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How do I invert text in PDF?

Inverting text in a PDF allows you to reverse the colors, making light text dark and dark text light. This can make a PDF easier to read, especially if it contains scanned documents. There are a few different ways to invert text in a PDF, depending on what tools you have available.

Using Adobe Acrobat

If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat, you can use the TouchUp Reading Order tool to invert text in a PDF. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Go to the Tools pane and select Content Editing > TouchUp Reading Order.
  3. In the TouchUp Reading Order toolbar, click Invert All Colors.
  4. Save the changes to the PDF. The text colors will now be inverted.

This is the easiest way to quickly invert all text in a PDF using built-in Acrobat tools. You can also select specific areas of text and invert just those selections.

Using Print to PDF

If you don’t have the full Acrobat software, you can invert a PDF’s text by using the print dialog box in your operating system.

For example, on Windows:

  1. Open the PDF in a PDF reader and select Print.
  2. In the print dialog box, select the printer and click Preferences or Properties.
  3. Look for an option to invert colors and select it.
  4. Save the changes as a PDF instead of printing.

The steps are similar on Mac:

  1. Open the PDF in Preview and select File > Print.
  2. Click the drop-down next to PDF and select Save as PDF.
  3. Check the Invert Colors option.
  4. Save the PDF to invert the text.

Using Online PDF Tools

There are also many free online PDF tools that allow you to invert text colors:

  • Sejda – Upload a PDF and download an inverted version.
  • ILovePDF – Drag and drop to invert a PDF.
  • PDF2Go – Invert PDF text with one click.

These tools work right in your web browser without needing to install any software. They allow you to quickly invert a PDF to make it more readable.

Automating with Scripts and Tools

If you need to frequently invert many PDFs, you can automate the process using scripting or command line tools:

  • On Windows, you can use PowerShell scripts to print to PDF with inverted colors.
  • On Mac/Linux, use Automator or AppleScript to batch process PDFs.
  • The open source Ghostscript tool has an option to invert PDFs from the command line.

While these methods require more technical skill, they allow you to efficiently invert hundreds or thousands of PDFs in one go.

Tips for Better Inverted PDFs

Here are some tips when inverting PDF text:

  • Use high quality PDFs – Scanned or low resolution PDFs may not invert well.
  • Simplify the layout – Remove images and stylized text if possible.
  • Adjust contrast after inverting – Increase the contrast so inverted text is sharp.
  • Test on a sample first – Make sure the inverted PDF is readable before doing a batch.
  • Try different methods – Some PDFs invert better using certain tools.

In summary, inverting text in a PDF is easy to do either manually or with automation. This simple technique can rescue unreadable scanned documents or PDFs with poor contrast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does inverting a PDF reduce file size?

Inverting a PDF does not directly reduce the file size. However, if you use an online PDF compression tool or the Save As Other command in Acrobat after inverting, it can slightly reduce size by optimizing the new inverted version.

Is it better to invert PDF or text color?

It depends on the specific case. Inverting all colors in the entire PDF is quick and affects everything uniformly. However, if possible, inverting just the text color can look better for PDFs with images, tables, or other elements you don’t want inverted.

Can you invert selective text in a PDF?

Yes, using the TouchUp Reading Order tool in Acrobat, you can select specific text blocks or areas and invert just those while leaving other text as-is. This allows more selective inversion when needed.

Does inverting work for scanned or image-based PDFs?

Inverting text in scanned, image-based, or otherwise low-quality PDFs can cause the text to become unreadable or pixelated in the inverted version. Higher quality PDFs with sharp, selectable text invert better.

Is it possible to automate PDF color inversion?

Yes, it’s possible to script or set up batch processing to invert many PDFs at once. This can be done through command line tools like Ghostscript or scripts in languages like Python that leverage PDF libraries.


Inverting PDF text color is a handy way to quickly make documents more readable. While there are many inversion options, using Acrobat provides the most control for single PDFs. For batch processing many PDFs, automation scripts or tools like Ghostscript are preferable. With the right technique, inverting text can rescue otherwise unusable PDFs.