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Add colors for font on all websites?

+2
−4

Here are five reasons for coloring text.

  1. If you're quoting a long text that already uses bolds and italics, then all formatting tools have been exhausted. You can't highlight something.

  2. Bolding it doesn't even resemble the same effect. The green is clearly meant to draw the eye towards "positive" items, while the red is clearly meant for "negative" items. The eye is already drawn towards the words-as-headings by the giant whitespace around them, making the bold style largely unnecessary. Color-coding, on the other hand, can be immensely useful in reading comprehension. Hence why, for a very relevant example, code editors often have color-coding. And is the issue that bold and italic styles are already very overloaded in semantic meaning. Adding color eases this burden.

  3. [An obvious example is making error text clear from normal output; most systems will show console errors in red-on-black to distinguish them from the regular output in white-on-black.

The only argument against seems to be fear of misuse. Any feature can be abused; that's not a reason not to implement something. Just ensure that guidelines on when it's acceptable to use are made clear in the guidelines. The SO community are very good at self-policing, so users will likely quickly learn what's appropriate & fall in with the guidelines.

  1. For Japanese, where italics aren't often used and look strange, it would give us something other than bold to use.

  2. If I had tried to show that I need colors by using bold in my question it would only confuse matters even more. My quesion I was asking is about colors, not bold. (The report needs colors (unless there is a way to have 5 different kinds of bold). I need to differentiate 5 different "In-Text" values in my report. Bold would only indicate "is a Value" (Boolean). I need to be more specific.)

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6 comments

There's also the risk that relevant information is communicated only via variations in color which is bad for color-blind users. Derek Elkins‭ 27 days ago

The main concern here would be accessibility, I think. I for one already have some difficulty with some links here since they aren't visually distinct from the surrounding text other than a slightly different color. (As an aside, could you reformat your post to add context to your points? E.g. point 5 relies on us knowing about the question referred to) Moshi‭ 27 days ago

As for the fourth point, that comment was in the context of lacking underlining capabilities. We can totally underline stuff here, so there's no reason to resort to coloring Moshi‭ 27 days ago

"If you're quoting a long text that already uses bolds and italics, then all formatting tools have been exhausted". You are forgetting about blockquote. That sets quoted text apart visually regardless of font, size, boldness, or color. Olin Lathrop‭ 27 days ago

Your first point isn't really solved by colours, as if they are allowed, the quoted text can also use them. celtschk‭ 24 days ago

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2 answers

+4
−0

The reason why this wasn't added on SO is because lots of people already struggle to use correct formatting for emphasis, using code formatting, quote format and weird crap like that. It's kind of like if you give a kid a box of new crayons. You can be sure that they will try out all the crayons in the box.

The SO community are very good at self-policing, so users will likely quickly learn what's appropriate & fall in with the guidelines

No, that never happens, they will never learn. SO has been doing edit reviews removing code formatting vandal edits for random emphasis for 10+ years and counting. Apparently I've done some 5000+ reviews over there so believe me when I say it's the same old story now as it was when the site was new.

Besides, I believe that this is the correct way to use emphasis inside text that is already italic. At least that's how printed fiction in published books most often do it.

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0 comments

+3
−0

This is, technically, already possible. I'm not going to point out how for the same reasons that the request was declined on Stack Exchange: it's far too open to abuse, and (more importantly) it doesn't play nicely with accessibility. Exercise for the reader!

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