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How to Invert Colors of an Image in Photoshop

How to Invert Colors of an Image in Photoshop

If you have ever come across negative film photography, the black or dark brown picture reel, then it is going to be simpler for you to understand what inverted colors are. One of the core elements of being an expert in Photoshop editing is experimenting with different color patterns and textures to add a layer of creativity to your images. In light of this let’s take a look at some very easy ways you can play with color inversion in Photoshop.

Inverting Colors in Photoshop: A Step-by-Step Guide for Two Popular Strategies

Strategy 1: Adjusting the Image

It’s quite interesting to note that the methodologies for changing colors to invert in Photoshop haven’t really changed that much (we’re talking about version 5.5 and the versions before this one).

While this method takes a couple of seconds to implement, keep in mind that it can cause some destructive changes to pictures, which is why it is recommended that you go with the other strategy we are going to discuss later. 

  • Step 1: Open the image or picture you want to invert colors in.
  • Step 2: If you’re using a Windows computer, press CTRL+I on the keyboard or if you’re using a Mac, press CMD+I.

And voila! You’ll have inverted the colors in your pictures!

Also, you can choose to open the Photoshop Image, click on “Adjustments” in the sub-menu drop-down list, and click “Invert”. There’s really nothing to it.

Strategy #2: Adding an Adjustment Layer

This is a more modern and less destructive way to make a photo negative.

Step 1: Open your photo in Photoshop.

Step 2: Click on the “Adjustments” panel. If you can’t locate it, you can manually open it by clicking on the “Windows” menu and clicking on “Adjustments”.

Step 3: Find and click on the “Invert” icon located under the “Adjustments” drop-down menu. This is going to add a layer of inverted color to your picture and will provide an independent masking layer for it.

Important Tricks and Tips to Know

Black and White Photo Color Inversion

If you wish to invert a black-and-white image, you can do so by first opening the image, and then adding another “invert” layer on it by accessing the “Layers” menu. This is going to invert the entire image, including the black and white regions as well as any greys.

Making a Negative Image Using Photoshop Elements

If you want to convert a positive picture into a negative image, you can do so by first opening the image in Photoshop and then clicking on the “Filter” panel. From the drop-down menu, click on “Adjustments” and then on “Invert”.

Common Mistakes You Should Avoid

Refrain From Just Using a Single Layer

When it comes to inverting colors or doing anything else in Photoshop, it is a good idea to create different layers for the same image so that it doesn’t become challenging for you to modify any layer at a later time. It is important to make your Photoshop workflow more flexible and amenable.

Don’t Neglect Using Masks

While deleting changes or erasing them is an effective way to modify things, you will eventually have problems. Working with separate image masks when you’re editing photos is going to allow you to secure all your information for each file, individually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to make a photo negative faster in Photoshop?

Yes. You can simplify the process by adding a new layer to the inverted image. To do this, click on “Layer” then “New Adjustment Layer” and finally, “Invert”. This is going to instantly invert the colors in your photo.

Is there a shortcut for inverting images in Photoshop?

Absolutely. Instead of clicking every time, you can invert colors in your photos by pressing the CMD+I keys on Mac or CTRL+SHIFT+I keys on a Windows system.

Bottom Line

In all, it’s not overly difficult to invert photos in Photoshop. It just takes a little practice. Inverting image colors is a very fun and exciting way to add a creative boost to your art projects or photography with just a couple of clicks or keyboard shortcuts.


  • Derry Skinner

    Derry Skinner is a seasoned Adobe Illustrator virtuoso with a remarkable 14 years of experience. Derry's journey in the world of design has been marked by a commitment to excellence and innovation. Specializing in vector art and graphic design, Derry has a keen eye for detail and a talent for transforming ideas into captivating visuals. His extensive experience includes working on diverse projects, ranging from corporate branding to intricate illustrations. Derry Skinner is not just an expert in Adobe Illustrator; he is a trailblazer who combines experience with a passion for pushing the boundaries of visual design.

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