🌈 Color me excited – Colors have finally come to Workflowy

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September 8, 2021
workflowy colors feature

Workflowy just got a burst of color – users can now apply colors to text and tags anywhere they want. This feature makes it super simple to highlight anything you want to have stand out and lets you easily add visual markers to make organizing and navigating even easier.

What can I color?

You can choose the color of text, the color of text highlights, and the color of any tag. The colors apply everywhere within Workflowy including bullet notes.

How do I color things?

To color text:

  1. To add color to text, select the text with your cursor and you will see the text menu popup. Click on the arrow next to the icon of the letter “A” to choose either a text color or a background color.
  2. Once you’ve done this you can then select more text and simply click on the “A” in the text popup to apply the last color or use the keyboard shortcut. (CMD+Shift+H on Mac, Ctrl+Shift+H on Windows)
Desktop version

Note: In the mobile version, select the text you want to color and you should see the same icon above the mobile keyboard on the right-hand side.

Mobile version

To color tags:

  1. To color a tag, place your cursor over a # tag or an @ tag and then click the down arrow to the right of it.
  2. Choose the color for the tag – this will also update any existing tags with the same name.
Desktop version

Note: In the mobile version, tap and hold any tag to bring up the color menu, then tap on the color you want for the tag.

Mobile version

What can I use this for?

Here are some ideas on how to get started using colors in Workflowy.

  • Pasting entire articles / documents into Workflowy and highlighting only the most important parts
  • Using text color to signal edits made by another team member
  • Highlight your top-level bullets to make it easier to spot them when you’re working several levels down
  • Setting up a color coding system to tag todo items #todo #doing #done #paused #cancelled
  • Set up a tag system with color to signal item priorities #low #medium #high

Back to you

We can’t wait to see how users experiment with and play with colors. Feel free to share how you plan to use colors in the comments below!

We also want to thank all the beta users that provided valuable feedback during the development of the feature. Your feedback has helped make colors more useful and easier to use for all users.

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Johnny Little
8 months ago

Excellent! Always nice to see companies continuing to invest in their products. 😬👍🏼

philipp
philipp
8 months ago

THX! it’s great!

kei
kei
8 months ago

I wonder if you could implement a search function for nodes that contain highlighted texts. I use highlight since a particular paragraph, passage or word is important to me.

While I can easily search/locate them by tagging (use either # or @), doing that on top of highlighting is cumbersome.

Gama
8 months ago

Awesome!!! Thank you. This app is increasingly useful

oldtommy
oldtommy
8 months ago

Anyway, great feature! Thanks a lot!
Still open for me: how to navigate with only keyboard to select the wanted color.

waldyrious
waldyrious
8 months ago

I’ve been using this feature from the experimental features settings, and it’s been working great. There are two things I wish were improved, though:

1) Any chance Workflowy can remember the last used color across page refreshes? It’s quite convenient to type Ctrl+Shift+H to automatically highlight an text selection with the last used style, but whenever I refresh the page I have to select the color manually again.

2) Could the OPML export mode make such highlighted content be indicated with proper <mark> tags, rather than <span>? That way it would be more portable (not to mention semantically meaningful).

Jesse Patel
Admin
8 months ago
Reply to  waldyrious

Good points! Adding them to our things to consider

Elliott Edwards
Elliott Edwards
8 months ago

For a moment I thought there was some styling problem and that my tag colors were getting broken. Then I realized I was on a search result view and the tag highlighting was interfering with the tag colors (that work fine elsewhere). Not sure if this can be adjusted per tag, but posted in the interest of sharing the observation/confusion.

Screenshot 2021-09-08 104152.png
B. Graham
B. Graham
8 months ago

Very cool. Please incorporate a format paintbrush method similar to other office software.

jql
jql
8 months ago
console.log("Hello Workflowy")
Sal
Sal
8 months ago

Mmm.. colorful data… Brilliant!

thinktao
thinktao
8 months ago

Thanks for this great feature! I’ve been looking for this for long time!

Fabian
Fabian
8 months ago

Awesome!!! Thank you Workflowy team!!!

Charlie d'Estries
8 months ago

Yay! I asked about color years ago and now it’s here! Wonderful! Now, if I could set up a t0-do list with dates and reminders!

Cameron
Cameron
8 months ago

I was just wondering the other day when colors would come to Workflowy. Bam! Here! Oh, thank you so very much. Rather than say “now give me this feature”, I’ll just leave it at this. I appreciate your work very much.

Mario
Mario
8 months ago

Love to see it 🙂

Jean Reidy
8 months ago

How do you color a full list of bullets? When I highlight a list, the color menu does not come up.

Joan Culpepper-Morgan
Joan Culpepper-Morgan
8 months ago

The best just got better! Thanks.

Elizabeth
8 months ago

This is awesome. I would LOVE to see some automation options for this (as in, always color #task in yellow, #question in blue, etc). Right now this requires a lot of extra clicks every time. Automating would take this to the next level!

