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Invert Colors on Mac

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Original Source: How To Invert Colors on Mac

Tired of the old traditionally schemed color display? Wishing for a change? This tutorials about achieving that on a Mac.



Keyboard Shortcut Method

  1. Simultaneously press the three shown keys at the bottom left of the keyboard:Keeping the previously mentioned button pressed, proceed to press the “8” button shown. Any other “8”, say on the numpad to the right, shall not work.
    • The "Control", "Alt/Option", and the Command Key are to be pressed together.
  2. Your new layout should look like this:                                                                                                                                               
  3. To revert to the original layout. If you wish to regain the original layout of the screen (because this process inverts the colors to a negative expose’), press the "Control", "Alt/Option", Command, and "8" buttons one more time, enabling the Mac to revert to its original color scheme.


 System Preferences Method

  1. Click on System Preferences. System Preferences is displayed as an icon with gears with an apple logo on it in OS X 10.3 and earlier, and simply as a silver glossy gear in OS X 10.4 and above. 
  2. Click on the Universal Access button. It shall be the last one in the System row. 
  3. In the Display section select the button “White on Black”
  4. Once again the colors will have reverted to the negative format.
  5. Second thoughts. To revert back, go back and click the radio button Black on White. 



  • On a shared computer do make sure all the users know about this change so as not to create a scare.
  • Before changing the scheme do consider the scheme of your visited websites. If their color scheme is mostly white or gray with black writing, you’ll have no problem reading the inverted color of the text. Combinations of more colors like blue and yellow will become unreadable due to their new contrast
  • Games and video will look weird with inverted colors.
  • The cursor may flicker while moving.
  • It is normal for the display to flicker a few times while changing schemes, no cause for alarm.
  • Photos will also appear negative. As an example, a picture of a black horse wearing a white or grey mask will, after inverting, appear as a white horse with a dark smudge for the mask.
  • The advantage of inverting the colors is to relax the eyes as a mostly dark screen will allow less light to reach your eyes.
  • Negative colors aid the visually challenged in using screens better.
  • This color scheme will also reduce battery consumption steeply as the screen will not be lit up so bright as before.
  • It may be noticed that while inverting the layout may be entirely black or white or of another darker spectrum (ex., blue will be orange-brown).
  • While reverting to the original layout if anything is off about the display (see warnings section) just restart the Mac and it should be fine.
  • If you have a screensaver configured then it is definitely a thing to see after inverting.
  • One use is to disable PhotoBooth’s screen flash with the shortcut above. Since the colors are inverted the screen will flash Black instead of white allowing a darker screen capture.



  • Don’t try this on a public computer; different users may not know how to revert the scheme.
  • Any media compilation (video or photo editing) is not recommended in this mode as it will affect the projects colors.
  • On older computers the white icon label of the dock icons may not appear and the magnification may stop to work. A restart usually fixes this although it has not known to happen on newer Mac’s.
  • If the colors have been inverted for an extended period of time and some applications appear to retain different colored properties just restart the Mac and it shall be fixed.
  • Inverting the colors may damage the system or the screen so usage is at the users on risk.

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