Bug 61242 - Customise comments background color in Writer
Summary: Customise comments background color in Writer
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Calc (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Hardware: All All
: high enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Keywords: accessibility
: 77488 118147 122596 124065 139805 150798 154187 157723 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: Writer-Comments
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2013-02-21 17:18 UTC by Pablo San Martín
Modified: 2024-02-29 11:34 UTC (History)
21 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:

Screenshot of comments with dark theme (gtk3 on Linux) (38.29 KB, image/png)
2024-01-10 11:18 UTC, Michael Weghorn

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Description Pablo San Martín 2013-02-21 17:18:22 UTC
In addition to the author-color association, it would be great to chose the default comment colour, so that whatever authors edited the document and in whatever sequence, and independently of the document being opened, the user could set that his/her notes should always be displayed in the same colour.
Comment 1 Ronny Standtke 2013-03-28 21:51:16 UTC
I just run into this issue. It would be great if comment colors could be changed *at all*.
Comment 2 Nico Dorn 2013-04-05 21:02:30 UTC
Confirmed. It's even more pressing since the nice comments to ranges feature landed which use a background color similar to the comment box.
Comment 3 manj_k 2014-04-15 16:32:56 UTC
See also: Bug 77488 - Ability to Control Note Colors
Comment 4 Marcus 2014-04-30 14:08:50 UTC
-Sorry bout the mails, I'm noob around here-

I strongly add my name under the list. This is not a marginal feature. In a scientific document, it would help a great deal to really adjust comments by color and default font.
Comment 5 ftr 2014-10-11 20:35:15 UTC
It is a pity that you have to print a comment with a background colour evene if you don't want or don't need it.
Getting the possibility to reset the background colour to none would help.
Comment 6 Joel Madero 2014-10-11 21:02:44 UTC
Sure - patches welcome . . .
Comment 7 peter josvai 2016-05-22 16:30:31 UTC
"This is not a marginal feature."  -- totally agree... +1

imagine working on your own document some time after you've once finished it... it's so stupid that your NEW comments (from 2016) will be indistinguishable from your comments from 2014, for example...

the changeable color would be a HUGE enhancement, I agree...
Comment 8 peter josvai 2016-05-22 16:35:50 UTC
I think, it's important to

#1 link one color to one user...
#2 and that even this user could have different colors for different sessions... 

(I mean, you start working in August on a document... your notes: COLOR #1.... 
you then get to the next stage.. say in September... 
the same document.. but it's already more developed... then you set your notes'c color to COLOR #2..

when you open a collaborative or editorial debate about it, say in October, you would like to keep your original notes, too... but also to make new ones..
then you'd like to use: COLOR #3 ...
for the same user :) 
Comment 9 Stan Armstrong 2017-02-01 19:01:45 UTC
Please add me to the list of those who will be notified when the enhancement is added. It is distressing in a Linux program not to be able to change the colours associated with a given author.

Perhaps if I keep adding different author names, I will find colours I can live with.

Meanwhile, could someone tell us what the algorithm is that LibreOffice uses to "automatically" assign colours.
Comment 10 Stan Armstrong 2017-02-08 18:34:10 UTC
I have experimented with this a bit. Comment colors appear to be assigned to users from a list of several colors. Does anyone know where that list is kept?

The colors are not assigned to a user name with any regard for the actual letters of that name. Rather they are assigned in an order that depends upon whether any other User name has been associated with that color during the current session.

With a fresh start of Writer, the color assigned to the current User name will always be yellow, even if that User name had in an earlier session been associated with a different color.

If you already have a yellow note in any document that has been opened in the current Writer session, and you change the User to a new name, and enter a comment, the background of that comment will be blue.

If you change to another different User, a new color will be assigned to that new User. (I have reached seven different colors in this list; there may be more.)

If you use the second User name as your usual name, then if you open a new document under that name, the color will still be blue for your comments. This is true even if the first document is closed before you create the second document.

However, if you close Libreoffice Writer and restart it, you will find that whatever you have set the User name to, that name will be associated with yellow in every document you open or create using that name during the current session.

