How to Invert Color in Adobe Illustrator

An essential technique for analog photography in the past, color inversion made it possible for a black-and-white image to be recognized. Today, though, it’s more frequently employed as a creative effect to give your design work a unique, artistic feel. It has apparently also been used to assist those who are color blind in differentiating hues and colors that they would not otherwise be able to see.

The simplest way to invert the entire vector graphic color would be through the Edit menu. Simply choose the item. Next, select Edit > Edit Colors from the overhead menu. To finish, simply click on Invert Colors.

Keep reading below as we describe these steps in more detail.

How to Invert Vector Image Color in Adobe Illustrator

Inverting the colors of a vector image in Adobe Illustrator involves a few simple steps. We’ve discussed them in this section below.

For more information on how to invert image color in Illustrator, watch this video below:

  1. Open the vector image in Illustrator by going to File > Open and selecting the image from your computer.
  2. Once the image is open, select the object(s) that you want to invert the colors of.
  3. Go to the Edit menu and choose Edit Colors > Invert Colors.
  4. This will invert the colors of the selected object(s)
  5. If you want to edit the image further, you can do so by going to the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance) and adjusting the settings.
  6. Finally, to save your inverted image, go to File > Save As and choose a file format and location to save your image.

Alternatively, you can use the following steps:

  1. Select the object(s) you want to invert the colors of.
  2. Go to the Object menu and choose the “Live Paint Bucket” tool.
  3. Click on the object(s), and the color options will appear.
  4. Click on “Invert Colors” in the color options.

Note: The second method is more useful when you have multiple color groups in the same object, and you want to invert the color of specific groups.

How to Invert Raster Image Color in Adobe Illustrator

Before you invert the colors of a raster image in Illustrator, you must first embed it so it is no longer linked. Embedding a raster image in Adobe Illustrator involves a few simple steps:

  1. Open the raster image in Illustrator by going to File > Open and selecting the image from your computer.
  2. Once the image is open, select the image with the Selection Tool (V).
  3. Go to the Object menu and choose “Embed Image.”
  4. This will embed the image in the Illustrator document, making it a part of the file and no longer linked to the original image file.
  5. Now following the same steps as those in vector images, select the object(s) that you want to invert the colors of.
  6. Go to the Edit menu and choose Edit Colors > Invert Colors.

This will invert the colors of the selected object(s).

Embedded vs Linked Images

Embedding and linking images in Adobe Illustrator refer to how the image is stored in relation to the Illustrator file.

Embedded images are stored within the Illustrator file itself, which means that the image becomes part of the Illustrator document. This means that when you open the Illustrator file, the image is also present and doesn’t require the original image file to be available. However, embedded images increase the size of the Illustrator file and cannot be updated separately.

Linked images, on the other hand, are not stored within the Illustrator file, but are instead linked to the original image file. This means that when you open the Illustrator file, Illustrator references the original image file to display the image. 

Linked images do not increase the Illustrator file’s size, but they require the original image file to be available. Additionally, linked images can be updated separately, which can be useful when working with frequently updated images.

In general, it’s a good idea to link images rather than embed them as long as the original images are always available and you need to update frequently. However, if you want to distribute the Illustrator file without needing the original images, you should embed them.

Conclusion

Both raster and vector pictures may have their colors inverted using the Edit menu; the only exception is that if your image is a vector, you can change the colors later. Additionally, you have the option to invert a selected area rather than the entire image. Whereas if your image is a raster image, you must embed it first so its colors can be inverted.