Paste font removes highlighting


I am not exactly sure this constitutes a bug or something not functioning as it seems it should, but I have noticed that the ‘Copy/paste font’ function removes highlighting in the text to which the font is pasted. I wouldn’t have thought that highlighting is part of a font.

The same goes for copy formatting—I feel it would be more useful to have highlighting retained in the text pasted to. Certainly, I can see that highlighting is a type of formatting, but in my usage of copy/paste format I am usually wanting to retain the highlighting and have to go and put it back in when copying to a large slab of text. This, however, may be more controversial…


I’m not able to reproduce that on my system. If I copy the font settings from text that is highlighted and then paste the font settings elsewhere, the highlight is applied as well as the rest. Maybe it has to do with how the selection is being made—it’s where the selection starts that matters the most—in fact you don’t need a selection, just put the cursor within the range you wish to copy from.

Thanks AmberV, you are right that the highlighting in the text being copied from is applied. But the issue I have noted concerns highlighting in the text being copied to. So if I copy font from text that isn’t highlighted and apply it to a paragraph in which some text is highlighted and some isn’t, I lose all highlighting in that paragraph.

I see what you mean now. Yes the lack of a highlight is considered part of the formatting attributes that are copied and pasted. I can’t think of a way around that, it would be like asking for italics to not be applied—in some situations you might not want it to, but it’s a part of that class of formatting.

If what you are attempting to do is simply normalising the font, you might try using the Documents/Convert/Convert Formatting to Default Text Style… command, instead. That will preserve bold, italics, highlighting and so forth, while adjusting the font family and size.

Thanks again AmberV, I was not aware of that function, which looks very useful.

I can see why highlighting, like all other types of formatting, would be applied uniformly when copy-paste formatting. But given there is a seperate copy-paste font function, I would have thought that would only change the font type (i.e. Helvetica to Times New Roman) only. But perhaps it takes a broader understanding of font, like you suggest.

Thanks for your help.

The menu command probably could be a little clearer, I agree. TextEdit uses “Copy Style” for that command, which has its own problems (especially once Scrivener will have proper styles). I suppose “Copy Character Attributes” would be the more precise way of putting it, but I don’t know if that would be illuminating to most. The way we use it, “font” means all of the stuff that gets applied to text inline, from underscoring to overstrike to text colour to the font.

On the other hand there is the Copy Ruler command in the Text menu that copies everything to do about paragraph spacing, line-height, tab stops and so forth. That one is more logical and easier to describe. We’ll also be adding a Copy Formatting command that does both of these commands at once.

I’ve added some wording to the user manual to help clarify this—sorry for the confusion!