The Secret Inverse Desktop Keystroke Only a Cat Could Find

The Secret Inverse Desktop Keystroke Only a Cat Could Find

Sonia Zjawinski
Dec 16, 2009

Has the above ever happened to you? Yup, you're looking at an Apple desktop screen in the inverse; or (finally) a negative view of the Mac OS. Well, it happened to me and it just about ended my (almost) marriage. Well, I exaggerate, but it did lead to some halfhearted bickering. You see, when we fired up the flatscreen the other night to watch some Law and Order: SVU via Netflix Watch Instantly we found the above on our screen. We had no idea how it happened or how to fix it. He blamed me (I was the last to use it), I blamed him (he's the one in IT after all) and then the debate was interrupted by two cats sprinting across our legs. Of course.

Through some research using inverse Google (or should I say, Elgoog) we discovered there's a secret keyboard keystroke within Apple that flips your entire screen color scheme from black-on-white to white-on-black.

You can only discover the keystroke if you try every combo possible, or have cats.

The shortcut to playing opposite day at work is to hit Control+ Option + Apple + 8. The long way is to go through System Preferences > Universal Access > Seeing. White on black images are easier to read for those with vision problems. It's also a quick way to temporarily inverse a scanned image in Photoshop to see if you've got a good enough scan of your old family negatives.

This isn't the first time Universal Access' shortcuts haven't meshed with my cats. I've often come back to my computer only to find that anything I do -- move my mouse, type on the keyboard, rest on a webpage -- is read back to me. This is the voiceover feature in Universal Access. Accessible by cat via Command + FN + F5.

Obviously I need to be more diligent about putting my wireless keyboard away and closing my laptop, but almost all my gadgets are prone to some cat mishap. When my all-in-one printer used to reside near one of my windows one of my cats constantly scanned the bottom of the machine's lid.

Do you guys have any tips for keeping your pets off your gizmos?

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