I have toolbar icons in a file that are all white with transparent background. Using gimp, how do I change the white to black without affecting the transparency?

  • Colors > Invert
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 7:49

2 Answers 2


General case, any color to any color:

  • Click on the "Alpha-lock" icon, which is the small checkerboard icon in the "Lock" line at the top of the Layers list.

enter image description here

  • Bucket-fill the layer with the new color (black for you), the alpha lock will ensure that pixels keep they current opacity (this means, without any active selection, to use the bucket-fill with the "Fill whole selection" option.

Faster for your specific case (black to white or white to black):

Just use Colors>Invert


Another approach is to select all color channels, but un-select the 'alpha' channel in the channels toolbox, then fill with desired color. If you find you do not have an 'alpha' channel, then the mode of the image must not support transparency.

  • Clever, but just another way to prevent changes to the alpha channel. So same approach, but different means.
    – xenoid
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 20:43
  • @xenoid - your answer helped me see this tactic... Thanks! Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 23:46

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