RTF doc backgrounds

Many thanks for allowing background colouring in RTF docs in the new version of DTPro. I’m one of those who asked for this a while back so am grateful to see it and for your responsiveness.

Now all we need is handling of OmniOutliner 3 docs and the ability to order the folder pane non-alphabetically and this dedicated user at least would be several steps nearer to paradise…!

Remember that you can sort groups in a number of ways in, e.g. the Vertical Split or Horizontal Split views.

You’re right, of course, Bill - the “unsorted” option allows ordering as you wish. Excuse the temporary brainstorm. But wouldn’t handling OO3 docs be a thing…? Imagine having them appear as neatly nested folders… Too delicious - especially if linkback was possible too. Or at least if it were only possible to index them in DTP, even if they remained external…

Hi DEVONthinkers,

I’ve downloaded 1.3.2 of DTP… how exactly is one to change the background color of an RTF document? The new manual says to use Format>Fonts>Show Fonts. But when I choose a color and check the “Background” box in the color panel, it affects the text, not the backgound.

I made the same mistake as Silvermoonbeam, until I realized it’s the Document Color icon you have to click, to the right of Text Color. The background check box in the Text Color pane colours the background to the text alone, as it always did. In the Document Color pane, which is what is now enabled in the new version of DTP, the check box is irrelevant and misleading (as far as I can see) - it doesn’t need to be checked for the background to colour.

But there are some pitfalls. In general the new implementation of background colouring is buggy, at least in my experience so far. It works, but only if you save the colour together with some content. In the main window, if you try to colour the background of an RTF doc before typing text it won’t take. If you type text and then colour the background, it will. If you open the doc in a separate window, you can colour the empty doc but if you save without text the colour will disappear.

Go figure. Here’s hoping the DEVON techs can make this more solid (unless of course all this is an anomaly of my set-up, which I doubt). Whether the weirdness is due to DTP or the OS, I don’t know, but it doesn’t happen in TextEdit, for example. You can colour a blank doc there, save it and it stays fine. I haven’t experimented with other apps.

At least the feature is there now.



(This is a much shorter editing for clarity of two earlier posts)

Nothing worked to enable a permanent change of background color for rtf files for me.

New files were created with a white background.

Ah… the Document Color icon! I don’t think I’ve ever even clicked on that before. Thank you for pointing it out. Changing the background color is working fine for me now, but I’ve only used it so far for already-created documents.

I was able to create an empty .rtf with the background coloured. This .rtf could be used as a kind of template when duplicating it.

It seems you can only save a document with background colour, when there is some text inside. I made a simple point, saved the document, closed the document, switched to another document. After some time (I did not find out, why not immediately after being saved, maybe after closing the DT window?) you can delete the point and the document will be saved with background colour, without anything written in it.

I had to try more than once before the document accepted the new colour, every time closing and reopening the fonts window.

There must be a better workaround. I hope so.


Stranger and stranger. At least it can be done now, kind of, but it’s weird that it’s so unreliable given that far simpler apps like TextEdit can do it in a snap. Thanks to Ursula for the template tip - it would be useful to know if it works for others. Meanwhile, I’m still finding that while I can usually colour backgrounds eventually (so long as there’s some text in the doc, and sometimes after several tries), it’s very erratic.

Anyone else have the feeling that the DEVON guys underestimate the usefulness of this for many users? It’s great that it’s now just about possible, but for many usage scenarios it is a quite important feature, not to mention simply being able to tone down the glaring white of a text doc background. I’ve a hunch there are more users out there who care about it than the big guys thinks.

There is another problem with these created ‘templates’. Duplicating them inserts the ‘templates’ creation date. But I need the notes creation date, so I have to change this manually with a script: ‘Erstellungs- auf Änderungsdatum setzen’, in my german version. Too many steps for a simple note in my workflow.

Here is my own positive experience and the way I proceed.

  1. I create a new RTF document through the contextual menu, the Data option of the menu bar or the Action button.
  2. Either I do not key in anything or I key in some text => in both cases, I click into the document and the cursor is blinking.
  3. I call the font panel, select the icon “colour of the document”, select the colour…and it is applied to the document.
  4. Same way of doing with an existing RTF document (change mode).
  5. I have not noticed any difference when processing a document in the three panes view or in the Open/Edit mode.
  6. I did it successfully multiple times. No erratic behavior, so far.

I guess the trick is just to make sure that the Edit window has the focus (cursor blinking) :bulb: :question:

I confirm :wink: