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NegativeScreen is a Windows application allowing you to invert your screen colors.
Apart from accessibility matters, this software is especially useful when you are surfing on the internet in a dark room, and the screen is dazzling you.

NegativeScreen was designed to work without impacting the performances and fluidity of your computer.
Unlike the Windows Magnifier, which is also capable of such color inversion, it was specifically designed to be easy and convenient to use.

Different inversion modes are provided, including “smart” modes, allowing blacks and whites inversion, while keeping colors (about) the sames.


Simple Inversion

Smart Inversion




The color inversion takes effect immediately after starting the program.

NegativeScreen comes with a minimal graphic interface in the form of a system tray icon with a context menu.
You can toggle the inversion by clicking the tray icon, and access more features by right clicking it.

Along with these commands, you can also control NegativeScreen only by using hot keys. Read on…


Default hot keys

Win+Alt+H: Halt immediately the program
Win+Alt+N: switch between normal mode and colors inversion mode (Night vision :))

Win+Alt+F1-to-F11: change inversion mode:

F1: standard inversion
F2: smart inversion 1 – theoretical optimal transformation (but ugly desaturated pure colors)
F3: smart inversion 2 – high saturation, good pure colors
F4: smart inversion 3 – overall desaturated, yellows and blues plain bad, actually relaxing and very usable
F5: smart inversion 4 – high saturation, yellows and blues plain bad, actually quite readable
F6: smart inversion 5 – not so readable, good colors. (CMY colors a bit desaturated, still more saturated than normal)
F7: negative sepia
F8: negative gray scale
F9: negative red
F10: red
F11: grayscale

Keep in mind you can always change these defaults by editing the configuration file.



The version 2.0 (and 1.13) introduces a configuration file allowing to tweak almost everything in NegativeScreen.

You can now choose your own hot keys if you don’t like the defaults, and you can even add you own color effects!
This requires some knowledge in color matrices though.
I may add an easy way to build some in a future version…

If the configuration file (negativescreen.conf) is missing, you can use the “Edit Configuration” menu to regenerate the default one.

Should something go wrong after edition (bad hot key…), you can simply delete the configuration file, the internal default configuration will be used.


Windows XP Version


Unfortunately, the Windows Magnification API this application uses, is not available on Windows XP.
Therefore, I’m sorry to tell, there will be no XP compatible version of NegativeScreen.




NegativeScreen is freely available, along with its source code, under GPL license.


Latest binary version (if you don’t know what to download, take this one)

Legacy binary version (no GUI, but works under Windows Vista)

C# sources

ColorMatrix Viewer. Another program to easily view and edit color matrices…


► ChangeLog…

Version 2.4, 2014-11-30
- [fixed] force the working directory to be the one of the executable (so the .conf file is found when starting from the cli)

Version 2.3, 2014-03-28
- [fixed] crash if more than one custom color effect is added without an associated hot key
- [added] (re)added the ShowAeroWarning configuration option from the version 1.*
- [added] check box next to the current color effect in the right click menu

Version 2.2, 2013-02-17
- [fixed] avoid crash if a hot key cannot be registered
- [added] new ActiveOnStartup configuration option

Version 2.1, 2012-12-22
- [fixed] crash on Windows 8 due to inter-threads calls
	(this was not a problem on Windows 7)
- [added] new MainLoopRefreshTime configuration option

Version 2.0, 2012-12-14
Major update:
	- reworked entirely
	- better performances
	- smooth transitions
	- graphic interface (minimal)
	- configuration file:
		- fine grained configuration
		- custom hotkeys
		- custom color effects

Version 1.14, 2014-11-30
- [fixed] force the working directory to be the one of the executable (so the .conf file is found when starting from the cli)

Version 1.13, 2013-07-04
- [added] implemented the configuration file for the version 1.*
- [added] configuration option to disable the message warning about aero being disabled

