Hotkey/shortcut to switch font colors?

Hi all -

Is there a way to set keyboard shortcuts for common font colors?

Here’s the use case. I use Black and Blue to distinguish between two kinds of text in a DevonThink card: (1) direct quotes from an original source, and (2) my own comments on the quotes. I’m constantly going back and forth between the two colors and it’s enough mouse work to genuinely be a drag on workflow.

I’ve tried a few things without success. Styles doesn’t seem to have a “set color” option, unfortunately. And while this Bluefrog post suggests a way to set hotkeys for highlighting, that won’t work here. I use highlighting to draw my eye to REALLY important things; it’d be visual overkill here, destroying the current usefulness of highlighting and overloading my slow brain with visual stimuli : )

Any clever ideas?


No there are no hotkeys assocated with the color picker. In fact, that’s a stock macOS control, not something of our own creation.

However, unless you’re using a ton of different fonts, why not just define your own rich text style?

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Oh! That looks extremely promising. Following this suggestion, the DT manual, and various old posts, I’ve done the following:

  • created custom styles (including color)
  • confirmed the custom styles work when selected in the dropdown menu that can be accessed from the Style menu in the menu bar
  • created hotkey shortcuts for the new custom styles through the main Apple Settings keyboard shortcuts interface

But… the hotkey isn’t working, even when I (a) open the dropdown menu and use the two styles to “prime” the hotkey, and (b) quit and reopen. Instead my first hotkey (shift-command-1) produces nothing but an error sound; and my second hotkey (shift-command-2) creates a new Inbox document with the highlighted text [??]. Thoughts??

Here’s a picture of the Apple Settings keyboard shortcut:
Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 5.32.08 PM

Here’s a picture of the DevonThink custom “Styles…” dropdown from within the dialog box. It shows my two new custom styles per your suggestion, varying only in color: “Black font” and “Blue font”:
Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 5.33.11 PM

Then I select text, with this screen shot for an example…
Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 5.27.08 PM

…and neither hotkey command works. When I do Shift-Command-1 to call “Black font”, nothing happens–just the error sound. When I do Shift-Command-2 to call “Blue font”, a new inbox item is created that copies the text i’ve highlighted (see screen shot), but nothing happens to the highlighted text in the original document:

I feel very thick not to be able to figure this out…

Shift-Command is a very common set of modifiers.
Try Control-Shift instead.

Argh. I replaced the above shortkeys with “Control-Shift” plus 1 and 2, respectively
control shift setting demonstrated

I then confirmed they showed up in the relevant DevonThink “styles” submenu, and ran each one as a selection through the mouse-click submenu
custom font shortcuts demonstrated

I then quit DT and restarted

I then tried each combo (control-shift-1 and control-shift-2) and just got the error / no action beep for both of them.

I’m sorry such a straightforward thing is turning out to be so complicated : (


And your text selection is in a rich text file?

Maybe this helps

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yeah–rich text file

EDIT: never mind, @pete31 figured it out!!!

oh heck YESSSSSS

thank you so much, this worked!!!

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