[Feature request] Labelling the ''highlight text colours"

I'd love it Zotero would allow us to label the "highlight text" colours so that we could come up with a scheme, e.g. yellow=minor points, red=major points, etc. etc.

  • edited March 9, 2023

    That's interesting. I wonder though if you could not use the colored tag possibilities that already exist. True though that in that case you will have to tag all your highlights, which would imply that in the making of it you will have to make more clicks (as compared to what you are describing) which slow down your workflow.

    Also, you could perfectly use the color assignment that you describe for yourself or your team as a general convention, code of conduct, without having a menu, button, or whatever that formally named the highlight colors you are using. Recent updates enable up to 8 colors, so for example, let it 3 colors for importance hierarchy (low, medium, high) ; then 1 color for each common academic paper structure - previous work ; method; results; argument and discussion that is 4 items counting up to 7 colors. Remains one color to mark agreement/disagreement with the authors. That is quite reasonable isn't it?

    I mean everything is possible I guess (I am not a dev), but at the community level and with limited ressources it worth addressing some second thoughts as for the urgency of this need, or if that feature is already doable with minor workarounds - with all respects.
  • edited March 10, 2023
    The template below should match what asked @waiheke123 for, understood here as "yellow=minor points, red=major points". The rest follows the default template for highlights

    {{if color =='#ff6666'}}
    <p> major point {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>
    {{elseif color == '#ffd400'}}
    <p> minor point {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>
    <p> {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>
  • Hi @alflamingo, I find this so interesting. Could you please expand where to put this template? (I believe the link doesn't work)
  • Found it, thank you @poettli
  • edited April 17, 2023
    From the advanced preference pane indeed.
    If necessary, see a more complete template with all colors ready to paste:

    Also reproduced below:

    {{if color =='#ffd400'}}
    <p> yellow highlight: {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>
    {{elseif color == '#ff6666'}}
    <p> red highlight: {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>
    {{elseif color == '#5fb236'}}
    <p> green highlight {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>
    {{elseif color == '#2ea8e5'}}
    <p> blue highlight: {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>
    {{elseif color == '#a28ae5'}}
    <p> purple highlight: {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>
    {{elseif color == '#e56eee'}}
    <p> magenta highlight: {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>
    {{elseif color == '#f19837'}}
    <p> orange highlight: {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>
    {{elseif color == '#aaaaaa'}}
    <p> gray highlight: {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>
    <p> {{highlight}} {{citation}} {{comment}}</p>

    Just replace "yellow highlight: ", "red highlight: " and so on with the re-name you need.
    NB: Observe the use of colon and space at the end ": " and see if you want it or not.
    NB2: Rest of the pattern follow the template that was set by default i.e. {highlight citation comment} on the same line, without blockquote (see link to Zotero documentation for templates in mentioned above by poettli).
    NB3: the last part {{else}} is superfluous in the case where all the colors are labeled. Because then there won't be any scenarios matching the "else" case (all colors are used). I put it to maintain the logic explicit, and because if you do not label all colors (let say gray stay as default), all you have to do is to delete the corresponding block starting with {{elseif ...}} (or {{if}} in the special case of the yellow) and keep the {{else}} block at the end.
  • Awsome @alflamingo,

    Correct me if I am wrong, changing the value of the (adv) preference "extensions.zotero.annotations.noteTemplates.highlight" allows to customise how the annotation of a highlights shows the data (citation, order, comments, etc) conditional of the highlight color. Is it right?

    I wasn't looking for that exactly, but simply change the label of highlight colors. I mean, when a user selects the color of highlight, Zotero shows the colors in a rectangle and the color name at its side (redundant unless for accessibility purposes). I was wondering if it is possible to change those labels. Do you know if this is possible?

    Thanks <3
  • I see, same question has been addressed in the referred thread above (see https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/comment/430981/#Comment_430981). To my knowledge there is currently no possibility to change the labels that are displayed in the gray menu that appears when you select colors from the pdf reader. As I said in the referred thread, this template only works when you create notes from annotation and the labels will only appear as text in such note. So yes you are right: this is conditional customisation of annotated datas.
    I'm glad if it helps!
  • +1 for the feature request! (of being able to customize the highlight color labels in the pdf reader)
  • +1 & thanks for considering it!
  • +1! excellent suggestion
  • +1 please please please.. I spent ages trying and failing to find a setting in Zotero to label the highlight colour swatches. (Zotero 6, on OS X, won’t upgrade to 7 yet as plugins will break)..
  • +1 It would be very, very helpful to be able to lable the colors with custom labels in the color picker.
  • +1, would be really nice! for me it would help to label the colors to be consistent by highlighting interesting references, points to think about, ... etc.
  • +1 please help us out :'(
    would help a lot in my workflow!
  • +1
    I'd very much appreciate this feature, it would help me to establish a consistent color coding scheme and later on to stick on it.
  • edited March 9, 2024
    I support this feature too.

    I am thinking also of creating meaningful notes from annotations ("add item note from annotations") in the sense of that all these listed annotations inside the added note have headings that tells what kind of annotation we have: "interesting", "quote", "to think about it", ...
  • +1 to being able to label the colours with things like "Methodology," "Sample," etc.; it would help for establishing a systematic way to highlight, especially if multiple team members are working on a literature review.
  • Yes! the label could be user configurable.
    So I can remember why I set my own colour coding!
    red= important
    blue=refers to some particular thing that I now cant remember.
  • +1

    The highlighter colours also have different meanings for me, e.g.
    Blue = definition
    Magenta = minority opinion
    Green = prevailing opinion.

    It would be outstanding if you could rename the colours (so that you could export to Obsidian with the corresponding Obsidian templates).
  • +1

    Would be extremely useful. Keeping consistency is difficult and having a named template would be amazing.
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