Colors in Workflowy: Beta Feedback

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July 28, 2021
colors in workflowy

Hey there wonderful Workflowy folks.

We’re ready to share our implementation of ๐ŸŒˆ colors in beta with you. Please keep in mind that the feature is still in beta and so there are some rough edges. We want to get some early feedback on what we have right now, so please feel free to play with it, start using it and sharing your thoughts with us๐Ÿ’ฌ .

Feedback we incorporated

We read all your comments regarding the initial visual design and have incorporated some of that into this version. For example:

  • Changed color palette to better support users with color blindness
  • Added neutral gray color

What we have

We’ve implemented the three main things we mentioned in the previous colors post. To apply text highlighting, simply select some text and you’ll see the new option in the text widget.

Text color – You can apply this anywhere you like

Text background color – You can also apply this anywhere

Tags – Defaults to no color, but once you pick a color, it will sync everywhere

Keyboard shortcut – For applying the last style

What’s still missing

The key parts of the feature are there, but we’re still working on the mobile interface and on smoothing out some parts.

  • Mobile interface for adding/removing colors

Where we would like feedback

What are your thoughts on what we currently have? Is it useful? Will you start using the feature? How?

Tag colors are currently personal and don’t apply to shared documents – thoughts on that? Highlights will be shared. The reason is that tags such as #today or #important are often different for different people, so the utility of colored tags would be diminished if you saw everyone else’s tag colors as well. However, there are certainly situations where you would want to set colors for everyone, and we haven’t yet taken the time to think this through.

Is there anything missing that would keep you from using the feature as it is now?

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Sasha
Sasha
1 month ago

Jesse, one suggestion I can see is to have the ability to apply the color choice to multiple bullets that are selected/highlighted. Other idea IO thought of is perhaps about applying the color to underlines. People may have more opinions about that one ๐Ÿ˜‰

Adrian
Adrian
1 month ago
Reply to  Sasha

Coloring all selected bullets would be appreciated indeed!

I like that the color menu has the last used color on “speed dial” – that helped me today already.

Still, it would be cool to be able to apply the colors to the whole bullet/node (not just function-wise but also to keep it classier in design, when the color is meant for the whole paragraph). Maybe in the future. This first steps helps already tremendously ๐Ÿ˜‰

Daniel
Daniel
1 month ago

Is the color option available to all subscribers or only a portion? I ask because I don’t seem to have this available even using beta. I highlight text and usual text options available no color editing.

Daniel
Daniel
1 month ago
Reply to  Rodolfo Lopez

Thanks Rodolfo. I eventually turned my brain on and figured it out but I appreciate you replying to my question.

Adrian
Adrian
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel

I had this problem in the desktop app. But as soon as I opened the settings in the browser the color option popped up in the app as well. Maybe this helps you, too.

Aaron
Aaron
1 month ago

it would be great if copy/paste chould keep colors.

Jaroslav Skuhrovec
Jaroslav Skuhrovec
1 month ago

Awesome, thank you.

More colors please. Even own colors.
Please add the option to highlight the whole bullet not only the text.

Fernando Coelho
Fernando Coelho
1 month ago

Great stuff!
Is there any plans to search by colored text as well?

Jim
Jim
1 month ago

Happy to see this addition and itโ€™s well executed. Easy to find and use. One exception for me was that when I selected the text in a tag and applied color, that color did not sync everywhere. Applying the color using the pulldown does sync as you described. I found the difference in behavior a bit confusing. Also, it appears you can only apply a background to a tag. Iโ€™d value being able to apply color to the text only in a tag. And finally, Iโ€™d like the option of pick a custom color as one of the elements in the palette. The risk is I might make my outlines an ugly mess, but thatโ€™s on me. If you donโ€™t want to offer a custom option, then Iโ€™d like to see a greater number of choices.

Arthur
1 month ago

Would it be possible to add color options to … menu? This would allow users to change color options without selecting text first (one less action).

M Z
M Z
1 month ago
Reply to  Arthur

I also find it pretty difficult to add colors… too many actions, every single time… especially when the color is different than the last one; a key-shortcut could activate the color menu… or something…

I personally was pretty pumped when I heard about the colors, I knew I need them… but I don’t see myself use them too much… the text colors are strong colors (but in my opinion useless) + the highlight colors are too week, some are hard to differentiate between… purple, grey, orange red… (the text colors are stronger than highlight colors); would be great to choose our own, but it would be a complex system and a mess…

Visually speaking, colors or highlights are great in some parts of the “SYSTEM” but in the kanban view, where everybody has tasks to manage, CARD COLORS would be much useful… and probably a mess too…

Anyway guys, is great to dream and think about it… but WF is fantastic, we just need a hassle free system that doesn’t stays in our own way…

The ideas are great, but the execution is basic at the moment… same thing as the BAR – starred items that get lost every time I sync the app, IMAGES that are blurry or just not there (gray) – and I need an internet connection to just get important info from an image… and many many many visual BUGS that somehow don’t bother the team enough to change them…

The app is getting better and better… and it’s hard to be a beta tester ๐Ÿ™‚

Fractal boards and mirrors, dates, search… took the app to a new level…
The starred items, images, colors are still beta, and takes too much man…

Power to WF team… KEEP IT BASIC BUT MAKE IT WORK FLAWLESSLY…

Thank you… you all doing an amazing job…

Hugain ML
Hugain ML
1 month ago

1. Is it possible to add an option to color the whole bullet but keeping this option to color the word we select too?

2. Is it possible to allow us to personalise our own colors and save them on the color palette?

David
David
1 month ago

This new feature is amazing!
For my part, all I need is reminders based on dates and it will be perfect.
Thanks for your work and long live Workflowy!

