrserge
    Jan 8 '19 at 14:53

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