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5 Best Software to Invert Colors [Windows, Mac]

Last Updated on Mar. 25, 2022 – by Jayed Miah
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5 Best Color Inverter Software

If you enjoy taking photos as a hobby or a profession, knowing how to apply a wide range of color and visual effects to your images is essential. One of the most intriguing effects you can apply to photos is color inversion.

Inverting the colors in your photos creates a “negative” of the image, similar to what you would see when producing photos using actual film. The best way to create this visually appealing effect in your photography is to use color inverter software. However, some photo editing programs make inverting colors easier and produce a higher-quality effect than others.

To help you identify the best program for your needs, we’ve reviewed the top five best color inverter software of 2022. Read on to learn our top choices, how to invert image colors using software, and answer a few common questions about color inversion programs.


Top 3 Color Inverters Snapshot

PhotoDirector Logo

1. PhotoDirector - Best Overall Software

PhotoDirector’s user-friendly color curve tools and extensive range of pro-level effects make it our top choice all around. More Info >

Photopus Logo

2. Photopus - Best for Batch Processing

This simple photo editor makes it easy to invert the colors in an entire batch of photos and apply a range of other essential effects. More Info >

IrfanView Logo

3. IrfanView - Best Graphics Viewer

IrfanView is an old-fashioned yet practical graphics viewer with several photo adjustment tools, including easy color inversions. More Info >

What is Color Inversion?

Color Inversion Before and After

The concept of color inversion in photography originated with traditional black-and-white film. When photographers take images using traditional cameras, they first produce negatives of the image.

A negative is an image on a sheet of transparent film in which the lighter areas of the subject appear dark, and the darker images appear light. During development, photographers project these images onto paper and reverse their tones again, restoring the light and dark portions.

Photographers use a similar concept when developing color film. However, instead of simply reversing the light and dark areas of the photos, this process reverses the colors into their complementary colors. Then, photographers can project these color negatives to create a positive print of the image, representing the scene’s actual hues.

This reversal of colors is the effect that image color inverter software creates. When you invert the colors in your photos, you switch them with complementary colors: red with green, yellow with purple, green with magenta, and orange with blue.

5 Best Color Inverter Software

1. PhotoDirector - Best Overall Software

PhotoDirector - Color Inversion

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 10/10

Color Inverter Tool: 10/10

Key Features:

  • Pro-level color curves tool
  • Dozens of color effects and filters
  • AI-powered effects
  • Professional photography enhancements

If you're looking for an all-around photo editing program with pro-level color inverter tools, you can't go wrong choosing PhotoDirector. It's a user-friendly, comprehensive photo editing program featuring an extensive range of tools, effects, and filters to suit your needs — whether you're a beginner or professional. 

PhotoDirector lets you control the color inversion process with its color curves tool. This tool enables you to adjust the specific RGB values in your image, manually altering them to their inverted values. You can also edit red, green, and blue separately, enabling you to create unique looks.

Along with its color adjustment tools, PhotoDirector includes an impressive array of photo editing effects. You can apply AI-powered effects, such as sky replacement, or clean up your photos using professional photography enhancements. You can also add text and titles and choose from numerous color effects and filters to add to your photos. 

Download PhotoDirector for free to try out these features yourself.


2. Photopus - Best for Batch Processing

Photopus Demo

Compatibility: Windows

Overall Rating: 8/10

Color Inverter Tool: 9/10

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-use photo effects
  • Photo conversion tools
  • Simple color effects
  • Batch adjustments

If you’re looking for a tool that allows you to invert the colors in an entire batch of photos with a single click, we recommend Photopus. This simple photo editor features user-friendly batch processing and several essential photo effects, including color inversions.

Photopus makes it easy to invert photos. Simply upload all of the pictures you would like to edit into the program, then head to the color adjustment tools. Then, select the filter you would like to apply to your photos. The program includes a few filters that can invert or alter the colors in your images.

While this simple program includes several user-friendly features, you’ll need to purchase the Pro version to gain the most benefits from this program. Additionally, Photopus doesn’t offer many professional-level editing tools, so you may want to go with a comprehensive program if you plan to apply more advanced edits.

3. IrfanView - Best Graphics Viewer

Irfanview Inversion Demo

Compatibility: Windows

Overall Rating: 7/10

Color Inverter Tool: 8/10

Key Features:

  • User-friendly graphics viewer
  • Copious essential editing tools
  • Simple color inverter
  • Old-fashioned yet practical interface

IrfanView is technically a graphics viewer, a tool you can use to view images in your library. However, this program also features a decent selection of editing tools — including an easy-to-use color inverter tool.

IrfanView includes somewhat of an old-fashioned interface. However, the program is easy to navigate and includes several keyboard shortcuts to streamline your photo viewing and editing processes. For example, you can quickly invert the colors in a photo by opening the photo in IrfanView, selecting “Image,” then clicking “Negative (invert image)” in the dropdown.

While IrfanView doesn’t offer the selection of editing tools you’d need for professional editing, it is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a photo viewer that includes color inversion tools.

4. Adobe Photoshop - Best for Professional Photographers

Adobe Photoshop Color Inversion

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 8/10

Color Inverter Tool: 7/10

Key Features:

  • Flexible and precise color inverter tools
  • Professional-level editing effects
  • AI-powered editing tools
  • Layer editing

Adobe Photoshop is a professional editing program that includes a comprehensive selection of tools, effects, filters, and adjustments. If you’re looking for a pro-level program that can give you complete control over color inversions, Photoshop may suit your needs.

Adobe Photoshop allows you to invert colors using color curves, offering more precision and flexibility over your color adjustments. You can also invert the colors by creating an “invert layer,” which automatically flips the hues in the photo to their complementary colors.

