Help with highlighting text shortcut


I was hoping that someone could help me with something quick, since I couldn’t find this with my searches of the forum.

I remember sometime in version 1.x of Scrivener that there was a list of shortcut codes (that I still keep as a file in every Scrivener project I make b/c it was so useful!), but a lot of them see to be non-funcitonal now.

For example, I use highlighting of text frequently when starting a new piece of long fiction, as it helps me keep track of key ideas as well as questions. I used to be able to use shortcuts to specifically select a color to highlight with. Orange highlighting was “control-command-2” for example. Each color had its own shortcut, and I think you could also modify the menu so that instead of “yellow marker” it would say “unresolved plot point.”

Have these been discontinued and is there any way to get them back? It’s really a pain to have to select the menu highlighting button and go back and forth between multiple colors in a document.

Thanks so much!


These two aspects of the highlighter were indeed dropped when 2.0 came out in 2010. One of the issues with naming them is that names are hardly used any more. The Format Ruler shows a palette now instead of a menu. In fact the only place names are used is in the Format/Highlight/ sub-menu. That said you can still name them. You’ll find instructions in 18.4.1 (pg. 247) of the user manual PDF.

There is less of an explanation for the shortcuts. The idea was: hardly anyone used the direct shortcuts (and indeed we’ve heard nothing much in complaint about either of these removals) anyway, so we might as well leave it up to the Mac for custom shortcuts, if anyone really need to switch highlighters all of the time. Unfortunately the Mac custom shortcut system isn’t so hot at finding menu commands in dynamic menus (this one is built automatically from your colour palette). So that plan didn’t work out—but fortunately most people do not switch colours often, or mind using the mouse controls to do so, so it hasn’t been something worth looking at.

Cmd-Opt-# shortcuts are all in use by scriptwriting at this time.

Thank you for your help. I appreciate the pointers, especially since I’m the only person who’s been missing this feature. I was able to rename the highlighter colors (and add a truer yellow color to replace the greenish-yellow default) in the menu, thanks to your reference from the manual. Very much appreciated! :slight_smile:

Based on your suggestions regarding the shortcuts, I also had someone help me create Mac keyboard shortcuts to the newly renamed Markers under the Highlight submenu. So now I have my shortcuts back!

I was just wondering if there is a newly compiled sheet of the Scrivener shortcuts for version 2.0? I’d like to be up to date when I’m using them.

Thanks again for all of your help,


Great, that should work most of the time for you. If you find it stops working, just activate the menu from Format, and that should be enough to “remind” the OS of where these menu items are. It’s a little buggy, sorry about that.

The most up to date version is located in our knowledge base, here. I can’t promise this is 100% up to date. I haven’t looked at it in a while (it’s about a thousand things down in my todo list. :slight_smile:)