Because I am reading lots of pdfs from the screen, the white background make my eyes tired. Is there a decent lightweight pdf reader that can invert colors of everything on the page?

I have tried Adobe Reader and Foxit Reader but they only allow to change document colors, if a document is a scanned document everything stays the same.

  • Alternatively to the answers below, you could install f.lux - it will make your screen's colors warmer at night, thus making it less tiring to read.
    – gronostaj
    Mar 28 '13 at 19:54

This is the Windows version of Cory's answer. This assumes you use Windows 7.

  • Launch the Magnifier. Search for it in the Start Menu.

  • Click on the Gear icon to enter the options. In the Options, check "Turn on color inversion".

  • Click OK to go back to the main window of the Magnifier.

  • Click on the "Minus" button until it shows 100%. Then click on "Views" and select "Full screen".

Your complete screen will have the inverted colors. Including your PDF reader, you just have to put it full screen.

For Windows XP:

  • Go to your "Start" menu and click on "Control Panel."

  • Click the link called "Accessibility Options."

  • Choose the task entitled "Adjust the contrast for text and colors on your screen."

  • Check the option "Use High Contrast" at the top of the page under the "Display" tab.

  • Open the "Settings" link to specify how you want your screen to look. Click "OK;" your current screen will close and you will be back on the "Display" tab.

  • Allow the changes and keep your "Display" window open by clicking "Apply," which is helpful if you want to experiment with the contrasts. If you already know which setting you want and don't need the screen to remain open, click "OK." A small rectangle with the words "Please Wait" appears in the middle of your screen and then the inverted color scheme goes into effect.

  • interesting but not as good as the Sumatra trick... thanx anyway...
    – ZEE
    Apr 24 '18 at 15:28

Sumatra reader got this right (what a surprise! It is one of the smallest pdf reader out there)

View > Settings > Replace document colors with Windows color scheme

worked for me while in high-contrast mode in windows. There is also a flag:

-invert-colors   will invert colors in the PDF (e.g. white would become black and black would become white)
  • UAU grande Sumatra!!! WOW great Sumatra!!! Works great
    – ZEE
    Apr 24 '18 at 15:15

Try Evince. It can View > Inverted Colors even for scanned documents.

  1. Make sure you are using Google Chrome as your browser.

  2. Go to the Chrome webstore and add the following extension: Invert Page Colors

  3. Upload your PDF to Google Drive.

  4. Once there, open the PDF in the Google Drive viewer.

  5. Click the Invert Page Colors logo in the top right corner.

  6. Vualá!!! ...PDF inverted.

  • Great... I did not know gDrive had PDF edition...
    – ZEE
    Apr 24 '18 at 15:16

download free app: Foxit Reader

1. go to:Edit >> Preferences >> Accessibility
2. check "Replace Document Colors"
3. select "custom color" and select colors that you need.
4. uncheck "Only change the content in Black/White color"
5. "OK"

by this works you can change colors of text and image.


Press Ctrl+Option+Command+8 to invert the colors of the whole screen.

Alternatively, you can go to System Preferences > Universal Access > Seeing > White on Black


  • 1
    This assumes the poster is using a Mac. However, the mention of Foxit Reader, which does not have a Mac version, leads me to think the question is for Windows.
    – Snark
    Jun 4 '11 at 7:34

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