Dark Mode: Text turns black when renaming

I’m fairly new to Scrivener but not to UI and UX as I develop for the Web.

I am on an M1 Mac using Scrivener Dark Mode. This only occurs when using Dark Mode.

It seems other themes do not have this issue either. I see there is a “Theme” system and I think I just need to modify the current theme. I am not sure how to identify the colors for item titles and their label colors while editing them.

This is where support could help me. How do I set the color and color while editing and is it possible to export / import themes? Is there a supported library for themes?

When I try to rename an element, the text is there but it turns black. It’s virtually impossible to see what I am editing and I end up having to edit more than once or just completely retype the title.

I thought other themes were solving the issue but all the darker ones seem to exhibit the same behavior.

Where is your title ?

If it is in the editor, just make sure your font is of the default color (not of a color) and you should be fine.


Otherwise themes import and load is in the options, and you can find some over here on the forum.

  1. I have been unable to reproduce this (Scriv 3.3.1, MacOS Ventura).

  2. When in Scriv Dark Mode, when I select text in either the editor pane or Binder, the highlight color is the one set in Appl > Settings > Appearance (Accent:Blue, Highlight: Blue), and the text is white/light, just as it is when not selected.

Your text is of the default color, right?

True, but things work just as expected even if I set some swath of text to a specific color (incl. black or white). The text turns light (even if someway tinted) when the dark mode is operating.


P.S. Curiously, in scriv dark mode (which I don’t use myself) Binder text is white while editor text is a tawny color. Some sort of eye-saving default, I suppose.*

(*) Or perhaps a nod to Russell Hoban.

I’ve noticed this as well. I’m running Scrivener 3.3.1 (15588) on a 2018 MacBook Pro Monterey 12.6.7. I run my system in Dark mode all the time and I’m using the default Scrivener theme with the Appearance set to System Default. If needed, I can try to reproduce it with screenshots, but it will be a couple of days before I can do that.

The text / title above the editing area does not have this issue. I can edit it and the text stays white when in dark mode. This only impacts the binder area.

I may share a video but right now I don’t have the time in my schedule to do this.

Here is a link to the behavior in a video. It doesn’t matter what theme I am using.

Bibder Item Label rename is dark but in the editor is visible when editing

Thanks for uploading that. I must be missing something though, as everything demonstrated looks to be following the expected design. The only part of your video that could be matching the description of text being dark is at around 50s into the video, where the empty title field is opened for editing. We can see some dimmed placeholder text that vanishes the moment you start typing.

You refer to the header bar title editing field not darkening the text, but I only saw you test editing an existing title rather than the “Untitled document” placeholder text, above the editor. Had you done that you would have observed a similar amount of dimming once the cursor was in the field.

That is the darkest text I see anywhere. When not editing, the lightness of this placeholder text is increased, it’s only dimmed out like that before you type. That’s essentially on purpose (and I could be wrong, but I believe fairly standard in Mac UI), in that it isn’t supposed to be something too useful at that point since you’re about to start typing.

I say essentially though because there is some amount of algorithmic result here in that we are blending the chosen background colour of the binder with various amounts of white to achieve the difference between names (full white) adaptive names (greyer) and placeholder text behind an empty editing field (darker grey).