This means that you cannot fool the system into assigning your usual user blue by default in all circumstances.

Here are two workarounds that will avoid the colors of old documents being changed from blue to yellow for subsequent Writer sessions:

1. In a new session, before opening any document, use Tools | Options to set the author to Dummy Name.
2. Create a dummy document.
3. Add a note. This note will be yellow and assigned to Dummy Name.
4. Now open an existing document with Your Name assigned to blue. All of the Your Name notes will now be blue. Or create a new document and enter a note; it will be blue.
5. Change the author back to Your Name. All subsequent notes will be blue, the second color in the hierarchy.

Clearly, this is a pain, but it illustrates what is going on:

If the current session of Writer has no comments associated with the current User name, it will use yellow, when that user creates a comment.

If at any time during a session of Writer, it discovers a different color associated with that User name, it will use that color for that User.

Such a previous association between a User name and a color may be either in the current document or in another document—whether or not that other document is still open, so long as the current Writer session has not been closed.

So, if I want to associate all of my comments with blue rather than yellow, I have two choices:

1. At the start of any Writer session open a document that already has yellow associated with some other User name, (be sure that Your Name has been selected as the User name), or

2. Before you begin writing/editing create a new document with the User "Dummy Name", create a bogus note, and then open or create the document I want to write/edit. Change the User name back to My Name. Then when I create a note in a new or existing document, it will be blue.

My apologies if this is hard to follow. It is hard for me to explain clearly. Surely the principles involve can be stated more succinctly. I just haven't found how to do it.

If I knew where Libreoffice stored the color hierarchy for notes, I could alter it to put blue in place of yellow, and my problem would be solved.
Comment 11 Stan Armstrong 2017-08-18 16:55:01 UTC
I have returned to wanting this enhancement to avoid the annoyance, confusion, and lack of stability of the present system of automatically assigning background colors to comments in Writer. If it is not feasible to give users more control over the colors, could an option to defeat the automatic scheme be provided? 

Several of those who have commented on this issue might be satisfied if the could either choose a static comment background color for their comments that would not depending upon what other users might do.

We can assign permanent text font colors and permanent highlighting colors. Could we not have a similar ability to choose colors for comment backgrounds.

I am a long time Linux user. I am used to having control over the details in ways that are not available to me when I work in Windows.
Comment 12 Pablo San Martín 2017-08-18 17:36:08 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 13 Dieter 2018-06-13 20:35:14 UTC
*** Bug 118147 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 14 peter josvai 2018-10-31 20:30:38 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 15 Xisco Faulí 2019-01-09 12:26:34 UTC
*** Bug 122596 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 16 Heiko Tietze 2019-05-03 09:16:40 UTC
*** Bug 124065 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 17 Nadia 2021-02-28 14:39:15 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 18 Nadia 2021-02-28 14:40:51 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 19 lawn hall 2022-02-17 07:54:40 UTC Comment hidden (spam)
Comment 20 Neia Finch 2022-03-24 05:24:47 UTC
I've changed the default colors in Writer to be light on dark because it's easier on my eyes (even after reducing my monitor's contrast and brightness as much as possible). For comments, the document's primary font color is used, but the background is still a gradient based on a dark-on-light theme. This means trying to read white-on-bright-yellow text, which is all but impossible.
Comment 21 ericstine 2022-07-29 05:28:28 UTC Comment hidden (spam)
Comment 22 whitty 2022-08-04 15:19:01 UTC Comment hidden (spam)
Comment 23 poojasharmaji 2022-09-02 05:45:42 UTC Comment hidden (spam)
Comment 24 Timur 2022-09-07 14:53:11 UTC
*** Bug 150798 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 25 Timur 2022-09-07 14:56:50 UTC
*** Bug 77488 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 26 raal 2022-09-18 17:07:56 UTC
*** Bug 139805 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 27 Anjali Arora 2022-09-21 09:12:41 UTC Comment hidden (spam)
Comment 28 Anjali Arora 2022-09-21 09:13:16 UTC Comment hidden (spam)
Comment 29 gutkowski 2022-09-25 15:34:11 UTC Comment hidden (spam)
Comment 30 thebudget72 2022-10-10 07:18:30 UTC
Any news on this?