Version 1.12, 2012-12-14
- [fixed] crash on Windows 8

Version 1.11, 2012-06-26
- [added] new red and negative red filters bound on F9 and F10

Version 1.10, 2012-05-15
- [fixed] infinite flickering on Vista (introduced in 1.8)

Version 1.9, 2012-04-16
- [fixed] stupid bug if the Windows taskbar is vertical
Version 1.8, 2012-03-22
- [fixed] execution is no longer prevented if aero is disabled (previous bug corrected)
		however, the performances will still be horrible

Version 1.7, 2012-03-21
- [fixed] works as expected when using custom DPI settings
Version 1.6, 2012-02-27
- [fixed] crash on X86 on launch
- [fixed] prevent execution if aero is disabled
		(prevent undesirable behaviours: black screens, 100% CPU usage...)

Version 1.5, 2012-02-16
- [fixed] (internal) ColorMatrix implementation
- [added] new feature: choice between 9 inversion modes
		(smart mode, etc... see readme for details)

Version 1.4, 2012-02-09
- [fixed] does not crash anymore on Windows Vista

Version 1.3, 2012-02-01
- [fixed] multi-screen should finally work!
		after a lot of tests and coding, I re-thought completely the architecture
- [knownbug] in some screen configurations, if the primary screen if smaller than the other screen,
		 the second larger screen has a black border at its bottom.
		 It could be a bug in the Windows API...

Version 1.2, 2011-09-18
- [fixed] multi-screen support (again) : bug with main screen on the right

Version 1.1, 2011-09-13
- [fixed] multi-screen support
- [fixed] when halted while paused, the application never stopped

Version 1.0, 2011-09-06
- Initial release

If you are interested in technical details, you can read the following post, recounting the development of this project (in French).

  • #1 written by I adore this program. I just have one question/problem.
    about 4 days ago

    “The color inversion takes effect immediately after starting the program.” … How do I have it NOT do this? I’d like the program to initialize upon startup but not invert. Right now I have the exe in my startup folder and it initializes fine, but it also inverts automatically (which I don’t want).

    • #2 written by Melvyn
      about 4 days ago

      The “ActiveOnStartup” property in the configuration file is there for that exact purpose :)
      Just edit the file, and replace ActiveOnStartup=true with ActiveOnStartup=false and you are done.

      And thanks for your donation by the way. It’s always much appreciated!

  • #3 written by Sam Watkins
    about 5 days ago

    This program is great, thanks very much.

    It doesn’t work with f.lux, so I made some matrices for simple inversion and uninverted that reduce blue light. Not sure if that’s already mentioned here. I don’t know what I’m doing with the matrices, but they seem to work! I am not using the smart modes because they smudge anti-aliased text a bit.

    Inv Red=win+alt+F1
    { -1, 0, 0, 0, 0 }
    { 0, -1, 0, 0, 0 }
    { 0, 0, -1, 0, 0 }
    { 0, 0, 0, 1, 0 }
    { 1, .8, .6, 0, 1 }

    { 1, 0, 0, 0, 0 }
    { 0, .8, 0, 0, 0 }
    { 0, 0, .6, 0, 0 }
    { 0, 0, 0, 1, 0 }
    { 0, 0, 0, 0, 1 }

    • #4 written by Melvyn
      about 4 days ago

      Hey! Thanks for the matrices definitions.
      The smart modes indeed do smudge text when ClearType is enabled, because the red and blue subpixels used with this kind of anti-aliasing and supposed to be aligned with the actual physical pixels, are inverted with the rest of the screen. If you disable ClearType, you will notice the effect disappear. (But it might not be more readable without any anti-aliasing though…)

  • #5 written by Mickaël
    about 1 week ago

    I found another matrix which I find interesting if you just want less luminosity:

    { 0.5, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0 }
    { 0.0, 0.4, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0 }
    { 0.0, 0.0, 0.3, 0.0, 0.0 }
    { 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0 }
    { 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0 }

    It’s slightly warmer than the previous one, and more readable.

