Changing text colour of inline annotations

Damn me but I can’t see any way to do this. The current bright red is scarily lurid and makes my brain boil – BOIL, do you hear me? – but can I see how to change it?

I can not.

Tell me precisely how stupid I am being, please.

Put the cursor anywhere inside the annotation (except for the very end), and then either call up the palette (Shift-Cmd-C), or just use the Format Bar text colour swatch to set it. If you select part of an annotation and do this, it will break the annotation into two or three pieces. So that’s a useful trick if you have several notes that belong together.

Thanks – but I should have been clearer: I mean change the /default/ colour of annotation text. Can’t see it anywhere in the Appearance prefs pane.

  • Select the Tools->Options menu item.
  • In the “Scrivener Options” dialog that appears, select the Appearance tab.
  • In the “Colors” selection list, click the arrow beside “Editor”
  • Scroll that list until you see “Annotation Text” and “Ghost Annotation Text”
  • Click one of those two list items
  • Now click the colored square that appears on the right to bring up the color palette
  • Change the current color to something you like
  • Click “OK”

You probably want to change both “Annotation Text” and “Ghost Annotation Text”. “Annotation Text” is the color displayed when your text cursor is inside the annotation. “Ghost Annotation Text” is the color of the annotation when your text cursor is not inside it.

Okay. Thank you. I knew it. I am a moron. But, now, a better-informed moron.

EDIT: Actually, no, I’m not. There’s no “Annotation text” or “Ghost annotation text” in the Appearance>Colours>Editor menu. I don’t think I’ve seen Ghost Annotations for a while, either… it doesn’t seem to exist any more.

Lord, I’m confused.

Just to be clear, that was a Windows tip. You won’t find those preferences in the Mac version. At this point in time the Windows version has yet to implement the ability to have multiple inline annotation colours going on, so there is one toggle in the Options that changes them all.

On the Mac, there is no setting, but whatever colour you used last will remain the colour used in the future for that project. Add this setting to a project template to make that permanent.

I’m the moron! I didn’t look at the forum’s title before I posted. My apologies.

very sorry,

Thanks, Dr P. If you could put me out of my misery and tell me whether Ghost Annotations have vanished into thin air, I’d be… well, I’d be out of my misery.

Jim, maybe we’re ALL morons. Maybe that’s the trick to it. 8)

Ghost notes disappeared with 2.0, yes - they were one of the major causes of typing lags in 2.0, and with the alternative inspector notes available for those who don’t want notes in the text itself, I dropped the ghost notes option entirely.

But then, I’m definitely a moron - just check the two (count 'em) typos in the brand new “Getting Started” > Interactive Tutorial blurb of the new project pane. They’re going to make me want to cry all the way until 2.1.1…


Looking for an update as of Dec 2013:

  • Is there now a way to change the default Inline Annotation formatting? (As opposed to defaulting to “last used inline annotation color.”)
  • What would be the most efficient way to change the formatting of all existing inline annotations in a document or project.


Yes, this has always been supported by the larger “preference” system that exists at the project level. Basically any project settings that you prefer, such as annotation and comment colour, or view settings like whether labels should tint icons or index cards, down to outliner columns and even basic window layout can all be set by creating a blank starter template for yourself with these preferred tweaks, and using that to start with instead of the basic blank project provided with the software (or, starting with whatever template you prefer to use). Just create a dummy project, set it all up the way you like, and then use File/Save as Template…. Note that once you create it, using the “Options” button in the template selection window, you can set your preferred template as default, meaning it will always be selected when you call up this window.

You can discard the dummy project once you have the template created.

I cannot think of a good one-shot universal method, but do note that if you use the Format Bar to set text colour within an annotation, that will change the colour. Further, that tool “sticks” to the last colour used, so you can click into another annotation and merely left-click the toolbar button once to change the annotation. Combine that with Edit/Find/Find by Formatting set to search for Inline annotations, you can then use the Shift-Opt-Cmd-G button to jump to the next annotation, click the Format Bar text colour tool and alternate between that and find next. If you’ve only got a few dozen, that shouldn’t be too much work, but if you’ve got thousands of these things it may be best to just live with what you’ve got.

Hopefully this is going to be cleaned up (with a lot of other prefs.) in Scrivener 3! Please! It was driving me crazy that the inline annotation color was not included under Preferences > Appearance > Customizable Colors > Editor. I’ve been using Scrivener since the Mac beta and still had to come to the forum and search to figure this out.

But such a preference would be of extremely minimal use: as in it would only impact how inline annotations worked before you changed a single one to something else. Once you’ve done that, it wouldn’t be referenced again.

But should the existing behavior really be there? Changing one note in a document instead changes the defaults for all future notes? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a default set in preferences that always applies except to specific instances that have been changed?

I don’t know, I tend to use colours in streaks, so having to always change it back to something other than red (or whatever is default) would be annoying. I’ve always liked how it works. :slight_smile:

OK, yes, I’m opening this thread again.

Here’s my problem:

  1. Put my cursor inside an inline annotation.
  2. Type shift-cmd-C to bring up the color palette.
  3. Select a different color besides lurid red.
  4. Nothing happens.

What am I missing?

Hmm, you aren’t missing anything that I can see from that procedure, and it’s working fine on my side over here. Are you getting any console messages and does the problem persist beyond reloading Scrivener?

Yes, it persists beyond quitting and restarting scrivener. I’m getting console messages, but they’re not Scrivener messages (looks like I should delete and reinstall Evernote, but I digress…)

I tried converting inline annotations to inspector comments–I then could change color which persisted when I change them back to inline annotations. However, this method does not cause the color to persist to the next inline annotation I make.

Oh wait, I got this console message when making a new inline annotation after the above process:

6/15/17 16:11:08.526 Scrivener[51668]: NSSoftLinking - The ShareKit framework’s library couldn’t be loaded from /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/ShareKit.framework/Versions/A/ShareKit.

So that’s it. I have to say that colors have always been a bit flakey for me. Getting a color change to persist in Scrivener (such as editor background color, which I have personalized (could that be the problem?) ) has always been a hit-or-miss proposition. Once I manage to get it changed I try never to mess with it again…

One other thing–I’ve been having problems with preferences getting corrupted. I follow the directions for resetting prefs, and the crashing goes away, but it’s back in a week or four. Annoying as heck because my function key bindings have to be re-entered each time. Don’t know if it’s related–just sayin’.

Oh yes–Scrivener; MacBook Air 11, Early 2015, OS X 10.11.6