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How to Print Test a PDF: Color or Black & White (Sample PDF Inside)

February 7, 2022
Inkit Team

When using a template or a new printer, you need to print test your pages and PDFs to preview what will be printed out subsequently. 

After printing out some copies that turned out fine, you might be tempted to save time and paper by not test printing other templates. 

But the actual time saving is print testing new designs before printing in bulk because templates differ in alignment, thereby in the paper.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Why Print Test A PDF Before Printing
  • How to Print Test a PDF file (Sample PDF Document to Print Test)
  • How to Print Test A PDF With Adobe Acrobat
  • How to Print Test A PDF With Microsoft Word
  • How to Print Test A PDF Online With Google Chrome
  • How to Print Multiple PDF Documents
  • How to Convert PDF into Black and White Before Print Testing
  • Checklist To Consider Before Print Testing

Why Print Test A PDF Before Printing

Apart from saving time and paper as stated above, these are a few other important reasons to test print your pages or PDFs before bulk-printing the needed pages:

  • It helps you print out a template after which you can spot and correct errors if need be.
  • It allows you to know the correct printer settings for different design templates.
  • It helps to compare color and black and white printing.

In short, a printer test page simply tests the quality of your print and the number of colors coming out through the printer head.

It’s better to do a print test first before printing out 100+ pages, only to realize the quality isn’t what you were expecting.

How to Print Test a PDF file (Sample PDF Document to Print Test)

Print testing a PDF is not as straightforward as pressing CTRL+P to print out your document.

But as you’re about to see below, it’s still fairly simple to print test a PDF file - whether you want to do it with Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, or online with Google Chrome.

In most cases, you'll want to select Microsoft Print to PDF in your printing settings, depending on your tool.

And if you’re wondering WHAT to print test, you can use this sample PDF - which has a color wheel, gray ramp, imageable area, interpreter information, and other elements.

printer test page pdf sample document

Grab the print test PDF file here.

Now, let’s take a look at what doing a proper print test might look like across a few different PDF tools.

How to Print Test A PDF With Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat helps you create and edit your PDF, you can print test following these steps:

1. Launch your Adobe Acrobat software

2. Create the file or choose the PDF from your files and open it.

3. Click on the File tab, and click on print.

4. In the resulting dialog box, select your printer.

5. In the following menu, select All under the Pages to Print Option.

6. Click on the Advanced settings option, and choose the layout or any other feature you want to change.

7. You can also change the setting to print either color or Black and White.

8. Once you have set all your printing preferences, click print, and have your PDF printed out.

9. Check in the light to see if it has the perfect alignment and coloring.

How to Print Test A PDF With Microsoft Word

If you have Microsoft Word as your default word processing software, you can do a print test of your PDF file with these steps:

1. Open your PDF with Microsoft Word.

2.Click on the File tab in the upper left corner.

3. Select Print.

4. It will show a menu with the printing settings; print all pages.

print test pdf ms word

5. You can change the default to the printer connected to the device.

ms word print test location for pdf file

6. Set the paper specifications to your choice.

paper specifications settings when printing pdf

7. Click on Printer Settings to change the printer specifications. 

8. Click on Page Setup to set the paper's outlook; the margins, alignment, layout, and others.

print test pdf page setup

9. After you have set all to specifications, scroll up and click on print, with the number of copies as 1.

10. After printing, check for all specifications. If you are not satisfied with a setting, change it on the device or printer and print test it again.

To Print test it in color:

  • Click on Files > Options.
  • Click on More > Options.
  • Click on the display menu.

And under Printing Options, choose Print background colors and images.

print options for pdf testing
  • Then select ok and follow the printing process explained above.

Need more info on managing your PDF documents with MS Word?

Also read:

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
Start for free

How to Print Test A PDF Online With Google Chrome

Google Chrome has an in-built PDF viewer that allows you to print the PDF. 

This is the most convenient way to print test a document online, especially if you already use Chrome to open PDF documents.

Follow these steps to print a PDF with Google Chrome PDF Reader:

1. Open your print-test-ready PDF file with Google Chrome.

2. In the top right corner, there are three icons. Click on the printer icon.

chrome printer icon to test pdf

3. In the resulting menu, it will show the number of pages. Select a destination and set it to the connected printer.

4. Select the Pages option and choose either All or Odd pages only or Even pages only.

5. Click on the color menu, and choose either black and white or color printing. If you want to test the color of your PDF documents, you’ll want to select color printing.

print test to pdf

6. Click on more settings to choose how the PDF pages will appear on the paper.

pdf scale settings

7. After you are done with all settings, click on print. And you will have your files printed out.

How to Print Multiple PDF Documents

When you have multiple PDFs to print, it takes a lot of time to view each of them before printing. 

Once you’ve print-tested your PDF document, you can print multiple files by following these steps:

  1. Open a folder and add all the PDFs you want to print in it. 
  2. Open the device and printer's settings.
  3. Click on the printer you connected to your device.
  4. Then click on see what’s printing.
  5. In the resulting window, open the created folder and select all (CTRL + A) the PDFs in the folder.
  6. A dialog box will pop up and seek permission to print all files simultaneously. Select Yes. And all your PDFs will be printed out.

This is how to print multiple PDFs in Windows. 

To learn how to print multiple pdfs at once, see this guide, which includes printing on a Mac, online, and more.

How to Convert PDF into Black and White Before Print Testing

Converting PDFs to black and white compresses the file’s size and saves ink when printing out the PDFs. 

If color isn’t important to you when print testing, you can convert your PDF document to black and white or grayscale first.

Here’s how to do this with Adobe Acrobat:

  1. Open the PDF with Adobe Acrobat reader.
  2. In the tool tab, click on Print Production.
  3. Then select Pre-flight > Essentials tabs > Select prepress, color and Transparency
  4. After, you will see the Convert colors menu and select Convert to Grayscale.
  5. Choose Analyze and Fix
  6. Your PDF would have been converted; click on save file and input a new name for the converted file.
  7. Once you select Saved, you have your Black and White PDF.

For a more detailed guide on this with screenshots, as well as how to do it on different devices, see our full guide on how to convert your PDF to black and white (or grayscale).

Then, you can proceed with the print test step-by-step instructions mentioned above.

Checklist To Consider Before Print Testing

Wondering what you should check before printing your PDF document?

You might want to also consider the following things:

  • Is your monitor calibrated?
  • Do you have the right type of paper ready for printing? (matte, semi-glossy, coated, etc.).
  • Are there enough papers in the printer to print out the whole PDF document?
  • Are the images in the right resolution?
  • Are you using the same settings you will use when doing the actual printing?
  • Is there anything specific you’ll want to know about your physical printer?


Print testing your PDF is similar to printing a sample of your PDF file to check for errors in alignment, layouts, printer ink. 

It might be to test a new printer or a new template. 

Either way, it is advisable to do a test print when trying out new things with your PDF printing. 

And to recap, you’ll want to print test a PDF document that has the most essential components you want in a physical document: Such as, proper color (RGB, gray ramp, etc.), an imageable area, the correct size and dimensions, and more.

As a sample PDF to test, you can grab this printer test page.

Need more info on managing your PDF documents?

You’ll also want to read:

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
Start for free