How to: Converting your Black To 1c Black For Printing

There are several steps necessary to get your book file ready for optimal offset printing. PufferPrint knows this can be confusing for a self-published author, so we have laid out some tutorials to help you.

Before converting your file to 1c black, your file must first be in CMYK mode. If you aren’t sure how to check or don’t know what that means, check out our other blog post Using Adobe Suite to Convert RGB to CMYK in 8 Steps to get you started.

Don’t forget, PufferPrint also offers its own formatting services if you would rather just leave it all to us!  Formatting starts at just $199.00 per book and includes everything needed to get your book print-ready, even if all you have are images, text, and a vision.  Email us at today if you’re interested in using our book formatting service.

Why 1c Black?

When working in CMYK color mode, the printer creates the color black by combining four colors. This is known as 4c black or 4 color black. Printing your text in 4c black can result in “fuzzy” text if even one of the 4 color plates is so much as 0.5mm off. 

To fix this, we recommend that you set your document to 1c black (1 color black), in which the printer will use black ink instead of combining colors to make black. This results in a sharper image and more consistent black throughout your book.

Converting your file in ­­8 steps:

For this tutorial, we will be using Adobe Acrobat DC with a .pdf file. This should be done once your files are fully rendered and put together as one of the last steps of your formatting process. 

Step 1:

Open your .pdf file. For this tutorial, we will be using files for a book PufferPrint has previously printed. 

Step 2: 

Once your file is open, go to the top left corner of the page and click on Tools. 

Step 3: 

This will bring you to a page of tools, scroll down to Protect and Standardize and click on the Print Production tool set. 

Step 4:

Next, go to the list of tools on the right hand side and click on Convert Colors.

Step 5:

This will bring up a pop-up screen. Under the Convert Options section, check the box for Preserve Black, and click OK. 

Step 6: 

Another pop-up will appear asking if you want to proceed with changing your document, click Yes. 

Step 7:

Now all of the black in your document has been changed to 1c black, but we want to check our document just to make sure it was done right. In the same list of tools on the right, click on Output Preview. 

Step 8: 

A screen will pop up showing you the color combinations of your file when printing. Hover your mouse over elements of your file and you will see the color ratios change. If you hover your mouse over a piece of black text, the colors should read 0% in every color section except for Process Black, which should read 100%. 

That’s it! Your files are ready for printing!  The best way to transfer your files to PufferPrint is to share the files using your own Google Drive or Dropbox account.  Or if you don’t use either of those, you can go to and share the files with

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