Trouble with Highlighting

Scrivener is randomly highlighting text that I have not highlighted. Sometimes only during the compiling process. Most of the time just in the manuscript text.

For instance, today I was working on a scene. I know that I did not highlight it. And the keys for highlighting are not ones you could even hit accidentally. I moved to another scene to check something and back and the entire scene was highlighted.

What can be causing this and more importantly, how can I make it stop? I am spending way too much time unhighlighting things that were never highlighted by me in the first place.

I am using version, running Windows 11 on a Lenovo Flex 11.

Is the highlight color the one that the format toolbar is showing ?


No. Highlight color is white on the pen. It is highlighting in black.

You might have an invisible table in there.

You could also try cutting the text, and paste it back using Paste and Match Style.
But you’ll lose any formatting you would have previously done.

The fact that the color is not the same as in the formatting bar shows that it is not user error.
You have some underlying formatting lurking in there.
The table hypothesis is because I know tables to do that sometimes (in black, especially). If you copy/pasted that text (or part of it) off of a website, both possibilities are very likely.

I don’t know how to get rid of a table other than making it visible by giving it a border color, then copy/paste the content (text) out of it. After which you simply delete the table.


I doubt that. It has happened in many scenes, many times, and I never use tables. And it happens in more than one project. I drafted the text. I don’t generally copy text from any other source since I am writing fiction.

I do sometimes have it happen if I try to paste something like a name from a different scene.

Click in a section of your text that you know for sure has done that recently.
With the cursor in this text, go Insert / table.
If it shows the config popup without inserting a table : you do, in fact, already have a table there.

Don’t have a Windows box handy to check the exact commands. On the Mac, View → Text Editing → Show Invisibles will reveal it, Format → Table → Remove Table will remove it.

From the description, it’s not clear what’s actually occurring, so it’s not clear how to make it stop. If the text is highlighted in the Editor, that’s a different symptom than if unhighlighted Editor text becomes highlighted in the Compiled document. Maybe a screenshot would help? (I’ll check your trust level to make sure you can post one.)

I am currently questioning why though you’d have the highlight icon showing up as white.
You know that highlighting in white is not how you remove an highlight, right? You’d still have highlighted text, only invisible, if white is your background. (?..)
So perhaps that’s the root of your issue?
I know that under some vague conditions highlights turn black.
If your text is pretty much highlighted (white) everywhere, maybe that is it. (?)

I changed the highlight to white so that at least it wouldn’t be annoying when it happened again. But that didn’t work as it keep adding black highlighting. I didn’t change it back because I don’t ever use highlighting except to grab some text to copy.

Yes, I know how to remove a highlight.

I checked and there is no table. Which doesn’t surprise me because I never add tables. They are simply unnecessary in most fiction writing.

Wait, wait, What?
Perhaps related, perhaps not, but that’s not quite right.

I meant the only time I highlight text is when copying it. I don’t actually use the highlight menu. Just use my mouse to highlight. I consider it to be a thoroughly useless feature. I can’t imagine any circumstance when I would want to use it.

You are confusing two things.
Text selection is not highlighting.

And yes, there is bug that sometimes turns highlight in black. But only if there is already an highlight.

Change your editor bg color in the options: likely you’ll realise you’ve got white highlighting all over the place…

You say you have no use for it? Well then ditch it.

However, the program is still highlighting things randomly in black. It isn’t the color I have highlighting set for and I get rid of it by removing the color.

How I select text is mostly irrelevant. Although, sometimes (not always) when I select text and copy it, the program adds highlighting when I paste. Even though I have done nothing except Select, Control-C to copy, move to a new scene, Control-V to paste.

Please define “removing the color”.

I’m trying to get it to stop highlighting when I have NOT highlighted. I’d ditch the feature if it was possible.

I have no white highlighting anywhere in the document.

Never mind. It’s clear you are unable to understand the problem, and that you are incapable of helping me find a solution.

If that’d be true, the icon wouldn’t show as white. That’s the last color you’ve used.
But yeah, I’m out. Good luck.

If the program adds highlighting when you paste, that suggests that highlighting has somehow become part of the formatting for the destination.

If you type (not paste) in a brand new document, does it highlight?

If you paste and match style into a brand new document, does it highlight?

It was not highlighted when I copied. And it does not always happen when I paste. Sometimes it just happens in the last three or four scenes I’ve written.

It’s highly unlikely that Scrivener is randomly applying highlighting (or any other formatting) without user instructions.

There is some combination of actions that is causing Scrivener to believe the text should be highlighted, we just haven’t figured out what that is yet.

What is the difference between paste actions that get highlighted and the ones that don’t? Source formatting? Destination formatting? Is there a Style applied to either the source or the destination? Comments?

I have everything set up in the same text format - 12 point Times New Roman with occasional Italics and bold. I don’t generally use styles. It doesn’t always or even most of the time happen when pasting. It just happens.

I’m an experience Scrivener user. I’ve written nine novels with this software and this only happened recently. I’m not doing anything different, I’m not using a new computer, so it has to be something different in the software.