Selecting background colors

I realize I comprise a subset, of a subset, of a subset of Scrivener users, but I have an idea that keeps rolling around in my head, and I thought of putting it out there to see if anyone else has similar thoughts.

For most, it may be something no one except me would use.

That said, I’ve posted before about how I’ve created hundreds of new Scrivener Styles that incorporate a variety of LaTeX codes to do a wide range of functions. I love it. Most often, I tend to use a Scrivener Style every few minutes, often several times a minute, to implement a LaTeX function.

As my list of Scrivener Styles grows, what I’ve found is that generating a unique highlight for each Style to make each Style stand out is a bit limited, and not subject to disciplined control.

Yes, there are a few tools to select highlighting, e.g.
image but I often find that I’ve repeat many of my highlighting colors across different Styles, which can make identifying the underlying LaTeX code confusing.

Perhaps in an upcoming version, what would be nice would be some way to step through the colors, something like the pencil colors,

but in greater variety and with finer, specific gradations in the colors.

I understand that the existing color tools may be part of the operating system in which Scrivener operates, of which Scrivener has no control. I just don’t know.

Hence, my suggestion is in case other users are interested in having a finer level of control over their colors, and the added functionality already exists at the system level for an application like Scrivener to use.

Thanks for reading,

Perhaps this, meanwhile?

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It is indeed. There used to be the capability to install plug-ins for it that would add different tabs to this interface, some of them quite nice. I know they broke all of them years ago, and I don’t know if they ever made it possible to continue providing third-party pickers as there aren’t many results with some web searches. Most of what I’m seeing are full replacements, which is something to consider. I don’t know how well they integrate with software though.

There is a tool in the stock palette that is nice for managing your own colours. It is the middle icon, which is where you can use some stock swatch sets, but of more interest is the ability to create your own and save named colours to it. This is what I use to keep my inline annotation colours significant. That isn’t quite what you’re asking for, a way to find new colours, but it’s good to know about at any rate.

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Hi AmberV,

I’ll have a look … Thank you!


Hi AmberV,

OK … I see the Color Palette that is available under the middle icon …

I don’t know if the ‘Scrivener’ pallet was something that was loaded into the collection of Color Palettes as part of the Scrivener app for the Mac.

Is it possible to somehow load other pre-defined colors into the ‘Scrivener’ pallet from outside the Scrivener app?

If so, I could develop an array of highlighting colors to use with my Scrivener Styles, using tools outside of the Scrivener app, and then possibly import those pre-defined colors into the ‘Scrivener’ pallet, and then assign those highlighting colors to my Scrivener Styles.

Any thoughts on how I might accomplish this would be welcome and appreciated.

Thanks for reading,

Use the eye-dropper to capture colors from elsewhere, then add them to the favorites list next to it. Or use rgb values and add them.


Hi drmajorbob,

Thank you for your suggestions.

For me, using the eye-dropper to capture colors from elsewhere, or using rgb values on the Color Sliders screen would be a useful way to add a few, or possibly a few dozen or so highlighting colors to my Styles.

The challenge for me is to find a way to have a greater variety of colors with finer, specific gradations of color that I can use to spread across an array of hundreds of Styles, with an emphasis on highlighting those Styles, which for me represents a smaller subset of all possible colors.

As this issue develops for me, I envision a spreadsheet with a two dimensional array filled with RBG defined colors where I can select and control the incremental changes in color across each dimension of the array by adjusting an incremental change factor.

The color in each cell would reflect a unique color that is determined by the RGB value in that cell. Theoretically, that should allow me to display and carefully adjust a complete array of hundreds of colors.

The next step would be to somehow capture the RGB values to import into the Scrivener app, to then assign those RBG values to a subset of the hundreds of Styles I’ve created.

It’s a big ask … I love to hear if anyone has done something like this for Scrivener or any other application.

Perhaps I should ask chatGBT for advice … :wink:

Thanks for reading,

I don’t see how that would be useful at all. How many different styles can anyone remember and how many different colors can anyone recognize? In my case, the answer is barely a handful.

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Rather than adding it to the “Scrivener” palette, you can create your own and load it. The Apple color picker uses .clr files, so as long as you use another tool that can export to that file format, you can open it in the color picker via the gear button at the top of the pane. You could thus create a “Styes” palette or whatever you choose to call it, open it in the color picker (really this is an import action; you only need do it once), and the colors would then all be easily grouped for your selection when setting up new styles.

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Could you create an AutoHotKey-script that increments one of the RGBA-values of the last used color?

