Is it possible to invert display colors on Windows like Macs can?
I have nVidia GeForce 6200 graphics card and 17" Samsung SyncMaster display.
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PowerStrip didn't work for me, and I couldn't find the advanced options in Nvidia (does it even ever exists with new drivers?) I was so disappointed to find there was no solution except the Magnifier trick, that I developed my own.
It's called NegativeScreen and it's a simple but complete program written in C# (sources open)
You can try it out here.
The following won't work for everyone, but if you have XP and an NVIDIA graphics card then there is a proper color inversion that is equivalent to the Mac. I use this successfully with my work computer.
If you don't have an NVIDIA card, then as others have said you can use the Accessibility High Contrast features to approximate inverted colors and the magnifier glass gives some functionality on XP, but I found this unsatisfying (and I have to use XP for work). Instructions are in other answers and in the wikihow article that I adapted the NVIDIA instructions from
Go to NVIDIA control panel - I can do this by right clicking on the icon in my tray and selecting "NVIDIA Control Panel", but you can also: Right-click on your screen and choose Properties.
Now you can invert colors - note that this is on a display-by-display basis. Also, there is a note that this is only inverting the basic display and that video will not be affected (unless inverted separately) - I have not explored this.
Now you should be able to use Profiles → Load... to switch back and forth. I have to re-open this control panel to invert my colors, but I plan to set this to some shortcut, once I figure out how...
The following screen shot shows that Adjust desktop color setting does not have the graph option under standard options:
The following screen shot shows that Adjust desktop color setting does have the graph option under advanced options (it is the second - not the default - tab under 2. Apply the following...:
The graph after inverting the colors:
You can sort that out programming a pixel shader or fragment program (OpenGL) to invert all the screen pixels synched with the refresh rate. I believe this can be done fast enough in the GPU to be executed in your gfx card model, altough I must recognize i'm ignorant about the pixel fillrate of the Turbocache variants.
If you don't have Windows 7, you can use a shareware app called PowerStrip, that will achieve the color inversion with hotkey support. I've used this extensively on XP. This app interacts with the video driver.
If you want to write your own app in user-mode code, then you have two options:
You can also download the debug symbols for the Window's magnifiers, and study those ;-)
You can use:
On PDF-XChange Viewer you can do it at Edit/Prefs:
[v] Override document colors; Use Custom Color Scheme: page background: black; [v] text color: white(gray); [v] Line Art: fill Color: black; Stroke color: black;
All these are solutions for a particular program, but with an inverter it can be done for any program.
This would be a pretty easy application to write. In fact, it would take more time hooking it up to a keyboard combo or some other hook than anything else. The best way I guess would be to make an application that just inverts the colors, and then add it as a shortcut, with a hot-key combo. Like Ctrl+Alt+I to Invert the colors, and again to switch them back.
If you need help with this let me know. This should only end up as an hour or less C++ application.
In Windows 10 it's even easier. Since build 16215 onward Microsoft included the color filter options for ease of access which can be toggled by Windows+Ctrl+C
Windows 10 now includes color filters at the system level, including filters designed to make it easier for people with color blindness to differentiate between colors like red and green and to make it easier for people with light sensitivity to create and consume content. You can find these new filtering options under Settings > Ease of Access > Color and High Contrast (previously called High Contrast Settings).
In some cases for older Windows maybe the shortcut Left-Alt+Left-Shift+PrntScrn to turn high contrast mode ON will help