🌈 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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Subodh Shakya
Subodh Shakya
1 year ago

I have always wanted this color coding facility in Workflowy because I use a lot while editing the write-ups in MS Word and also while preparing my To-Do List. Thank you so much for such a wonderful update. I’m really excited about it and hope to see more smaller but impactful changes in Workflowy to ease our user experience.

N stary
N stary
1 year ago

Thank you. Workflowy is the my best organizing tool for many years!

Will Dollis
Will Dollis
1 year ago

Outstanding. I also didn’t realize, until my girlfriend pointed out how to apply colors on mobile, you can now italicize, bold, and underline from the Android mobile app! This is such an excellent feature.

The only suggestion I would add is that you should add strikethrough to the formatting options!

Keep it up.

Last edited 1 year ago by Will Dollis
Jackson Stephens
Jackson Stephens
1 year ago

I love WorkFlowy, and this is a great new feature for coloring text. However, I think two things just don’t seem to work well and feel buggy as a result. Note that I’m a cloud software product manager for my day job. 🙂

  1. You can only use the mouse to select text within a single bullet and apply coloring. I want to be able to select multiple bullets with my mouse and apply coloring to all the bullet text at once. This can be done with the Ctrl + Shift + H keyboard shortcut, but it should also be possible with the user interface directly.
  2. The text format menu (bold, underline, italics, link, color) only appears when selecting text with the mouse. However, if I use the keyboard to select text using arrow keys with Shift and Ctrl, or even if I just do a Ctrl + A operation, the text format menu doesn’t come up. It feels really inconsistent. I mean, a word processor like Microsoft Word would never behave this way. Text selection is text selection, and the method used to do it shouldn’t change the available format options.
Nancy K. McFadden
Nancy K. McFadden
1 year ago

Hurray!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!! I have a low vision disability. This will add to my quality of life so much 🙂

Mike Sturm
1 year ago

Pasting entire articles / documents into Workflowy and highlighting only the most important parts

Pretty clever idea!

Aram
Aram
1 year ago

Design additions are good but please add notifications functionality 😀

Last edited 1 year ago by Aram
ismael godoy
1 year ago

amazing!

Mark
Mark
1 year ago

Great feature. Is there an option to print w the colors? I notice I am add emojis that print in color but the text and tag highlighting does not.

wayne
wayne
1 year ago

wow

Ram Zorkot
Ram Zorkot
1 year ago

Hi, thanks for your service and interesting update!

But guys, to be able to use this feature properly, please add themes for sharing. I’m working in dark mod and sharing is always in default light theme, I was just about to come to you with this, and this update gave me another reason.

Ram Zorkot
Ram Zorkot
1 year ago
Reply to  Ram Zorkot

Examples

Screenshot 2021-09-10 at 00.05 copy.jpg
Ram Zorkot
Ram Zorkot
1 year ago
Reply to  Ram Zorkot

Examples

Screenshot 2021-09-10 at 00.06 copy.jpg
Last edited 1 year ago by Ram Zorkot
Rob
Rob
1 year ago

Doesn’t seems to work for IOS

migratingoose
migratingoose
1 year ago

Ok, I’m a little ridiculously excited to see this awesome upgrade! Thanks, Workflowy!

Clarke
Clarke
1 year ago

Love the simplicity of Work-Flowy and would rather see basic interface improvements before bells and whistles. For example, it would be nice to be able to paste copied text as one item.

Geezelle
1 year ago

Thank you workflowy, team…

I’m a long time WF user and has brought in a lot of referrals as well….

No regrets, will continue to bring in more people to listify the world!.. 😀

Arjen
1 year ago

THIS is great!
Was i ♥ already with workflowy …. this is realy a nice extra feature though. It is realy difficult to create / keep something simple as complex as this app. Great job Dev-Team

Hus
Hus
1 year ago

Bless u Developers! Life changing! I had to create my own workaround to include colors but it was too complicated! Now you added it yourself! Amazng!

Yakovski Sergey
Yakovski Sergey
1 year ago

Finally! Thank you so much!
Colors were a must.
They help visual people to focus much better.
Color absence was the main reason I stoped using WorkFlowy.
Now I’m back in!
Let’s Rock & Roll 😎🤟

Daniel
1 year ago

It would be great to be able to also color the text in the Starred menu! Or that the colours on those starred items reflect the colour of the actual starred item would make even more sense.

Remi
Remi
1 year ago

Brilliant, that was really the point that I felt was missing! Now with colors, I can enjoy it even more! 🙂

tag
tag
1 year ago

Love the feature but disappointed by the colors. In dark mode, you get two hardly indistinguishable variants of orange, and some other pale colors. What I would want is at least a bright red. Custom colors would be highly appreciated.

noughtnaut
noughtnaut
1 year ago

Neat feature. I don’t think I’ll need it very much, but it’s good to have.

Also, very nice the way you show the new feature. You deliver the same quality as JetBrains! <3

Pat
Pat
1 year ago

Loving this. Already using it a lot. 👌🏻

Marovsky
Marovsky
1 year ago

Long time coming. Thought this was gonna be one of the first additions, but am glad it finally came!

