We have developed an approach for the interpretation of magnetic field data that can be used when measured anomalies are affected by significant remanent magnetization components. The method deals with remanent effects by using the normalized source strength (NSS), a quantity calculated from the eigenvectors of the magnetic gradient tensor. The NSS is minimally affected by the direction of remanent magnetization present and compares well with other transformations of the magnetic field that are used for the same purpose. It therefore offers a way of inverting magnetic data containing the effects of remanent magnetizations, particularly when these are unknown and are possibly varying within a given data set. We use a standard 3D inversion algorithm to invert NSS data from an area where varying remanence directions are apparent, resulting in a more reliable image of the subsurface magnetization distribution than possible using the observed magnetic field data directly.