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How to Invert the Colors of an Image in Photoshop

Photoshop makes color inversion easy. Here’s how to easily apply it to the colors in a single photo, or in a batch of images.

Invert image colors in Photoshop

Color inversion takes the original colors in an image, and then applies the colors that are the exact opposite of those colors. You can invert the colors of an image using various tools, including Adobe Photoshop.

Photoshop has multiple ways to apply color inversion. You can invert the colors of a single image, as well as multiple images. Here, we’ll show you how to do both with the color inversion tool in Photoshop.

Invert the Colors of an Entire Image in Photoshop

With Photoshop, you can invert the colors of an entire image or a selected area of an image. This section covers how to invert the colors of an entire photo in Photoshop.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Launch Photoshop on your computer, and click File > Open. Select the image that you want to use.
  2. When Photoshop opens the photo, click Image > Adjustments > Invert in the menu bar.

    Invert photo colors in Photoshop

  3. The colors in your photo should now be inverted.

To undo your change, just press Ctrl + Z (Windows) or Command + Z (macOS).

Invert the Colors of an Image Using a Keyboard Shortcut

A Photoshop keyboard shortcut will make it more convenient and faster for you to invert the colors in your images. You just need to press a key combination and that will apply the color inversion effect to your photo.

If you’re using Photoshop on Windows, open the image you want to invert the colors for in the app, and then quickly press Ctrl + I. That will invert the colors for you.

Invert photo colors in Photoshop using a Windows shortcut

On a Mac, you need to use the Command + I keyboard shortcut to invert your photo’s colors.

Invert photo colors in Photoshop using a macOS shortcut

Invert the Colors of a Specified Area in an Image

Photoshop lets you selectively invert colors as well, which means you can select a part of your photo, and only invert the colors in that portion.

To do this in Photoshop, follow these steps:

  1. Open your image with Photoshop.
  2. Click the Selection tool in the toolbar panel on the left. Alternatively, press M to activate the Selection tool.
  3. Now, select the area of your photo that you want to invert.
  4. Click the Image menu at the top, and select Adjustments followed by Invert.

    Invert colors for specific areas in Photoshop

  5. Photoshop will invert the colors in your selected area.

Make sure you save the edited photo before closing Photoshop.

How to Invert the Colors of Multiple Images at Once

You can use Photoshop’s Action feature to apply color inversion to several photos at once. This inverts the colors of all your images with a few clicks, and you don’t need to perform the task for each photo individually.

Related: How to Select All of the Same Color in Photoshop

Here’s how to create an action to invert the colors of an image in Photoshop:

  1. Create a new folder on your desktop and call it Original Photos.
  2. Copy all the photos that you want to invert the colors of to this folder.
  3. Create another folder on your desktop and name it Inverted Photos. This will house all your photos when their colors are inverted with Photoshop.
  4. Open an image with Photoshop.
  5. If you don’t see the Actions panel already, click Window > Actions at the top to enable the panel.
  6. In the Actions panel, click Add (+) to create a new action.

    Create an action in Photoshop

  7. Enter a meaningful name for your action, perhaps “Invert Photo Colors.” Then, click Record.
  8. Now that the action recording has begun, click Image > Adjustments > Invert.

    Record the action to invert photo colors

  9. When the colors are inverted, click the File > Save As option.
  10. Don’t enter anything in the name field. Just choose the Inverted Photos folder that you created earlier, and then click Save at the bottom.
  11. Click the Stop icon in the Actions panel to stop recording your action.
  12. To batch invert colors for your photos, click File > Automate > Batch in Photoshop.

    Bulk invert photo colors in Photoshop

  13. Choose your newly-created action from the Action dropdown menu.
  14. Select Folder from the Source menu.
  15. Click Choose beneath the Folder menu and choose the Original Photos folder on your desktop.
  16. Hit OK and Photoshop will start inverting the colors of all your photos in the Original Photos folder.

Photoshop will save the inverted color versions of your photos in the Inverted Photos folder on your desktop.

Turn Your Photos Into Negatives and Vice Versa

Photoshop has nearly any photo editing tool you can think of, and one of these is color inversion.

Using this, you can invert the colors of a single photo, as well as multiple pictures in just a few clicks. You can also use this option to turn your negatives into colored photos, and vice versa.

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