Inverting Colors in a Document

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 7, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021

Steve has a friend who is suffering from macular degeneration, and has trouble with a white background. He tells Steve, though, that he prefers white text on a black background. So, Steve wonders if it is possible to invert the colors in his Word document, so that it shows white text on a black background to help out his friend.

One easy way to do this is to open the document you want to affect, then display the Design tab of the ribbon. Within the Page Background group, click the Page Color tool. Word displays a color palate from which you can choose a color for the background. If you choose black, then Word automatically changes the text to white so it is visible on the page—there is no need to explicitly change the font color.

This may not be the best solution for your friend, however. Why? Because if the friend is having visual issues, chances are good it is with all computer output, not just the documents that you may send your friend. Thus, the most effective changes may be made on the friend's computer, not on any documents you might create for your friend.

Macular degeneration is a progressive disease, meaning that it will get worse over time. If things haven't progressed too far as of yet, and if your friend is using Microsoft 365, then he or she may find using "dark mode" to be sufficient. You can enable this mode by following the steps on this web page:

You can also have your friend choose a darker theme, which can be done by following the steps described on this Microsoft page:

Your friend can also, if desired, apply color filters within Windows. This has the added advantage of affecting not just Word documents you may send to him or her, but also to increase accessibility to anything displayed on your friend's computer. Here's a link to an article on the WindowsTips site that can help:

There are a wide variety of other accessibility features built into Windows that may be helpful to your friend:

If your friend prefers, there are third-party companies that can provide software-based solutions for those with visual impairments. Here are two such companies:

Finally, it should be noted that these solutions may not provide satisfactory results for all parts of a Word document. For instance, if you have placed images within your document, the colors of those images may not be affected by all (or any) of the approaches described above. The only way to find out if the results are satisfactory for your needs is to try out the methods and see.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6136) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Calculating Dates with Fields

Can you calculate dates using fields? Yes, but you probably don't want to except as a learning experience. An easier way ...

Discover More

Grabbing the MRU List

Want to use the list of most recently used files in a macro? You can access it easily by using the technique presented in ...

Discover More

Copying Cells to Fill a Range

Excel provides two really helpful shortcuts you can use to fill a range of cells, either horizontally or vertically. ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Understanding Default Insert Date Formatting

Insert a date into Word, and you are presented with a variety of formats you can choose from for that date. The default ...

Discover More

Understanding Picas

Word can understand many different measurement units. One common unit understood by Word is the pica, described in this tip.

Discover More

Calculating Average Word Length

Word keeps track of many statistics about your documents. The problem, it seems, is getting exactly the statistics you ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four minus 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.


FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.