I'm stuck with this little thing, which should be extremely easy but I simply cannot achieve it the way I want it.

Working with Photoshop CS5, I have a PSD with several layers, most of them being text layers with pattern style applied on them. One of this text layer needs a black pattern but currently uses a white one and as I'm kinda lazy, I thought I could just use the "negative" adjustment on Photoshop instead of spending some time making the proper pattern.

So I went this way :

  • I duplicated the layer.
  • I made a new adjustment layer and chose "negative".
  • I ticked "Clipping mask" so that the "negative" isn't applied to all my layers.

And... it doesn't work at all. Like nothing changes. I tried switching the mask color (alt-click on the clipped mask) but nothing either. What am I missing here ?


3 Answers 3


It all depends upon the pattern.

I don't have a "negative" adjustment layer option. I'll assume you mean "Invert". Should be the same thing.

What gets inverted is the pattern. So, if the pattern is composed of only white and transparent items over black text, what gets inverted is the white pattern. The transparent areas won't invert.

Things which may help...

  • Set the pattern's blend mode in the Layer Styles Dialog to Difference, then try the clipped adjustment layer.

  • invert the color of the text (which will make the pattern disappear) then apply the clipped adjustment layer (which will make the inverted pattern show again).

  • Yeah, it's "invert" indeed sorry, I fixed the title appropriately :) Will try and report back, thanks !
    – shroom
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 13:08
  • Nope, it doesn't work. The thing is it works on a non-clipped mask, which invert all the sub-layers, but as soon as it is restricted it stops working. I should probably add that I initially set the blend mode of the pattern on "screen".
    – shroom
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 13:32
  • It's all just a matter of adjusting the pattern blend mode and the color of the object the pattern is applied to. But again, it really is dependent upon how the pattern is constructed. A solid pattern with no transparency isn't going to invert. Only patterns containing transparency will invert.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 13:35
  • Yeah, guess I'll have to work with the pattern in the end. Thanks for your input :)
    – shroom
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 15:41

instead of adding an adjustment layer, select the layer you want than go to IMAGE --> Adjustments --> Invert. This will invert only the selected layer.

  • 1
    And it will destroy the layer as well. The adjustment layer offers a non-destructive solution.
    – Scott
    Commented May 15, 2013 at 3:06

If you open a new photoshop file and duplicate the layer into there, then invert the colour and quick export a png you can then import it into your project.


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