The print shop is asking me for a PDF in CMYK colors even though they will use only black ink for printing.

My pages are originally laid out in color. Should I simply convert the page to grayscale and export PSD as PDF with PDF/X-1a:2001? Because now my black is like composite and not

1 Answer 1


So you should save your file as CMYK (With all data in the K channel) as requested. So after your conversion to greyscale choose:

Edit > Convert to Profile...

Under Destination Space tick CMYK then choose profile Custom CMYK...

Set Black Generation to Maximum to make sure the greyscale image moves to the Black channel only.

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Note that if your printer asks for a specific max black ink limit, you can set it here too.

Now you have a CMYK file where all black sits in the K channel only. Now you can save to PDF/X-1a:2001 just keep in mind that you don't want to convert any values!

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