I'm looking for alternatives to Adobe Acrobat Pro for converting the color profiles of PDFs for newsprint. I commonly use Acrobat Pro to prepare files for four color offset printing. The color conversion tool in Acrobat pro converts the work to a given profile (like U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2), and promotes grays to CMYK plain black (100%K 0%CMY). Is there any other tool which has comparable functionality?

2 Answers 2


I've used Enfocus Pitstop, but the software is expensive.

If you already have Acrobat Pro, that's probably your best bet.
You can automate your workflow by creating a Droplet that runs Preflight fixes.

On the Mac, can also use Applescript or Automator with Folder Actions to flow files to the droplet.


I'm not 100% sure on this but you might look into any PDF software that works with Ghostscript. I know at work my coworkers have CutePDF (only I have Acrobat Pro) so looked it up; from what I can tell it works with Ghostscript to do conversion. I think you need to get the pro version of CutePDF to have Ghostscript with it.

You might be able to just use Ghostscript from the command line though. There may be other free / opensource PDF tools that use Ghostscript besides CutePDF.

Ghostscript Manual

  • 1
    Would it be possible for you to provide an example ghostscript command which addresses the question?
    – cg433n
    Jan 21, 2014 at 21:25

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