I am using the “Preview” application for reading a PDF file on a MacBook Pro. Is there any way in I can read it in dark mode?

You can do it in Adobe Acrobat Reader by changing background and text color, but can “Preview” do that too?

  • Pdf expert has a really nice sepia mode, too bad it lacks some feature and speed of Preview – Herman Toothrot Nov 8 '19 at 13:27

I had the same problem so I wrote simple and free app for Mac to read PDFs in negative. App offers two negative modes (colour inversion and colour inversion with sepia).

It is called Negative and it is free on the Mac App Store

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  • Very nice! I'm not sure how PDFs are encoded, but it would be great if you would skip the color inversion for photos. – Matthew Oct 13 '18 at 15:46
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    And also a dark mode toolbar :) – Matthew Oct 13 '18 at 15:47
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    Thanks so muchi, been looking for something like that for ages. I would happily pay for Negative too, to sustain development ;-) @Matthew you can toggle dark mode via the View menu, although support for macOS native dark mode would be appreciated. – cseelus Dec 13 '18 at 22:10
  • Wow, that was nice, awesome work :) – CopsOnRoad Nov 24 '19 at 18:19

While there is not an inverted color scheme for Preview, you can invert the screen colors for the entire system by pressing


Press the sequence again to restore the default color scheme.

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    If that key combo does not work, check that it's enabled under System preferences / Keyboard / Shortcuts / Accessibility. Also, Command-Option-F5 could be used (if that shortcut is enabled) to bring up the accessibility options control menu, and invert the display through that. – AndOs Aug 10 '19 at 22:13

I use Adobe PDF Reader to read PDF books. In Preferences > Accessibility > Document Colors Options I set "Replace Document Colors" and "Custom Color". Page Background: black and Document Text: a ordinary dark grey.

So my default PDF reader is Preview with regular color, but I open PDF books with customized Adobe Reader.

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  • Thanks for the tip, this does the trick pretty well – Jerome Dalbert Jan 8 '19 at 5:10

There is not a dark mode for preview.

You can use the flux software to at least bring the color warmth up and brightness down. It makes the whole OS easier on the eyes at night.

In another hand, there is iBooks which, I think, have a dark mode.

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    iBooks has a dark mode, but you can't read PDFs directly in iBooks on Mac. It just opens them in Preview. – calum_b Mar 11 '18 at 16:24
  • Oh I didn’t know, never used iBook on Mac but on iOS – Chris Mar 11 '18 at 20:08

You can use the system preferences sections: Accessibility to invert your display colours. That's not focussed on preview, but does the trick.

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You can try zathura. Open the pdf with zathura, and hit C-r to revert the color.

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