I have pdf files (books/documents) scanned with background. Today I was able to clean them properly that they look like a proper pdf document. I did so with Adobe Photoshop Elements but it required me to convert each file into bitmap (%50) one by one and I suppose it is needless to say that it is really time consuming when you have hundreds of images to be cleaned.

Then just recently I figured out that I can get better results with Photoshop using Adjustments>Levels however cleaning the documents this way is even more time consuming. I was wondering if I could create a preset or something (I'm pretty new to Photoshop in general) and apply the same levels in batch.

I would also be happy to informed if there is a better way of cleaning scanned documents/books in batch although, I'm pretty content with how it turns out with Photoshop.

I take care of the rest(cropping, ocr, etc.) via Foxit Editor and Adobe Acrobat.



  • Holding the Option/Alt key down when choosing Levels opens the dialog with the last used settings -- that may be helpful.
    – Scott
    Jul 20, 2022 at 23:27
  • I figured that I can save the actions and apply them in batch, however, as soon as I apply levels I cannot save my files as png. Jul 20, 2022 at 23:31
  • Ps will force you to save as a copy, & it will flatten layers for you. Alternatively, Merge Visible first Cmd/E [probably Ctrl/E on Windows] then save.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 21, 2022 at 6:47
  • You can apply a curve to all images in a PDF in Acrobat. It's a bit tricky, but might save you some time. Check out my answer here.
    – Wolff
    Jul 21, 2022 at 9:02
  • Your original images here were bitmap 2400ppi png files... is this what your'e trying to save as? Why not merely greyscale .psd or .tif or even .pdf for Acrobat?
    – Scott
    Jul 22, 2022 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


Try to check if your using RGB Color as your mode. Go to Image>Mode>RGB Color. That way you can save as png.

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