Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit Apps
It's possible to set the background color of a text area in TextEdit, like this:
To do this, you need a corresponding style., and here's how to do this. First, download SVG-Colors.html (Dropbox | macosxhints), and open it in TextEdit. Click the Styles drop-down menu and select Other, then use the arrow keys to go to your desired highlighter color -- you want the actual line with color, not the word describing the color.

With the desired color visible in the window, click the Add to Favorites button (with the Document Styles radio button enabled). In the little window that appears, give the new style a descriptive name ("yellow highlighter"), and leave the two boxes unchecked.

You can now apply that style to selected text in any of your TextEdit documents. Read on if you'd like to see how this works, and how to customize it to your liking.

The SVG-Colors.html file includes all colors with a svg/w3c color name. You can select a color and add it to your favorite styles. Each color is defined by svg/w3c name, hex, and RGB value. If the background color you are looking for isn't in the list, you can add it yourself:
  1. Open SVG-Colors.html in a standard/plain text editor (eg. TextWrangler).
  2. Add the background color code you want to use in a line of HTML:
    mycolor <span style="background-color:#876543;">mycolor #876543</span>
  3. Save the file.
Tip: How do I get rid of Favorite Styles in TextEdit? Open the Styles drop-down menu, choose Favorite Styles, select the style you want to delete, then select Remove From Favorites.

Tip: You can use the same styles in xPad as in TextEdit: Activate Show Ruler in xPad; if you add a new style within TextEdit, relaunch xPad to see it.

[robg adds: This worked as described for me.]
    •    
  • Currently 3.36 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (22 votes cast)
 
[19,608 views]  

Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit | 15 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: Drdul on Jan 06, '10 08:07:15AM

Great tip! A faster way to add styles is to navigate to the highlight color you want to add, and select a portion of the colored text. Select Format > Font > Styles… from the menu. Click the Add to Favorites button.

---
Richard Drdul
Vancouver, BC



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: alansilv on Jan 06, '10 08:51:12AM

Poked around and found that adding the highlighter effect to TextEdit also makes it available in Mail messages. Not sure yet what it will look like when opened by another email app, but it works fine between Macs. FYI, the free Bean text editor has a "Highlight Text" item in the "Format" pulldown menu with five color choices.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: mantrid on Jan 06, '10 08:57:12AM
Good hint, but a dupe.
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050515131715761

The trick was old news even at the time that hint was published but it can be good to revisit old non-obvious tricks.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: robg on Jan 07, '10 08:21:10AM

Oh man. Sorry about that. I thought it seemed familiar, but my search efforts failed. Given the number of comments here, I'm going to leave this online, but I'll add a pointer back to the original.

thanks;
-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: osxpounder on Jan 06, '10 09:21:07AM

Good tip. Thanks!

Readers, if you're trying this tip, and you don't see the colors in the SVG-Colors.html document, this might be why:

Some TextEdit users have set their preferences to "ignore rich text commands in HTML files." That's how I set my own TextEdit. I see the 'raw text' with HTML tags rather than the formatted text.

To take advantage of this hint, though, you'll need to uncheck that box. Any file currently open in TextEdit must be re-opened, if you want to view it as rich text. Likewise, when you're done with styles, you can check that preference box again... but any open files must be re-opened if you want to view them without rich text again.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: Dave Creek on Jan 06, '10 09:29:00AM

I'm feeling ignorant here. How do I “download” the SVG-Colors.html document?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: auntchilada on Jan 06, '10 09:57:00AM

option-click the link to download the file. or right-click/control-click and choose Download Linked File.

c'mon!

also, most webpages can be downloaded as a file by highlighting the address (command-L) and keying option-return.

Edited on Jan 06, '10 10:01:17AM by auntchilada



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: Dave Creek on Jan 06, '10 12:29:58PM

Thanks, AuntChilada.

Now I'm REALLY embarrassed!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: James Dunleavy on Jan 06, '10 09:46:44AM

Dave, I agree! I too have been unable to download SVG-Colors.html. Hopefully someone will read about the "ignorant" one and offer some help. I like using TextEdit and think the highlighting would be neat.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: mantrid on Jan 06, '10 10:06:28AM

You don't really have to download the file to use this hint. Just open the page in Safari, select and copy text with the style you want, paste into TextEdit, select it again in TextEdit and add it to your favourite styles as described in the hint.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: TonyT on Jan 06, '10 02:23:14PM

Thanks, great tip, and as someone mentioned, I can access this is Mail



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: pub3abn on Jan 07, '10 06:11:43AM

Does anyone know where the settings file is located, that contains these style settings?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: mantrid on Jan 07, '10 09:31:08AM

From at least 10.3 to 10.5, it has been /Users/user/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist. Whether or not it's the same in 10.6, you'll have to ask someone that has it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: da2357 on Jan 07, '10 02:04:30PM

Yes, it's still located in /Users/username/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist in Snow Leopard.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create highlighter pen effects in TextEdit
Authored by: jsupernova1 on Nov 07, '12 01:57:29PM

Is there an editor available that already has a highlighter pen rather than having to kluge around with TextEdit? Pages doesn't seem to have it either as far as I could see.



[ Reply to This | # ]