  • #6 written by Don
    about 1 week ago

    Awesome program! Is there a way to invert colors on one monitor only on a multiple monitor setup?

  • #7 written by Mickaël
    about 1 week ago

    Hey, if you want, I made this little matrix which reduces luminosity without changing the colors :)

    { 0.4, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0 }
    { 0.0, 0.4, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0 }
    { 0.0, 0.0, 0.4, 0.0, 0.0 }
    { 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0 }
    { 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0 }

  • #8 written by Agustav
    about 1 week ago

    Wonderful app , I love it !
    I use it to negative color in ppt presentation , it’s OK on all version before powerpoint 2016 .

    In powerpoint 2016 presentation mode , it not works , but when I back to edit mode , it’s all right.

    I don’t know why , can someone help ?

    huge thx :)

  • #9 written by Lean
    about 1 month ago

    Is there a way to exclude applications from Negative Screen? I appreciate that it doesn’t mess with 3D applications but I would still like the ability to disable certain applications from being affected.

    By the way, I love Negative Screen. It’s a real helper, thank you!

    • #10 written by Melvyn
      about 1 month ago

      There is currently no way to exclude a specific window from NegativeScreen. Sorry.

  • #11 written by Silviu
    about 1 month ago

    Thank you so much for this! There are some years since i try to find an user-eye’s friendly version of changing ALL that is displayed. Just saved me!

    One tiny request: I would like to go a little further and turn the display into sepia (NOT negative sepia, as you provided already). Because I’m quite code-dummy, I’d kindly ask you for provinding the code for “classic” sepia so that I just copy it into the txt file and than use it.

    Many many MANY thanks!

    • #12 written by Melvyn
      about 1 month ago

      Thanks for using NegativeScren.
      Here is the color matrix for sepia:
      { 0.393, 0.349, 0.272, 0.000, 0.000 }
      { 0.769, 0.686, 0.534, 0.000, 0.000 }
      { 0.189, 0.168, 0.131, 0.000, 0.000 }
      { 0.000, 0.000, 0.000, 1.000, 0.000 }
      { 0.000, 0.000, 0.000, 0.000, 1.000 }

  • #13 written by Kip
    about 2 months ago

    Permanently missing colors.

    I love this program. It’s really, really useful for me, and I wish I’d had it for years.

    Just one problem… in Chrome on Windows 7, it’s permanently turned my pages grey. They stay grey even when I reboot without loading NegativeScreen.

    I’ve tried deleting the cache, etc.

    The page loads in color, and then flicks to greyscale.


    • #14 written by Melvyn
      about 2 months ago

      Mmmh, what you are describing is very strange…
      I have no idea what could be the cause of this but I’d say that’s unlikely to be NegativeScreen, especially if it’s not running when it happens.
      Did you check for any unwanted extension in your browser, maybe?

      • #15 written by Kip
        about 2 months ago

        Wow… uh… thanks for your reply, and questions.

        I thought at first, “What an idiot, of course it’s caused by negativescreen – this just started when we got it.”

        Turns out, while trying to get the greyscale to work, we’d also installed, yes, an extension to chrome.


        Turned that off an color’s back… well, when I want it.

        Thanks so much.

        • #16 written by Melvyn
          about 2 months ago

          Haha, it happens even to the best of us 😉

  • #17 written by UnderSampled
    about 2 months ago

    I love NegativeScreen, and actually used it before it was patched to work on windows 7, and even made my own custom transformations at the time — inverted green and amber are a must for the nerdy desktop 😉

    I’m now using it because SolidWorks, though it allows a bit of color customization, does not allow changing the colors of the interface (toolbars, buttons, etc). For some reason the 3d view flickers to be normally rendered when I click on something in it (the rest stays inverted). Any idea why this might happen?


