Colors in Workflowy: Beta Release

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August 11, 2021

Hey there wonderful Workflowy folks.

We’re ready to share our implementation of 🌈 colors in beta with you. Please keep in mind that the feature is still in beta and so there are some rough edges.

We would love to get some feedback, so please feel free to play with it, start using it, and share your thoughts with us💬 .

To activate the feature, open the settings panel then toggle the ‘Colors’ feature.

Make sure you’re on beta.workflowy.com or using the beta version of the app, otherwise you won’t be able to toggle the feature on or see the latest changes.

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
  • Copy/paste keeps colors
  • Applying color again removes the color

What can I color in Workflowy?

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

Where we would like feedback

Tell us how you used colors in Workflowy

If you could change one thing about colors in Workflowy, what would it be?

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Jaroslav Skuhrovec
Jaroslav Skuhrovec
1 month ago

If you could change one thing about colors in Workflowy, what would it be?

I have two 🙂

1 – more colors
2 – the option to highlight the whole line. Same as in the picture. It is ideal for important headers.

WF.JPG
Alasdair Macdonald
Alasdair Macdonald
1 month ago

more colours particularly orange which makes me smile
if when use ctrl a to select a whole node then you get the little gadget to add the colours, not just when select with mouse
is it really hard to have both a font colour and a highlight?

Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes
1 month ago

More colors please, ideally a palette where you could create your own colors

jregan
jregan
1 month ago

The pastel colors are more appealing to me as text can be more easily read.

shawn
shawn
1 month ago

Strange request, but long notes are hard to read or print out with the soft gray don’t color. Love to have black as an option in settings, but allowing black as a font color would be a nice workaround.

I would love to use it as a long-form editor.

waldyrious
waldyrious
1 month ago
Reply to  shawn

I was confused as to what you meant by “don’t color” until it dawned on me that you meant to write “font color”! 😅

John
John
1 month ago

I actually like the color palette, but a few more won’t hurt I guess.

  • The option to change the keyboard shortcut would be good. I’ve used BTT to assign CMD+S to highlight it but it would be better if WF had this feature.
  • I agree with Jaroslav, ability to highlight the whole line would be useful
Last edited 1 month ago by John
Filip
Filip
1 month ago

If you could change one thing about colors in Workflowy… -> Being able to set the colors of multiple bullets at once! Currently, when I select multiple bullets the context menu which appears has Complete, Mirror, Delete, and no color options. Changing the colors of many bullets one by one is tedious.

Last edited 1 month ago by Filip
Mitch
Mitch
18 days ago
Reply to  Filip

Select multiple bullets and then use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+H to paste the highlighting to all at once

Bruce Marriott
Bruce Marriott
1 month ago

Similar to  Jaroslav Skuhrovec’s suggestions but even more emphatically:

Way, way, more colours and no difference in choice between background and text choices – one large palette, not two small ones

Ability to highlight whole line, not just the text part

Tim
Tim
1 month ago
Reply to  Bruce Marriott

I disagree. Too many colors would be a negative for me. I would spend too much time choosing and making sure they all match when they are supposed to. Fewer carefully chosen and nice-looking colors seems great to me.

Bruce Marriott
Bruce Marriott
26 days ago
Reply to  Tim

I use the 140 colour mod and when I first started I did indeed find I spent some time to find the right harmonious colours for me and my WorkFlowy list. But that was 2 years ago and now i don’t think at all and know what works.

Look at it like decorating a room – you spend time to choose the colours that work for you and then live with them without thought for many years. Most people wouldn’t dream of telling the paint manufacturers to reduce their choice of colours to 7 for skirting/doors and 7 for walls – because choosing is difficult and takes time.

You seem to like the current WorkFlowy colour choice, but I think they are terrible and wishy-washy. And we come full-circle… which is why providers of paint and colours provide many choices.

Henda
Henda
1 month ago

Thanks for this new possibility, it’s great! 
Tags – “Defaults to no color, but once you pick a color, it will sync everywhere ” It doesn’t work on my end, too bad. Is there any special manipulation to do?

Rodolfo
Rodolfo
1 month ago
Reply to  Henda

Hi Henda. what specifically doesn’t work – the tag syncing?

Henda
Henda
1 month ago
Reply to  Rodolfo

Hi Rodolfo, I mean that when I affect a color to a tag, for example : pink for tag Today, the other tags “Today” don’t take this color.

Rodolfo
Rodolfo
1 month ago
Reply to  Henda

Tags are case sensitive so a tag like #today and #Today would be considered two different tags and the colors would not sync.

If the tags are the same but they’re not being updated and you’re on beta.workflowy.com or using the beta app then that sounds like a bug that you can report at help@workflowy.com so we can have the team look at it.

Steve
Steve
25 days ago
Reply to  Rodolfo

Tags shouldn’t be case sensitive, since searching for tags is not case sensitive.

waldyrious
waldyrious
1 month ago

I wish the colored sections were exported as proper elements in the HTML and OPML export modes, rather than as a with a custom style as is currently the case.