I'm using a dark theme and reading white on yellow is all but impossible.

As a temporary background, I have set a highlight color for the text by right clicking on the comment -> Format All Comments -> Highlighting
Comment 31 stonesong 2023-01-17 11:20:29 UTC
I too am using a dark theme to reduce eye strain and everything works really well except comments.  All comment colors are light and default text is used so it is light on light.
If i try and override settings, assigning a dark font (right click >format all comments) it only applies this to existing comments - as soon as you insert a new comment it defaults back to default text colour and is unreadable.
It's a real drag on productivity to either have to reformat comments all the time or switch between dark mode and light mode just to add comments.
A dark suite of colours for comments when in dark mode would be an improvement, though being able to customise colors freely would be preferable.
Comment 32 chameleonscales 2023-03-24 09:44:37 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 33 Dieter 2023-03-29 16:07:53 UTC
*** Bug 154187 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 34 Regis Perdreau 2023-06-08 13:23:24 UTC
Still relevant in 7.5.3.
So, could we expect something news ? Need UX/UI work.
Comment 35 Oliver 2023-07-08 10:37:15 UTC
I would actually even like to change the colour of just one comment. Or at least change the style, so that it can stand out among the other comments. I would find this usefull to indicate for example : comments that are for different editors, to separate between suggested fundamental changes or supplementary comments on the text; or between comments for changes in the text and comments to get an answer, independently of the text. I encounter these situation pratically every day in my work with other editors. If this is too different from the usual "one editor, one colour" scheme, it would be great to have some other kind of distinguishing feature : add an icon, or change not the whole colour, but just a band at the top, or the left side ...
Comment 36 dolezvo1 2023-07-08 10:52:43 UTC
Great to hear from someone who uses it on daily basis! I think I agree it would be nice to be able to override the colors, but I also just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a way to search in the comments, and to me some sort of tagging of comments such as "[Editor][Topic] Comment text" seems like a better solution for your problem, provided the search actually worked in the comments.
Comment 37 Timur 2023-10-12 17:52:34 UTC
*** Bug 157723 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 38 shwetamalik 2023-12-11 12:04:05 UTC Comment hidden (spam)
Comment 39 Heiko Tietze 2024-01-06 11:43:16 UTC
Calc allows customization of comments background but IIRC provides no threaded conversation, ie. replying to comments by other users with a different color.

I wonder why the default beige background would be an accessibility issue.
Comment 40 Michael Weghorn 2024-01-10 11:18:12 UTC
Created attachment 191840 [details]
Screenshot of comments with dark theme (gtk3 on Linux)
Comment 41 Michael Weghorn 2024-01-10 11:20:50 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #39)
> I wonder why the default beige background would be an accessibility issue.

Comment 30 sounds like it might be related:

(In reply to thebudget72 from comment #30)
> I'm using a dark theme and reading white on yellow is all but impossible.
> As a temporary background, I have set a highlight color for the text by
> right clicking on the comment -> Format All Comments -> Highlighting

However, I cannot reproduce this with a current development version: Black is used as text color in the comment even when white is used as automatic text color in the Writer document, s. attachment 191840 [details].

Is this particular aspect still an issue (maybe just on a particular platform, if so, which one?)?

Version: (X86_64) / LibreOffice Community
Build ID: 2bafeb5835d1c11b3e217c0de3f9f430824079de
CPU threads: 12; OS: Linux 6.5; UI render: default; VCL: gtk3
Locale: en-GB (en_GB.UTF-8); UI: en-US
Calc: threaded
Comment 42 Technoprofiles 2024-02-08 11:14:58 UTC Comment hidden (spam)
Comment 43 Ruhi Patel 2024-02-12 12:31:53 UTC Comment hidden (spam)
Comment 44 saahillguptaa@gmail.com 2024-02-29 11:34:39 UTC Comment hidden (spam)