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Convert output to grayscale


is there a possibility in PlanetPress Connect to convert the output in grayscale respectively output directly in grayscale instead of colored?

Lets say I have a Connect Design template with text and images. I want to output as pdf but the pdf (content) should be grayscaled (without rgb/cmyk color informations).


I tried to use a css filter called “grayscale” ( filter: grayscale(100%); ) to convert some elements from colored to grayscale but it doesn`t work in the Connect Designer (nor in the output). The Mozilla website says it should work in Gecko 38.

If I view my Connect design document in the external Browser it works properly.

PS: The filter works neather for print nor for web sections…

Has anyone figured out a way to do this? I’m trying to figure out a way to do this as well.

Hope there will be a solution in a future update…

At the moment I have to use a workflow process. There I create PDF output through Connect plugins and then output that PDF through windows printer driver plugin (using a free pdf creator driver where I can set grayscale output).

It is only a workaround. Maybe you can go that way too.

Would it be possible to supply some context information about the need for this?
To me, grayscale output seems mostly something you would want to select at print time, unless it is somehow intrinsic to the document layout/design. But this seems to be an intermediate case.

Maybe this option is mostly needed only in the output.
Currently it is not possible to create grayscaled output without a Workflow process. In the output options of the Connect Designer there is not even the possibility to select the driver settings of a windows printer. So it is not possible to select grayscaled output.
Most users do not have direct access to the server (e.g. via RDP), so they can not build a corresponding workflow process. And there should be no need to do it. You can not build a workflow process for single one-off jobs.

Concrete use case:
We have a Connect Design Template with black text and variable images (logos). These image files look like they are grayscaled but sometimes they are colored (mixed in cmyk/rgb colors). In this case color informations would be in the print file and the printing machine would calculate higher click costs.

In previous versions of Connect Designer barcodes were created in mixed color (not real black/white). In version 2018 there was introduced an option for grayscale to avoid higher click costs.

Thanks for providing that context. So this is about printing in grayscale, which makes sense to me. This context will help us when we look into how we can add this to the software.

As a side note: I think you can build a workflow process for single one-off jobs. It would involve making the template (and probably the data mapper as well) variable. You would need a way to specify the template and data mapper when submitting. That can be either a simple ticket file that you submit along with your data, or you can even do a web form for submitting the job and picking the right template, etc.

last week we updated to the Designer Version 2019.1.0.57806.
We saw that images and barcodes increases our click costs, because they are printed in color instead of black and white.
Now we used the option “output in grayscales” of the barcode properties.
Testprints in PCL as PS are counted as color.
We only need two sections which are printed in color, all other should be printed in black-white.
Thanks for proposals to solve this problem.


PS: Today I have tested an 100% grayscaled image. This image is in PCL-Output also counted as color-print.

A little update from me:
Output in grayscales does for us not work with jpg and png (CMYK).
Graphic and barcode in SVG and CMYK, the printer count as black-white print (Konica Minolta C368-Series and C754e).
So I am going to change all barcodes and logos to SVG.
Maybe that helps someone else.

It’s 2021 and “filter: grayscale (100%);” still doesn’t work. Is there a CSS feature support list for Connect Designer? This would be helpful so we don’t sink hours trying to make something work that the software cannot do.

Hello Rmedeiros,

Thanks for reaching out. Connect is currently using Gecko 38 (as mentioned above) and we are working on an updated layout engine that should bring it to 2021 (and beyond). Unfortunately we don’t have a list of the supported properties (or properties not supported). I’ll bring this up with our documentation department to see if we can add a section to the online help or create a knowledge base article to list at least the non-supported entries.

For now when in doubt one could consult Browser compatibility list in the CSS reference on the Mozilla Developer Network (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/Reference). This doesn’t guarantee that Connect is able to output the property correctly as the software needs to map the respective feature to the intermediate PDFs created when creation output (which is unfortunately not the case for the filters mentioned).

Sorry for the inconvenience,



Above Erik says “Connect is currently using Gecko 38 (as mentioned above) and we are working on an updated layout engine that should bring it to 2021 (and beyond).”

Now we are in 2022 and I am using the latest version of PlanetPress Connect (2021.2.1.8220).

Do you have an update on when the updated layout engine will be ready? I have the need of using filter: grayscale(100%); on an variable image.

Thanks and have a good day!

Hello Kalle,

Thanks for reaching out. A quick status update. We are still working hard on the layout engine upgrade, it is one of our important development projects. Unfortunately things take longer than expected and no official eta has been set.

The grayscale topic (or filter property) is two fold. Support in the layout engine is only one part, we also need to apply the conversion when generating output. At this stage the only workaround I can think of is converting the images on beforehand. This could be done with a tool like ImageMagick:

convert C:/source/*.jpg -set colorspace gray -set filename:base "%[basename]" C:/out/%[filename:base].jpg

Hope this is of some help,


Thanks Erik! Then I know and I understand that it’s not easy.

I will try your workaround.