Also, it would be great if the keyboard shortcut to apply color formatting (Ctrl+Shift+H) didn’t move the cursor to the start of the line. That’s quite inconvenient.

Raquel M Mariano
Raquel M Mariano
1 month ago

If you could change one thing about colors in Workflowy, what would it be?

The color of searched tags becomes yellow. If this is the case. the searched tags get mixed up with texts that were originally applied the color yellow if such texts were in the bullets searched. This becomes confusing.

Sam
Sam
1 month ago

Add a slight ’rounding’ of the corners of text whose background has been colored. This give a softer, more professional look than the hard rectangles currently used.

Dave in the American Midwest

Aiding “Meta” Workflowy

E.g. the tag coloring syncing everywhere (love that!) seems more a priority than things such as ability to style multiple nodes simultaneously.

One thought: Your community has long been “styling” Workflowy to visually group node levels—e.g. 1.1.1, 1.1.2—to aid navigation.

Visually identifying the outline levels when doing a lot of vertical traversing is HUGE for us when navigating bigger “documents” (when there’s a lot on the screen). So we use things such as ✅ and and underlining/bold in “subheads” to easily find our way though larger outline sections. Particularly as we are putting notes into a meeting. We even have business rules as to how many ▋▋▋mean what.

Hence, this suggestion: Ability to simultaneously style all first-child levels under a node. Of course, if you already have something on the roadmap to help identify node levels to aid navigation, you should stick with that.

HUGE Thanks!!

Feel kind of bad for you guys, as you of course are going to get tons of “edge case” requests (or personalities 😏) with this feature being so different from previous feature types. Hang in there!

Really, really appreciate all you do.

Slava Thereshin
Slava Thereshin
1 month ago

If you could change one thing about colors in Workflowy, what would it be?

All the text settings from the same pop-up, no sub-menus.
Or some clever way to expand it without clicking.
Also, live preview while hovering over options.
😊

jregan
jregan
1 month ago

Allow me to change the color of backlinks globally, or provide an option to set the color of back links.

Evi
Evi
29 days ago

I had an idea, don’t know if that’ll be possible: set a colour per “level” of nodes. It would help be better distinguish different layers. So, there should be a mode that can be toggled, and then you can choose which colour each level has. E.g. the main level is blue, the layer underneath red, and below that green etc.

trackback

[…] did the design work for colors in Workflowy, which is coming out any day now. We’re starting our next project right […]

Steve
Steve
25 days ago

Colors are pretty, but for me the strength of workflowy is its cabability to be driven 100% from the keyboard (or very nearly) and its minimal bloat. Unless they have some semantic or workflow meaning, colors are not needed. I would prefer to see the ability to set behaviors on bullets, e.g. adding tag #sys:rota would change the behavior so that transitioning a child of this node to done would instead move it to the bottom of the children and leave it not done. Or to declare the home of a node so that mirroring it elsewhere in the document would make it easy to know where the node originated. These would provide productivity benefits for me.

Dave in the American Midwest

Change one thing: Tags should not lose colors.

Tags currently become uncolored in shared outlines, and each user of a shared outline can set their own tag colors that others cannot see/does not affect others. A complete mess for teams relying on shared outlines.

See support request #46501

Last edited 25 days ago by Dave in the American Midwest
Raphael
Raphael
24 days ago

I am using WF Version 1.3.6-beta.756 (1.3.6-beta.756). No new updates. And I don’t see the Colors toggle switch. I see Backlinks, Inline Linking, MFA, w the LABS tag. but no Colors LABS.

Peter
Peter
20 days ago

What colors??
“…open the settings panel then toggle the ‘Colors’ feature.”
Not seeing any ‘Colors’ feature to toggle????

Rodolfo
Rodolfo
20 days ago
Reply to  Peter

Hey Peter, make sure you’ve first toggled the ‘Workflowy labs toggle’, refreshed, and then you should see the Colors option in the beta version of Workflowy (beta.workflowy.com).

Gilles
Gilles
19 days ago

Hi guys,
I love native color support in workflowy.
Just did an export in formatted text this morning and was extatic to see the colors and highlights were exported as well !!!! This is what I wanted for a long time, and this is going to speed my workflow a lot.

As far as improvements goes, il repeat some of the comments below :

  • moar colors / color sets.
  • I’d appreciate a bit more vibrant colors.
  • The visual difference between the two firsts highlights is too small for me, event on a Retina display, it’s difficult for me to tell them appart.
  • option to highlight the whole line like Jaroslav suggested (I would use that for headers/important titles)
  • option to be able to format (text, highlight…) a ligne that we’d select with ctrl (win) or alt for Mac.

keep up the good work guys, this is awesome

Felix
Felix
17 days ago

Thx for the colors. Here is my wishlist:

  • more colors (colorpicker)
  • highlight the whole line
  • bg-color: add some css, round edges maybe and a little padding left and right
James Leo
James Leo
14 days ago

Was this feature removed? I found this post on Friday, set everything up, and it seems to be no longer available. I realize it’s still in beta.

I can confirm I’m using the beta version of the site. Thanks.

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