Gilles
Gilles
8 months ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

If you give a tag a color, it’ll applied to that tag anywhere and every time you use it. Maybe reload the page / restart the browser ?
I sometimes had the problem of a tag color not being applied everywhere while setting it on a tag during beta a few days ago, and doing this resolved the issue.

Carlos Rebolledo Aguirre
Carlos Rebolledo Aguirre
8 months ago

Excelente !!!! Muchas gracias

Anjal Patel
8 months ago

Amazing!!!

Erika
Erika
8 months ago

I’ve been using this already (in Beta?) and loving it. Long time WF user from 2012 and didn’t think I’d care about having colors, but I do.

Andrew
Andrew
8 months ago

Finally! now I can disable my custom script that did just that!

Fabrice
Fabrice
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Me top ! YES!

rafael
rafael
8 months ago

nice

Monica
Monica
8 months ago

Yes!!! Thank you!!

Neeta Budhraja
Neeta Budhraja
8 months ago

Amazing..
Colors will make this platform more interactive

Gius
Gius
8 months ago

Nice!

John
John
8 months ago
Reply to  Gius

I am on iOS 13.4.1. Do I need iOS 14 for this to work? I upgraded the WF app today, but color is not an option anywhere.

James Cham
8 months ago

This is great! Can I search by color?

Jesse Patel
Admin
8 months ago
Reply to  James Cham

Not yet! We need to make search extensible so we can build this sort of thing easily and for all the features.

Richard Beall
Richard Beall
8 months ago

It’s looks great, but in reality it’s not working on my iPad. None of the new options appear when the text is highlighted.

Gilles
Gilles
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard Beall

Works for me like a charm. Did you update the app ?

Richard Beall
Richard Beall
8 months ago
Reply to  Gilles

I found the little symbol to activate the feature. And yes I did update the app. 👍

Michel Bühnemann
Michel Bühnemann
8 months ago

Great feature! Thanks!

Stuart
Stuart
8 months ago

Finally! Been using flowy since 2013 – about time.

Hamid Ali
Hamid Ali
8 months ago

Yes, yes, yes! thank you!

Piotr
8 months ago

You are awesome! Please add clicking on dates and choosing: Next Week, This weekend, Later Today etc. buttons.

Dave
Dave
8 months ago

The drop downs by tags is somewhat annoying (gets in the way of interacting with the tag directly).

Gilles
Gilles
8 months ago
Reply to  Dave

I feel this too, I am sure it’ll be improved in the near future.

Bev
Bev
8 months ago

This looks fun ! Thanks, Workflowy Team !!!

Gary
Gary
8 months ago

Thanks! Is there a way to highlight multiple tags at once?

Martin Lovell
Martin Lovell
8 months ago

Excellent – been using the beta and its a real benefit!

enrique
enrique
8 months ago

awesome!

Claire
Claire
8 months ago

Any shortcuts for the colors?

Isabelle Pelisson
Isabelle Pelisson
8 months ago

Great !

Matt
Matt
8 months ago
  • How do I color text as same as background?
  • Where is the black background (on mobile) or same themes as on desktop?
  • How do I remove the color from the star?
Oleh
Oleh
8 months ago

Better make the API…

Ben Martin
8 months ago

beautiful!

Stuart Cliffe
Stuart Cliffe
8 months ago

Still sad I can’t impress others with this new feature – is it too early to suggest that the next step would be to offer someone I share a database with the option whether or not to accept the colour scheme too? (11/10 for the feature though!!!)

Last edited 8 months ago by stuart cliffe
Jane
Jane
8 months ago

Hallelujah!

Lentz Marseille
8 months ago

Thank you, I’ve been waiting for this feature for so long!!

HorriblyBlue
HorriblyBlue
8 months ago

Great feature, waiting for shortcuts for colors 🙂 WF is great because all can be done using keyboard, but colors for now still need mouse clicks (too much tbh).

Great job!

Weili Xu
Weili Xu
8 months ago
Reply to  HorriblyBlue

shift+comman+h

oldtommy
oldtommy
8 months ago
Reply to  Weili Xu

Hm, yes with shift+ctrl+h the color-menu pops up. But then? How can I navigate to the color I want using only keyboard? Arrows up, down, left, right do not work.

Charlie Hewitt
Charlie Hewitt
8 months ago
Reply to  oldtommy

shift+command+h applies the last colour format previously applied

Mark
Mark
8 months ago
Reply to  Charlie Hewitt

Exactly. So once you’ve set a colour you can never open the colour selector with the shortcut again, you can only redo the colour. You should be able to open the colour selector with the keyboard whenever you want.

mitch
8 months ago
Reply to  HorriblyBlue

So many tools neglect the keyboard! Drives me bonkers. I agree with adding more keyboard functionality here and in other features. (Still don’t know why we can’t navigate to the parent item for example with a keyboard shortcut (or compress the parent while the cursor is in a child item for another example))

Danielle
Danielle
8 months ago

Yessssss! I have wanted this feature for YEARS!

Dan Drooks
Dan Drooks
8 months ago

Welcome to the 21st century!

mitch
8 months ago

Woot! Brilliant!

Mickaël Sibelle
Mickaël Sibelle
8 months ago

Merci !

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