    • #18 written by UnderSampled
      about 2 months ago

      On review, it appears that it is in fact applying the effect a second time, rather than removing it. if I keep clicking, it will apply the effect over and over again until the view is fully saturated (or dimmed). It remains such on the screen until something else changes about the view (I.E. rotating the scene)

    • #19 written by Melvyn
      about 2 months ago

      Which version of NegativeScreen are you using? Flickering and refresh problems were common on versions 1.*
      Have you tried inverting the screen colors with the Windows magnifier? Does is work as expected, or do you experience similar problems?
      If this is the case, then it’s a bug in the magnifier API, and beside transferring it to Microsoft, I won’t be able to do anything…
      If it works properly with the magnifier, then it might be fixable. Honestly, this is very strange, and I have never seen this with any application, even games or other GPU accelerated programs.
      Good luck, and thanks for using NegativeScreen :)

      • #20 written by UnderSampled
        about 2 months ago

        Version 2.4

        Sadly, it seems to do the same thing for the regular magnifier, and keeps applying a zoom whenever I click (even when it’s in lens mode). Oh well. Should I try asking microsoft or the makers of SolidWorks?

        • #21 written by Melvyn
          about 2 months ago

          I doubt SolidWorks has anything to do with the bug, because it’s definitely one, but Microsoft might be interested to know, and actually do something about it…

          Are you on Windows 7? If you have the opportunity, you could try to test this on Windows 8 or even 10, it might have been fixed!

          While I think about it, have you tried updating your graphic drivers to the latest version? I’m not sure, but it might be related.

          • #22 written by UnderSampled
            about 2 months ago

            Well, I just got home and tried it on windows 10, and it had the same bug. Not sure where to go from that.

          • #23 written by UnderSampled
            about 2 months ago

            Oh, and I tried updating display drivers on the Windows 7 copy I was working on and there was no difference.

          • #24 written by Melvyn
            about 2 months ago

            Sorry about that :/

            Maybe you could open a thread somewhere around here explaining your problem with the Windows Magnifier on all Windows versions, and hope the right persons from Microsoft see it…

    • #25 written by Patrick
      about 2 months ago


      Could you share the amber and green customizations?

      • #26 written by UnderSampled
        about 2 months ago

        Sure! Green was a fairly simple modification from negative red:

        Negative Green=win+alt+F12
        { 0.0, -0.3, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0 }
        { 0.0, -0.6, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0 }
        { 0.0, -0.1, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0 }
        { 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0 }
        { 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0 }

        Amber was a bit harder, I had to use the color matrix viewer, and I’m still not sure I like it. (it’s really just orange, half green full red from grayscale)

        Negative Amber=win+shift+alt+F12
        { -0.300, -0.225, 0.000, 0.000, 0.000 }
        { -0.600, -0.450, 0.000, 0.000, 0.000 }
        { -0.100, -0.075, 0.000, 0.000, 0.000 }
        { 0.000, 0.000, 0.000, 1.000, 0.000 }
        { 1.000, 0.750, 0.000, 0.000, 1.000 }

        • #27 written by Patrick
          about 2 months ago

          Wonderful! Thank you.

          Any idea how the Smart Inversion F2 option gets white text? I would like to have the negative green or amber only for all text versus having the entire background awash in green or amber.

          • #28 written by UnderSampled
            about 2 months ago

            There isn’t currently a way to modify only small parts on the screen, though I have played around with ways of doing that. If you just want to get rid of grays, you can try this version that has a higher gamma:

            Negative Green Sharp=win+alt+F11
            { -0.15, -1.50, -0.15, 0.00, 0.00 }
            { -0.15, -1.50, -0.15, 0.00, 0.00 }
            { -0.15, -1.50, -0.15, 0.00, 0.00 }
            { 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 1.00, 0.00 }
            { 0.30, 3.00, 0.30, 0.00, 1.00 }

          • #29 written by UnderSampled
            about 2 months ago

            Not gamma, contrast.

  • #30 written by bldawley
    about 2 months ago

    This is an awesome app. I can now actually see what i’m doing. Now if I only had this for my Windows Phone.