Bruce Marriott
Bruce Marriott
1 year ago

As a paying customer I have to say the implementation remains a big disappointment. Many (not all I know) have asked for a larger colour choice. As an example the most liked comment on the beta blog entry came from Jaroslav Skuhrovec and he said:
“If you could change one thing about colours in Workflowy, what would it be?

I have two https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/13.1.0/svg/1f642.svg

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

And on the earlier Beta feedback thread Jaroslav’s contribution made the same points and similarly garnered more +ve marks than any other comment. And yet all this weight of feedback has been totaly ignored. We are where we are, but it seems a lost opportunity to do colour justice in Workflowy.

Jesse Patel
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruce Marriott

Thanks! We’ll think about how we could add more colors as well as styling. In our original post about how much customization we should offer, the majority of people seemed to want us to keep it super simple (ie: no options to color bullets, whole lines, etc). But, I think this might actually be an area where more flexibility could be a good thing, as long as it doesn’t complicated the interface, and people who don’t want it don’t need to use it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jesse Patel
Bruce Marriott
Bruce Marriott
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesse Patel

Thanks Jesse – appreciated. I hope something can be done while this is all still technically fresh in your minds. If it’s left it will just sink into the general wish list of things that it would be nice to do sometime… many of which never get to the top. Agree simple is terrific. The ability to specify colour palate entries by inputting Hex Color Codes would give much visual flexibility. And yes the ability to (background) colour whole lines would clearly be welcome by many. Again, many thanks for looking into this.

Lucas
Lucas
1 year ago

Nice colors. Does it offer color search?

John
John
1 year ago

This is great! Thank you! I was previously using Workflowy mostly on chrome to take advantage of the Stylish extension to add colors, but that left mobile devices uncolored and with lots of annoying color hashtags all over the place. This update eliminates the need for Stylish for color.

dmp
dmp
1 year ago

Lovely….Thanks~~~
I hope another function, date key-in feature (Alt + ; )
It’s very useful for user and very normal, lots of App have it’s function…..

mitch
1 year ago
Reply to  dmp

Is this different than the ‘dates’ function in settings (under experimental features)?

Richard
Richard
1 year ago

Nice feature, thanks. I would love to be able to add custom colours, and apply colour to the text of tags rather than the background, like you can with text.

Sangpil
Sangpil
1 year ago

Cool!!

kart jim
kart jim
1 year ago

Awesome.

debren
debren
1 year ago

ole

XLY
XLY
1 year ago

Waiting for this feature for a long time, nice

Last edited 1 year ago by XLY
Jikku Jose
1 year ago

Great!

los0731
los0731
1 year ago

great!

Jonan
Jonan
1 year ago

Great!!!

Khoa Truong
1 year ago

I’ve been waiting for years for this feature! Thank you for listening to our feedbacks. Keep up the great work everyone.

Di Crawford-Errington

Looks great, thanks

Natu Myers
1 year ago

Fantastic

John Kontos
John Kontos
1 year ago

Great! Congrats =)

Adele Tongish
Adele Tongish
1 year ago

That’s great! I can’t wait to use it! The only problem is on mobile, now you have to scroll over to check something off your list. Can you move the checkmark back before you have to scroll?

doebtown
doebtown
1 year ago
Reply to  Adele Tongish

I noticed this yesterday, too, and it was a real drag to check things off my packing list. Every check required a horizontal scroll.

Adele Tongish
Adele Tongish
1 year ago
Reply to  Rodolfo Lopez

I just saw the notification on that! Thank you!

Jesse Patel
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Adele Tongish

I’ll fix this right now.

Jesse Patel
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesse Patel

Okay, is fixed. Will be out in the next mobile release. Next week sometime.

Adele Tongish
Adele Tongish
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesse Patel

Well, that’s awesome! Thank you so much!

Dan Bouwhuis
Dan Bouwhuis
1 year ago

great new feature, thank U!

chikaramike
chikaramike
1 year ago

Wow! Awesome news. Been amazing to see all the updates over the last year+!

Isaiah McCommons
Isaiah McCommons
1 year ago

Awesome!

Kai
Kai
1 year ago

I LOVE WORKFLOWY. Can’t imagine my brain without it

Julien
Julien
1 year ago

Super évolution👍Merci!

Kundel
Kundel
1 year ago

love it!! great work =)

heya
heya
1 year ago

It’s great! I’m so excited! Thank you!!!

Jeonghoon Kim
Jeonghoon Kim
1 year ago

Great!!!!!

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

Thank you. This is a helpful step forward.

A couple of glitches on iOS:
1) The native text selection overlaps the colour palette.
2) On smaller screens you have to scroll the formatting icons left to bring the colour icon on screen (which I don’t mind), but after applying a colour, the icons scroll back to their initial position. So you have to scroll again if you want to use colour.

Phil Twine
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben

Thanks Ben, could you take a screenshot for point 1) please?

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