Links coming out differently-formatted in different docs — confused!!

I’m sure there’s an obvious answer to this, but it’s got me stumped.

I have set the default colour for embedded Scrivener links to a nice self-effacing grey so they don’t distract from the text. (I did this via Preferences>Appearance>Editor>Links).

Most of the time when I insert a Scrivener link into a doc (either by Opt-dragging or typing [ [name of doc] ], the text representing the link comes out ENTIRELY grey, both characters AND the underline.

SOMETIMES when I insert a link, the text comes out grey, but the underline, distractingly, is a darker colour. This seems to be specific to the document in question — all inserted links are coming out w/dark underlines.

And I can’t seem to work out when this will happen and when it won’t. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t matter what I 'm linking to, nor what method I use to insert it. I don’t think it has to do with the font or paragraph formatting of the doc (hard to be sure tho, as I use a lot of diff formatting…). Doesn’t seem to matter either whether it’s in the left or righthand editor.

One thing I have worked out: the issue lies in the stage of link-creation, not display. If I copy and paste an all-grey link out of another doc, it will remain all-grey. (And vice versa: dark-underlined links stay stubbornly dark when pasted into non-problem docs).

I realise this is a very small, non-life-threatening issue, but it is really bugging me, so hoping to figure out how what’s going on here!

That sounds like some underline colour formatting got mixed into the document at some point. It’s a rather under-represented feature of the macOS text engine, which unfortunately as far as I know has no good way to clear it. Well, short of cutting and using Paste and Match Style to wipe out all formatting from the affected areas. When doing so, it is good to move the cursor out of the area you cut from, or switch in and out of the document, to clear any latent formatting around the cursor.

Well, that aside, you can manually change the colour from the Fonts pane (⌘T). Select the link and click on the button with an underscored “T”, selecting “Color”. Now you can change it—maybe matching it to the same grey you use—but note it will be grey independent of that. If you later change your mind and change links to purple, this one will have a grey underscore.

Hmmm, I may be misunderstanding you, but if you mean trying to change font colour (wch I do via the button on the toolbar rather than the Fonts pane, but I think it’s the same thing??), I can report that this leaves the aberrant underline colour untouched. Grey, fuschia, chartreuse — the underline stays black.

Ok. New datum point: just tried underlining some ordinary text in a problem document (ie not a link). The underline stays black, no matter what colour I turn the font. Whereas, if I underline coloured text in a no-problem document, the underline will match the font colour!

More data; I can get coloured underlines if I paste from a normal doc. ie if I take a chunk of red text with red underlines and paste them into a problem doc, the underlines stay red. In fact, if I paste that red text without underlines and try underlining it once it’s in the problem doc, that also produces red underlines.

So I think your first paragraph has nailed it: these particular problem docs must have some global underline colour formatting which is overriding the usual instruction to match the underline colour to the font. But do I understand you to be saying that there is NO way for me to get rid of that pesky formatting except by reformatting every single paragraph that generates the black underlines (and losing all fonts, underlines, italics and bolding)? . Gah!!!

I blame evil Microsoft — I bet this formatting got imported from some MS Word doc and spread. A cursory survey suggests that the docs where I get this problem ARE ones that I imported from Word, while docs created directly in Scrivener are ok. That said, some docs imported from Word are ok too.

Are there different ways of importing docs into Scrivener which might be making the difference here?

Followup to previous post. On the assumption there’s no global fix for this, thought I’d share the best run-round I’ve found so far for the original specific issue I’m bothered by, viz link underline not matching link colour.

My bodge FWIW…

Set-up: Stash a word or two of ‘good’ text in the Scratch Pad (ie text copied from a non-problem doc). (For convenience I’ve put in a few versions, appropriately labelled, in the fonts and fontsizes I use most often eg ‘Verdana 9pt’ ‘Lucida 10pt’ etc)

Now any time a link I create comes out BAD, I apply the following Fix:

  1. Quick-summon the Scratchpad via keyboard shortcut (I use Opt⌘/),

  2. Copy Formatting (Opt⌘C) from the text whose font matches the bad link.

  3. Paste Formatting onto the bad link (Opt⌘V).

This eliminates the contrasting underline. And by targeting only the link, I reduce the range of formatting possibilities I have to reproduce. It’s a nuisance, but with a little repetition it becomes pretty quick. If you do a LOT of linking ,as I do, it becomes a useful routine.

if anyone has a better fix, I’d love to know though!

When you paste, do you Paste or Paste and Match style?

Oops, left the keystroke out of my instructions. Sorry! I paste the formatting: Opt⌘V, I don’t paste any text.

(Editing that into my earlier post now…)

Copying and pasting the font attributes from some good text sounds like a good approach to me! That is working over here as well.

And yes, I do tend to blame Word whenever I can. :wink:

It kinda leaps to the eye does’t it? (grin).

Is there really no way to get at underline formatting commands? How does MS do its voodoo then?

They cheat – they don’t use Apple’s built-in text engine, they developed their own so it could be more compatible with the text engine Word for Windows uses.

Ah interesting. Hence the balls-up as well of their font-colour engine, which is driving me NUTS now that I’ve been forced to abandon the old Word 2004 (which still used Apple’s colour pickers).

Obviously what I need for the underlines is a custom-built laser-guided missile for finding and destroying that pesky bit of code that’s being imported into my Scrivener docs! A sort of formatting antibody…

It is possible, that is what I was referring to in the Fonts palette, with the T button. The problem with that tool is that it doesn’t have a clear setting, you have to pick some colour—so using that doesn’t I don’t think restore the condition where the underline colour follows the font colour.

That would be Edit ▸ Paste and Match Style, but that clears everything, it turns the text into plain-text, so it has the same effect as pasting it into TextEdit in text only mode and then copying and pasting out of that.

Yeah. A bit like a broad spectrum antibiotic. I want T-cells. I’m surprised there isn’t a bit of code floating around the OS biome that pinpoint-targets that underline-colour setting.

But that probably just goes to show the limitations of the metaphor — and my fundamental ignorance of how the software underlying the visible world that laypeople like me inhabit actually works!!

My experience with oddly-colored underlines of regular text (not links) led me here. Thanks for the tips, everyone.
My particular issue was having a grey fuzzy underline rather than a sharp black one.

The solution: Change the font face (which isnt a great solution). Example: In text set as Cholla Slab, the underline appears grey. Select the word and change font to Palatino: boom, nice solid black underline.
This I suppose is due to how the font metrics are applied (off-axis pixels or something).


Not sure if I understood you right, PSMackey, but fwiw your fix doesn’t seem to be working for me. If I take a ‘problem doc’ where the default underline is annoyingly stuck as black, changing the font (in my case from Verdana to Georgia to Lucida Grande and back again) seems to have no effect on the colour of the underline. The width of the underline will change to match the font specs, but the colour remains resolutely black whatever colour I make the text itself.

Wonder why we’re getting different results. Maybe the aetiology of your fuzzy grey underline is different from that of my crisp black one! Glad you’ve got a solution that works for you, though.