  • #31 written by habit.park
    about 2 months ago

    hi! I really really thank you for like this app!!!!!!
    really thanks!
    and i have a question!
    is it a free of charge? can i you this app in my office?

    • #32 written by Melvyn
      about 2 months ago

      Yes it is free, and you can use it however you please, as long as you respect the license.
      The program is distributed under the GNU General Public License, if you want to look for more information about it…

  • #33 written by Arrowcom
    about 2 months ago

    Thank you so so so SO much. You are a brilliant person and I appreciate it so much! I’m legally blind, going into university, and really needed something simple like this to work with. You are amazing!

    • #34 written by Yaurthek
      about 2 months ago

      Hey, thanks! Receiving messages like this is amazing! :)

  • #35 written by tony
    about 3 months ago

    All good! I’m having only one little problem, it seems like there is no way to remember last mode used, so that it will be activated automatically next time you open it.

    In other words, once you close the app, the last used mode will be lost and you will have to set it each time you open the app by pressing the shortcut for that mode. That to me is totally unnecessary and can be avoided very easily, but for some reason it just hasn’t been coded…

    …however, IS THERE ANY WAY TO DO THIS? like through the configuration file or something?? thanks!

    • #36 written by Yaurthek
      about 2 months ago

      Yes there is. Try to change InitialColorEffect=”Smart Inversion” in the configuration…

  • #37 written by Patrick
    about 3 months ago

    Is there a way to have all text inverted to a bright green color instead of white? I think green text on black background when inverted is easier to read.

  • #38 written by qualco
    about 3 months ago

    Could you do a “inversion” where the screen simply gets better readable, not a complete conversion but better and easier to read and no so tiring the eyes?

  • #39 written by Елисей
    about 3 months ago

    i need version for mac

  • #40 written by DontSueGoku
    about 3 months ago

    could you add the feature that only specific programs / the region of the screen where the program is if it is in foreground get color inverted? e.g. the new Skype 7 white/blue design is really annoying and you cant customize it anymore so it really hurts the eyes reading in the dark. Would also be the first program to be able to do smth like dis and I think it wouldnt be a waste since there are ALOOOT of ppl complaining about it .. just read this:

  • #41 written by Tori
    about 3 months ago

    Does it work on a lollipop andriod tablet well I’ve downloaded it and I don’t know what to do next?

    • #42 written by Yaurthek
      about 3 months ago

      No, sorry. This a Windows only application.

      • #43 written by Parker
        about 3 months ago

        Thank you for this awesome app.

        – Do you have any plans to release a OS X version? OS X has the built in Invert Color option but it’s simply Simple Inversion, nothing like Negative Red which I need to use a lot.

        – I’m running Windows 8.1 and using the Invert option in Magnifier, it does invert the color of the cursor. Could you please add this to the app to make it invert color of the mouse pointer too?

        – I’m not sure about the technical side of this, but is it possible to use color matrix to change color temperature, like Flux does?


        • #44 written by Yaurthek
          about 3 months ago

          – No plan for any version other than the Windows one, sorry. The main reason being that I don’t own a Mac and don’t intend to.

          – You are right, the Magnifier does invert the cursor. I don’t recall the details but I believe it’s doing additional work to handle this case (this is not just a switch). I remember trying to achieve the same thing, but I ruled it out for reasons I have forgotten. I might work on it again though…

          – I don’t know very much about the theory of color matrices, but in my understanding it should be possible to achieve something similar to F.lux, moreover if precise color temperature is not required (as when the goal is not photography, but reducing the eyes strain).
          This would mean adding a timer to automatically adjust the color transformation, and a lot of other settings though. I don’t think I will ever add this feature to NegativeScreen.

          Besides, if I’m not mistaken, F.lux does what it does by adjusting the system settings according to the time of the day. This is very efficient as the low level work is handled directly by the system, but it also severely constrains the range of allowed transformations.