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I was curious if it's possible to swap red and blue colors on my display. It's because I am colorblind and red is difficult to distinguish, if all red colors were changed to blue that would help me a lot.

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  • 4
    You could try chopping up a VGA cable and swapping over the connections between the RGB pins physically.
    – niemiro
    Dec 7, 2023 at 22:42
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    @niemiro VGA is much less supported now than it used to be.
    – Hearth
    Dec 7, 2023 at 22:53
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    Please add your operating system. Dec 8, 2023 at 8:35
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    BTW, I'd take a standard VGA cable or extension, break into the middle, insert a project box, and connect the R and B lines through a DPDT switch so you can revert to normal easily depending on the colour scheme you have to deal with. If that's interesting I can put more detail in an answer, and maybe even make a demo cable from my collection of spares
    – Chris H
    Dec 8, 2023 at 10:29
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    Why not use the accessibility feature of your OS to handle color swapping? No need to do radical hardware hacks. Dec 10, 2023 at 19:53

4 Answers 4

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I assume you're on Windows, which has support for the color-blind.

You access it in Settings > Accessibility > Color filters, where you may choose your filter and also see a colorful example to better choose your filter.

The Settings screen looks like this on Windows 11 :

enter image description here

You may find some more information in the article
Colorblind Windows Users: Try This Trick to Better Distinguish Colors.

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    Just for information on Windows 10 (22H2) these options are under Settings -> Ease of Access -> Colour Filter. Seems the name of accessibility options got changed for the better between 10 and 11. The menu also looks more useful and gives better examples under Windows 11
    – Mokubai
    Dec 7, 2023 at 15:18
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    I'm aware of the color filters, the problem is that they change the entire color palette of the screen... so if I select red-green (red weak), it will make red sort of disappear off the entire screen and just make it a very faint color.. This is not optimal, that's why I'm wondering if I can just swap the red & blue colors completly, it would be more useful to me. All I'm able to find online, is people complaining that these colors are swapped and how to fix it, but I actually want these colors swapped.
    – War Cryer
    Dec 7, 2023 at 15:45
  • I think that this is just about all you can do on Windows. There exist third-party programs that can do it a bit differently, see link, but don't expect them to exchange colors.
    – harrymc
    Dec 7, 2023 at 16:06
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    @WarCryer - well, if the canned solutions are not what you're after, yes, in theory, you could do that, all you need is a special ICC color profile that you can use with the usual color management. The problem is that I couldn't find any such profile ready made by googling for it. Strange, because it would be possible to create such a thing.
    – Gábor
    Dec 8, 2023 at 19:22
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Windows has an API to do exactly this. I wrote a simple program that lets you save a matrix as a text file and applies it using that API. To do what you want (swap red and blue) the matrix would look like

0 0 1 0 0
0 1 0 0 0
1 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 1 0
0 0 0 0 1

Right now it just reads the text file from the current working directory. I'd like to flesh that out at some point: auto-launch, minimize to tray, maybe a little GUI. That might or might not happen.

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  • I suggest also adding a sanity check to ensure sufficient signal remains. Otherwise someone will inadvertently map everything to black. Dec 8, 2023 at 23:49
7

Depending on your graphics card you might be able to adjust the desktop colour settings to suit you. Or there is some rudimentary display calibration built into Windows.

On Windows you can search "calibrate" on the start menu and you should see a Calibrate display colour tool:

enter image description here

If you click "next" in the bottom corner of that tool you should eventually reach this page where you can adjust colour balance. If you change the window from full screen you can see the effect in real time

enter image description here

On Nvidia you can right click any empty space on the desktop and select "Nvidia Control Panel" and then select "Adjust desktop colour settings" in the new screen you would choose the monitor and then under section 2 choose "Use Nvidia Settings" then change the "Colour channel:" dropdown to either Red Green or Blue to individually change brightness and contrast per channel.

enter image description here

Intel has a similar colour adjustment screen: (instructions in that link)

enter image description here

AMD has a similar area to calibrate your display colour settings which you can get to by again right clicking on the desktop and selecting "AMD Radeon Settings".

In that menu you will find a Display button
enter image description here

Under which there is a Colour button
enter image description here

Where you can configure colours
enter image description here

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    A demonstration of what the Hue slider does would be very interesting. While not a straight swap as the OP is looking for, it has the potential to get quite close
    – Chris H
    Dec 8, 2023 at 8:46
3

Going further on what I mentioned in a comment, I'd suggest you to try a color profile creator like LittleCMS Color Abstractor (I'm not in any way affiliated, just googled for it; but I know LittleCMS from past experience and it's a very good color management engine). It isn't free but you can try it free and the actual price looks rather low if you happen to find it useful.

You could create a completely customized monitor color profile with it and use it in the color management of Windows or macOS or Linux or whatever.

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  • The problem with monitor profiles is that they tend to be Tone Reproduction Curve style instead of full 3d-Look-Up-Tables. You could use the latter, but it would only be at all functional in ICC-aware applications like photo editors.
    – davolfman
    Dec 9, 2023 at 0:17

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