citation reference in word document is suddenly written in a yellow colour

Hey everybody, I have been using Zotero for quite a while now in order to write my diploma thesis and so far everything has been working really well. However, today I noticed that whenever I add a citation to my word document, it is no longer written in black as it used to but in yellow. What does that mean? Of course I can easily change the colour to black but it used to do that on its own without me having to change it into black afterwards so I don't really know what's going on.

Also, for quite a while it used to underline the in-text-citations with little dots but that seems to have gone away again.... What was that for?

Thanks for your help in advance!

  • As far as the underlined citations are concerned, I found the answer in the forum, but the other problem (yellow writing) is still going on.
  • For the underlining see
    I'm wondering if for some reason the yellow is caused by the same thing? So check that auto-update references is enabled.
  • Thank you for your quick answer. I have clicked the refresh button and also enabled auto-update-references, but it's still yellow
  • I just realized that it doesn't do it to all of the sources that I want to cite but only to two specific ones. Couldn't find out why, though.
  • If you insert a new reference to those sources, is it still yellow? (We've never seen something like this before.)
  • Okay so for now, it is one source only, and yes, doesn't matter where or how many references I insert to this source - it's yellow ^^ I really don't know why..!?
  • edited July 10, 2018
    aaaand: new fun fact. It only does that, when I insert a reference that includes the name of the author. If I choose to hide the author name then it's totally normal and written in black. But as soon as I add the author, it's yellow. f.ex.:

    Zotero is a helpful tool. (Grünewald, 2010, p. 12) --> whole reference is yellow.
    Zotero is a helpful tool to write a thesis according to Grünewald (2000, p. 12). --> black
    According to Grünewald (2010), Zotero is a helpful tool. --> black.
  • This is certainly not Zotero doing it, Zotero never generates text with background or symbol colouring. Zotero might change the style of the citation to "Body" (or copy the style of the text surrounding it). You might have a Word document style corruption of some sort, that's making Word insert the text in yellow (or believe, that the text, surrounding the citation insertion place is yellow). You can test this by trying to insert these same citations in a new Word doc.

    The internals of citation insertion differ depending on whether your citation includes any non ASCII characters (like accented or non-latin characters, e.g. "ü"), which is why you are seeing this difference between different sources.
  • thank you.

    it's really weird because I cite different sources of the same author called Grünewald, and it only does that to the 2010 reference that I include but not to the others.... meaning, whenever I cite his other work published in 2009, it's not yellow... also, I make references concerning an author called "Jäncke", which works perfectly well even though his name includes an "ä"....

  • Have you tried inserting the different references in the same location in the document, where you get the yellow text? It's likely related to the location in the doc, not the item cited.
  • Yes I have. It's only this one that is yellow. All the others, even when inserted on the exact same position, are black.
  • Is it yellow in a new document?
  • nope just tried it out, all black
  • However, when I insert the whole text of the document into a new document, it's still yellow and when I insert the reference in this new document it's yellow as well.
  • This is really weird, and still likely related to something in your document. Can you at least manually change the formatting of the citation to stay black? That's probably your best option. Maybe a bit of a nuisance, but if you are not seeing any other concerning issues, probably safe to ignore.
  • Haha, jup, it's really weird :-) I don't get it, somehow it's funny though. Yes, I can change the formatting manually which eventually I will have to do because it's not just some function that wants to point out something while writing in the document, it stays the way it is even when I print it out and I don't want yellow references in my thesis paper ^^
  • You could also insert the citation into another document, copy it, and then find all of the yellow references and paste over them. That might fix whatever weird formatting is going on with that one.
  • Right, would be another option... however, I guess I will just change the color manually and that's it... what's important is that the reference occurs in the final bibliography, which works, so it's fine and I will just accept it as a weird function of the word document ^^
  • Maybe right-click select all and universally change to regular black print and no highlights. It could be that some command related to font color got "stuck" and is affecting segments of the entire document. Try not to change the font size when you go to black.
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