Adrian
Adrian
1 month ago

Not sure if this is a bug or intentional (not directly linked to colors, but in using colors I came across this issue): When I select text with the cursor, the formatting menu pops up, as it should. But if I use CMD+A to select the whole text (to color it all) the menu doesn’t show up.

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian

Hi,
Here’s a workaround.
Double mouse click will select the whole line & show the formatting menu.

Amit Gupta
Amit Gupta
1 month ago

I have enabled it in the settings but still don’t see the option. Is there any trick to using it? Please help. Anyone.

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Amit Gupta

Hi,
I reckon that this is work in progress, it works fine on my PC (app & in browser) but not Android tablet or phone. What are you using?

Ann
Ann
1 month ago

While I too have been waiting for colors for years, I realize now the issue I am having is how to address color globally. I was expecting I would be able to highlight certain sections for color – for example everything that is personal or everything that is in the reference section, or everything that is a project. Now I realize it has to be done item by item. As a result, the only colors I plan on adding is to tags because it is a global change. It’s too labor intensive for me to go back and re-address my entire system.

Bruce
Bruce
1 month ago

I hate to say it but I’m disappointed. I don’t understand why there are different colour palates for the font and background that mean you can’t have strong backgrounds. And why there is such a paucity of colours generally. Also why the background highlight does not apply to the whole bullet. Not sure if this will work but I attach a picture showing 2 bullets that use the 140+/tampermonkey/Stylus solution and the same 2 styled as near I can using the new solution. It’s not flattering to the new.

The problem with the old solution is it doesn’t work on mobile. A shame, but 90% of my WorkFlowy use is via the browser interface and I think for now I’ll stay with the great colour choice of the old solution and hope the in-house solution evolves.

workflowy old and new color solutn.jpg
Dai
Dai
1 month ago

Hi, team.
The behavior of colored topic copying seems incorrect.

1. When I copy a colored topic, its format is not copied.
2. The color format is copied only if the topic has the existing format(BUI) and the copied topic contains uncolored text.

Anyway, I love color function (especially for #tag) ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Seoulrain
1 month ago

Awesome!
One of the suggestion I’d like to make is to let users select white color for text, which is great because this makes it easy for you to build some cloze test documents and their answer sheets.

Dev
Dev
1 month ago

Just Amazing. Love the simplicity and ease of using colors.
Game changer. Canโ€™t wait for the iPadOS app to get this.

Francisco
Francisco
1 month ago

Searching for a tag will highlight the tag in a yellow color that partially overlaps with the tag’s chosen color. The result looks weird, I think it should be highlighted in a different way (if at all).

Ann
Ann
1 month ago
Reply to  Francisco

I couldn’t agree more! It was not the implementation I expected. I guess like others I expected the entire bullet to be colorized not just the tag. Coloring the tag doesn’t make sense if you use the search often which I do constantly.

Philip
Philip
1 month ago

Hi guys,
Love your product and I’m a paid customer.

Some UI improvements:

  1. Maybe add rounded corners to make feel a bit softer.
  2. Maybe add 2 separate clickthroughs for background and text colour and not bundle them together.
  3. If I run a cmd+shift+h on an item twice, it should remove the highlight.
  4. Add the option to choose both a background and text colour at the same time.
Juan Carlos Gallego
Juan Carlos Gallego
1 month ago

Great step! Some suggestions:

  • Round corners for background color, the same as tags
  • Background color area is too high I think, when there are several areas in a multiline paragraph they touch each other. Attached example.
  • Searching for a tag highlights the tag in a yellow color. It overlaps with the tagโ€™s color background. The result is not good.
  • I miss darker backgrounds, turning text white
Colors.png
Becca
Becca
1 month ago

Totally agree regarding the search highlighting in yellow color, it clashes with the tag background color if one is set

Last edited 1 month ago by Becca
Becca
Becca
1 month ago
  • rounded corners on text with background to make feel a bit softer
  • If I run a cmd+shift+h on an item twice, it should remove the highlight.
  • Add the option to choose both a background and text colour at the same time.
  • In board view, I expected/wanted the option to apply a color to a card background
  • Wanted to search for / Star nodes that have colors
M Z
M Z
1 month ago
Reply to  Becca

THIS…THIS…THIS…THIS…THIS…

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Mark
Mark
1 month ago

Will certainly be using this as a highlighter pen.

Changing the colour of the bullet itself would open up many possibilities of sorting and organising. I’ll even go one further and suggest being able to change the background colour of the bullet – the bit that becomes visible when there are sub bullets – this could add organisational and visual flexibility to those who would like it. Imagine being able to drop down the intensity of those bullets to near invisible!

Adrian
Adrian
1 month ago

I’m using colors now for almost two weeks in both dark and default mode. I must say I like the color palette in dark mode a lot better than in default mode. The colors are more sophisticated and balanced. In default mode they’re all a bit too dark I think and still too much “in your face” (red and blue especially).

Patrick Wolf
Patrick Wolf
1 month ago
  • Tag search is case insensitive
  • Color linking is case sensitive

So searching for #todo will return #ToDo #Todo #todo but if i color #todo the rest will have no colors.

It would be more consistent if color tags are case insensitive too

Patrick Wolf
Patrick Wolf
1 month ago

Tag colors are case sensitive while search is case sensitive. It would be more consistent if tag colors would be case insensitive too. So setting a color on #todo would also color #ToDo #Todo

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