When I print my presentation in black and white or grayscale, it doesn't look good


You presentation doesn't look the way that you want it to when you print it in black and white or grayscale.


You can print your PowerPoint presentation in either of two monochrome modes in PowerPoint: in Pure Black and White, or in Grayscale. The changes in appearance from your original color presentation differ between these two modes.

The main difference is that when you print in Grayscale mode, all object parts (including text) are still printed, but only in black and white and shades of gray, and not in other colors. When you print in Pure Black and White mode, on the other hand, only a few types of objects can include shades of gray. Everything else will either appear as black, appear as white, or be hidden altogether. (For more details, see the How objects appear in the two modes section of this article.)

Within each print mode, you have several options for how text and objects are displayed and printed. You can adjust these settings in either Grayscale view or Pure Black and White view.


To change how your printed monochrome presentation looks, either you can change both the view and the print mode (from Grayscale to Pure Black and White, or the other way around), or you can change the appearance of individual objects within the current view and print mode.

 Important   The steps in the following procedures have no effect on the appearance of your original color presentation when it is printed or displayed in color.

Change the view and print mode

  1. On the View menu, point to Color/Grayscale, and then click either Grayscale or Pure Black and White.
  2. Click Print on the File menu, and then, in the Print dialog box, click the appropriate print mode in the Color/Grayscale list.

Change individual object appearance

While viewing your presentation in either Grayscale view or Pure Black and White view, do the following:

 Tip   To make the same change to multiple items in one operation, hold down SHIFT while you click each of the items to select them all. Release the SHIFT key, right-click any one of the selected items, and then click the option that you want on the shortcut menu.

How objects appear in the two modes

The following table identifies how the objects in your presentation appear, both onscreen and in print, in the two different modes.

Notice that 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 are displayed and printed in grayscale, even when you view and print them in pure black and white.

Object 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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Applies to:
PowerPoint 2003