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Hi drmajorbob,

Apologies for not being as precise or exact at what it is that I am looking for. But first a correction …

Actually, I’ll need a three, not two, dimensional cube representation within a spreadsheet with one dimension for each of the RBG color values with each cell along each dimension representing a slight differential in the color along that the particular RBG dimension …

As background, I am up to just over 170 Scrivener Styles (See below), averaging about one new Style per week over the last 3 years … The project could easily go another 3 years, and easily add a similar number of new Scrivener Styles (assuming I last that long).

The upshot is that assigning colors to each of the Scrivener Styles is essential … particularly since I am coding to LaTeX where I don’t see the finished product until after the LaTeX is compiled.

As my main project takes well over a half-hour to compile the LaTeX code, I don’t often get to see the finished product. So, as I write, I constantly have to imagine how the code will look like, and having colored Styles helps enormously!

That is exactly the challenge I have before me. This is a work in progress … I most assuredly won’t remember exactly what each individual color represents, so I need to resort to a scheme of sorts.

My current non-existent coloring scheme has convinced me that I need to reorganize how I use the colors of the Styles, but not whether I need to use colors for my Styles at all.

At this point in time (this could and likely will change), what I am imagining is that I will need to organize my Styles into color groupings. Looking at the Styles I have now, I could divide the groups as follows:

For Paragraph Styles:

  • Enumerated Tasks
  • Itemized lists
  • Strum Lines
  • Verse Text boxes
  • Other Paragraph Style items

For Character Styles:

  • CircledWBR items
  • Emphasis items
  • Fake BOLD items
  • Glossary items
  • Index items
  • Lettrine/Labels
  • Rightarrow items
  • Sort items
  • Strong items
  • Text-Block items
  • ToDo items
  • xmybox Circled items
  • Other Character Style items

This is all VERY preliminary, and I certainly do NOT have all the answers, but what I know are two things:

  1. My need to use colors to distinguish each and every Scrivener Style within my LaTeX code is only going to grow, and …
  2. I need to organize those colors from the current haphazard mess that I have to something that has some sort of organization …

Back when I began to develop my use of Scrivener Styles, I remember reading somewhere here that the way I was using the Styles is NOT what was intended, so I may be in a bit of uncharted territory.

My guess is the way I use Scrivener Styles may be due to my coding in LaTeX (that takes over a half hour to compile), but also to the breadth of the subject material which is all over the map, and like herding kittens, I’ve had to resort to a few unique tools to facilitate my LaTeX coding of those unique tools.

Below are screen shots of my Scrivener Styles as they now stand.

Thanks for reading,



Any thoughts on what applications I can use to open/export to the .clr format?

Following up on MimeticMouton’s suggestion, there is a nice article at Creating a Color Picker Palette on macOS on the ColorWell app available on Apple’s App Store ($9.99) that looks very useful for such things as:

  • Creating a pretty simple JSON format to load a palette of colors, and …
  • Exporting a CLR file that can then be Imported into Apple’s Color Picker

I’ll need to research how this could fit into the 3-dimensional color matrix for highlighting Scrivener Styles, but it looks promising!

Thank you MimeticMouton!

UPDATE: The System Color Picker on the App Store also is available as a color picker, but it Requires macOS 12.4 or later which is above my OS pay grade (with macOS Catalina at 10.15.7) but I though others with more up-to-date Mac OS’s might be interested.

I’ve been working with the online 3D Color Picker (RGB) by Infinity Insight.
It is very intuitive and exactly what I’ve been looking for (Thank you Startpage). The following is a screen capture of the 3D Color Picker (RGB), with the cube rotated (front to back) 180 degrees.

I’m wondering if anyone has worked with the downloadable version ( of the 3D Color Picker (RGB) that is available on the Infinity Insight website (toward the bottom of the page).

As I’m in grammar school when it comes to using colors in digital applications, the 3D Color Picker (RGB) is a useful tool to jump start me on my learning curve. After just a few minutes entertaining myself with the color picker, I’ve learner two things:

  1. For highlighting the Scrivener LaTeX Styles I’ve employed in my Scrivener project, I’ll likely employ only those RGB values where all three RGB values are between 200 and 250, e.g. (R200-R250,G200-G250,B200-B250), on the lighter end of the color scale, and will inform but not distract from the nature of the Scrivener LaTeX Style coding.
  2. If I divide the spread between 200 and 250 into 5 point increments, 200, 205, 210, … 250, that would provide 11 distinct values along each of the three RGB axis, for a total of 11 x 11 x 11 = 1331 RGB color combinations, far more than I should ever need to highlight all of the Scrivener Styles that I imagine I will ever need.

Any insights from anyone who may have worked with the downloadable version ( of the 3D Color Picker (RGB) would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading,