How to invert colors on PDF files [Adobe, Photoshop, Chrome]

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
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  • Inverting PDF colors mean changing the colors on elements on the document to their reverse colors.
  • You can flip the colors on PDF files using Adobe Reader, Photoshop, or Google Chrome.
  • For more guides for manipulating documents, software, or hardware, visit our How To section.
  • You may also bookmark our Software category to instantly access similar articles.
how to invert colors pdf

You may want to invert colors on PDF files for many reasons – from reading them in dim light to just wanting it to look better. By inverting PDF colors, I mean replacing every color by its exact opposite color.

Instead of downloading software for modifying PDF files, we only included tools that you probably use already.

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Adobe Reader, for instance, is not merely a PDF opener, but it also lets you invert colors and carry out other crucial operations, such as merging PDF files.

Regardless of why you want to retouch the PDF, this guide will show you how to do it easily.

1. Invert PDF colors with Adobe Reader

invert-colors-pdf-adobe-reader

  1. Right-click on the PDF document for which you want to invert its colors.
  2. Go to Open with and choose Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  3. Click on the Edit menu.
  4. Select Preferences.
  5. Choose Accessibility from the left-hand pane.
  6. Mark the Replace Document Colors checkbox.
  7. Select the Custom Color radio option.
  8. Click on the checkboxes for Page Background and Document Text.
  9. For each of the above options, select your preferred color.
  10. Hit OK to save your new color preferences.
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

This amazing software enables you to apply a variety of professional-level effects to your document with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Note: This method of inverting colors on PDF works on all editions of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Also, the change in color is only for your viewing. If you open the PDF with a different reader or print the document, you’ll have the original colors.


2. Invert PDF colors with Photoshop

invert-colors-pdf-photoshop

  1. Download Photoshop.
  2. Click on the File menu.
  3. Select Open.
  4. Browse and choose the PDF file that you want to edit.
  5. Click on the Pages radio button.
  6. Select the page that you wish to edit.
  7. Hit the OK button.
    invert-colors-pdf-select-page-photoshop
  8. Press the CTRL key and I together.
  9. Click on the File menu.
  10. Select the Save As… option.
  11. Click on the dropdown menu next to Save as type and choose Photoshop PDF.

However, Photoshop handles your PDF as an image. You can invert the PDF colors with Photoshop, but on saving the file as a PDF, it loses PDF characteristics.

Adobe Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop CC

This powerful software ensures that you can invert your colors in PDF files without any issues while offering you access to a wide range of other useful PDF editing tools.

3. Invert PDF colors using Google Chromeinvert-colors-pdf-chrome

  1. Right-click on the PDF document.
  2. Go to Open with > Google Chrome.
  3. Press SHIFT + CTRL + I to open the console.
  4. Make sure that you’re on the Console tab.
  5. Copy the following code and paste it into the console and hit Enter:

var cover = document.createElement("div");
let css = `
position: fixed;
pointer-events: none;
top: 0;
left: 0;
width: 100vw;
height: 100vh;
background-color: white;
mix-blend-mode: difference;
z-index: 1;
`
cover.setAttribute("style", css);
document.body.appendChild(cover);

At this point, you can close the console. Similar to the first method, inverting PDF colors using Chrome is not permanent. The modifications disappear as soon as you close the browser or tab.


It’s up to you to pick a method that suits your goals. If you want to flip the colors on the PDF permanently and don’t mind doing it one page at a time, then Photoshop will suffice.

Otherwise, you can try doing it on Chrome or the useful Adobe Reader application.

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Feel free to share your experience with us by using the comment section below.

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