Print a presentation in black and white or grayscale

You can print your entire presentation — the slides, outline, notes pages, and audience handouts — in color, grayscale (grayscale: A series of shades from white to black used in displaying or printing text and graphics.), or pure black and white. Most often, however, you will probably choose to print in either black and white or grayscale.

A Green Idea...   

Before printing handouts or slides for your entire audience, consider placing your presentation in a shared location instead. Just prior to the delivery time, tell your audience the location; those who require hard copies can print them, and those that don’t won’t, thereby conserving paper and printer ink.

And, instead of printing your notes pages, consider viewing your notes in Presenter View. You can view your notes electronically as you deliver your presentation on a second monitor, thereby saving even more paper and ink. For more information, see View your speaker notes privately, while delivering a presentation on multiple monitors.

In this article


Overview of printing in black and white or grayscale

Most presentations are designed to be shown in color, but slides and handouts are typically printed in black and white or shades of gray (grayscale). When you print in grayscale, you get an image that contains variations of gray tones between black and white.

When you choose to print, Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 sets the colors in your presentation to match your selected printer's capabilities.

To check what the printout will look like, view it in print preview (print preview: A view of a document as it will appear when you print it.) before you print it. With print preview, you can see how your slides, notes, and handouts will look in pure black and white or in grayscale, and you can adjust the appearance of the objects before you print them. To access print preview, on the File tab, click Print. The print preview appears on the right side of the screen.

You can also make certain changes when you preview before printing. Again, on the File tab, click Print. Then, under Settings, you can select:

  • What you want to print: the presentation, handouts, notes pages, or just the outline, and whether to print all or just some.
  • A layout for handouts.
  • How to collate, or sequence, your printed pages.
  • Whether to print on one or both sides of a page (if your printer is set up for duplex printing).
  • Whether to print in color, grayscale, or pure black and white.
  • Header and footer options.

In a presentation, grayscale and black-and-white objects appear on the screen and in print as listed in the table.

 Note   Bitmaps (bitmap: A picture made from a series of small dots, much like a piece of graph paper with certain squares filled in to form shapes and lines. When stored as files, bitmaps usually have the extension .bmp.), clip art (clip art: A single piece of ready-made art, often appearing as a bitmap or a combination of drawn shapes.), and charts show and are printed in grayscale, even when you set the printer properties to print in pure black and white.

Object In grayscale/
pure black

and white
Text Black/Black
Text shadows Grayscale/Hidden
Embossing Grayscale/Hidden
Fills Grayscale/White
Frame Black/Black
Pattern fills Grayscale/White
Lines Black/Black
Object shadows Grayscale/Black
Bitmaps Grayscale/Grayscale
Clip art Grayscale/Grayscale
Slide backgrounds White/White
Charts Grayscale/Grayscale

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Set the properties for printing in black and white

  1. On the View tab, in the Color/Grayscale group, click Black and White. The Black And White tab appears on the ribbon at the top of PowerPoint.
  2. Microsoft Office Fluent user interfaceOn the Black And White tab, in the Change Selected Object group, click the settings that you want.

 Note   You can apply different grayscale or black-and-white settings to different objects (and to the background) on the same slide. Select the object for which you want to set grayscale or black-and-white settings, and then set the properties on the View menu. Do not make a selection when you want to specify the grayscale and black-and-white settings for the background, and then set the properties on the View menu.

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Set the properties for printing in grayscale

  1. On the View tab, in the Color/Grayscale group, click Grayscale. The Grayscale tab appears on the ribbon at the top of PowerPoint.
  2. On the Grayscale tab, in the Change Selected Object group, click the settings that you want.

 Note   You can apply different grayscale or black-and-white settings to different objects (and to the background) on the same slide. Select the object for which you want to set grayscale or black-and-white settings, and then set the properties on the View tab. If you want to set the properties for the slide background, do not select any object on the slide.

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Print a presentation in black and white or grayscale

  1. On the File tab, click Print.
  2. Under Settings, click Grayscale, and then click either Pure Black and White or Grayscale.
    • Grayscale     This setting prints the handout in grayscale. Some colors, such as a background fill, are shown in white to heighten their legibility. (Sometimes, this looks the same as Pure Black and White.)
    • Pure Black and White     This setting prints the handout with no gray fills.

Click Print at the top of the gallery.

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Applies to:
PowerPoint 2010