However, Photoshop has a steep learning curve and is more suitable for professional editors than casual hobbyists. If you’re looking for a user-friendly program, we recommend trying another program from this list.

5. Adobe Illustrator - Best for Professional Illustrators

Adobe Illustrator

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

Color Inverter Tool: 8/10

Key Features:

  • Powerful illustration and design features
  • Smart, custom effects
  • Crisp, clear graphics with vectors
  • Straightforward color inversion tools

If you’re a professional illustrator or graphic designer, you may be looking for an illustration program that allows you to invert colors. Our top recommendation for you is Adobe Illustrator.

Illustrator is a powerful design tool that includes all of the features you need to create web graphics, illustrations, logos, etc. You can quickly invert the colors of any design by navigating to Edit, Edit Colors, then Invert Colors. You can also adjust the RGB values of the image for more precise edits.

While Adobe Illustrator includes powerful color adjustment tools for illustrations, it is not the best option for inverting colors in photos. Additionally, like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator requires a steep learning curve to master all of its features.

Best Color Inverters Comparison Chart

PhotoDirector vs

OS

Windows and Mac

-

Beginner-friendly

Yes

-

Color Inverter Tool

Color curves offering more control and customizable looks

-

Photo Filters

Yes

-

Color Adjustment Tools

Yes

-


Software
top pick sticker

PhotoDirector

Photopus
IrfanView
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
OS Windows and Mac Windows Windows Windows and Mac Windows and Mac
Beginner-friendly Yes Yes Yes No No
Color Inverter Tool Color curves offering more control and customizable looks Single-click batch color adjustments Straightforward “negative” color adjustment tool Single-click color inversion effects and more precise color curve tools Color inversion tool replaces the colors with their complementary hues
Photo Filters Yes Yes No Yes No
Color Adjustment Tools Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free Download
Free Download
Secure Download
Download Download Download Download

How to Invert Colors on Windows and Mac

Inverting the colors in your images is easy when you use PhotoDirector. This program includes a user-friendly, straightforward interface that anyone can quickly learn. Even if you’ve never used PhotoDirector before, you can master its color inversion tools within a few minutes.

PhotoDirector includes one primary method to invert colors, its color curves tool.

Follow these steps to precisely invert colors using color curves:

  1. Open PhotoDirector and upload the photo you would like to edit.
  2. PhotoDirector - Adjustments
  3. With the photo selected, navigate to Adjustment.
  4. PhotoDirector - Curve
  5. Select the Curve dropdown on the left-hand side of the screen.
  6. A box will appear with a diagonal line running from the bottom left to the top right of the box, indicating that the colors are in their natural positions. PhotoDirector - Invert Image color

  7. To invert the colors to their complementary shades, you will need to reverse the line in the box. Drag the bottom of the line to the bottom-right corner and the top of the line to the top-left corner, as is represented above.
  8. Once you are happy with the color changes in your image, you can save the photo. Click File, then Save.

Best Free Color Inverter Software

Inverting the colors in your images is an excellent way to transform their appearances. While you can invert colors using any of the programs on our list, we recommend PhotoDirector as the best choice overall.

PhotoDirector includes the easiest methods to invert your colors while giving you precision and control. Additionally, this program features numerous photo editing effects and tools, including impressive AI-powered effects like automatic sky replacement and background removal.

Adding PhotoDirector to your arsenal can provide you with an all-in-one photo editor for your editing and adjustment needs.

Download PhotoDirector for free today and try it out for yourself.

Color Inversion FAQ

1. What Features Should I Look For in a Color Inverter?

Color inverter tools can include various features that enhance your photo editing process. If you’re searching for high-quality color inverter software, we recommend looking for the following top three features:

  1. A user-friendly interface
  2. Precise color inversion tools, such as color curves
  3. Professional photography effects

If you’re looking for a color inverter that checks all of these boxes, we recommend PhotoDirector.

2. What are the best color inverter apps for iPhone and Android?

You can also achieve color inversion effects through mobile apps. Here are the top color inversion apps for iPhone and Android:

  1. PhotoDirector - Best Overall App
  2. Negative Image - Best for Negative Effect
  3. Negative Me - Best for Color Conversion
  4. Negative Photo - Best for Negative to Photo
  5. Negative Photo Effects HD - Best for Adding Effects to Particular Areas

Learn more about each in 5 Best Color Inverter Apps [iOS, Android]

3. How do I invert colors on iPhone and Android?

If you’d rather not use a desktop-based program to invert the colors in your photos, you can download a mobile app instead. You can find numerous apps on the Apple and Google Play app stores that allow you to invert colors.

However, if you’re looking for the most comprehensive, user-friendly app, we recommend using PhotoDirector mobile.

You can quickly invert colors in PhotoDirector using color curves. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Download the PhotoDirector app for iPhone or Android for free.
  2. Upload the photo you would like to edit.
  3. Select Adjustments in the bottom toolbar.
  4. Scroll to the left, then tap Curves.
  5. A box will appear that allows you to adjust the RGB values manually by dragging the diagonal line.

  6. Using your finger, drag the bottom-left point of the line to the top-left corner of the box. Then drag the top-right point of the line to the bottom-right corner of the box. Doing so will invert the colors in the photo.
  7. Click the checkmark in the top-right corner to save your changes.
  8. Apply any other color adjustments using the tools in the Adjustments tab.
  9. When you are happy with the results, click the Download button at the top of the screen to download a new copy of your inverted image.

To learn more, check out How to Invert Colors of a Photo [iOS, Android].

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