Style RTF text with keyboard shortcuts

Styles panel

Rich text (RTF) is great for text with different fonts, sizes, or colors. The Style panel allows you to save often-used styles and apply them again with a few clicks but it’s not really an example of OS X’s famous user-friendliness. Power user Alfred Schlatter sent us a tip for adding convenient keyboard shortcuts to styles to make your life with rich text easier:

  1. In a rich text document format text to your liking. Mark some of the text.
  2. Show the Styles sheet using Format > Style > Styles.
  3. Make the style a favorite by clicking Add to Favorites.
  4. Remember the exact name of the style. Don’t use special characters or spaces. Something like “HeadlineStyle1” will work. Include the font and the ruler as part of your style to make it more predictable.
  5. Now open System Preferences and navigate to Keyboard > Application Shortcuts.
  6. Click the + symbol, choose a shortcut, and use the style’s name as Menu Title. Restrict the shortcut to only DEVONthink or use it in all your apps.

That’s it. Go back to DEVONthink, select some text in a rich text document, hit your key combo, and the text is immediately formatted the way you want. Thank you for this cool tip, Alfred!


5 Responses to “Style RTF text with keyboard shortcuts”

  1. Daniel says:

    For some reason, this is not working for me. I’m trying to create a shortcut for a style with justified text. I follow the instructions, creating a shortcut Ctrl+Opt+Cmd+J to mimic the two available for right and left alignment, try to apply it, but nothing happens. When I check the favorite styles options, I can see the shortcut listed next to my favorite style’s name. Yet… Can anyone help me? Thanks!

  2. eboehnisch says:

    Daniel, maybe that shortcut is taken by somethink else?

  3. Mio says:

    This does not work for me as well. I tried adding different shortcuts but without success…

  4. jneumann says:

    Make sure the Ruler is showing above the RTF file and click the Styles dropdown menu once. Then try the shortcut.

  5. Ray Tomalty says:

    This keyboard shortcut, as Jim says, only works when the ruler is displayed (something that maybe should be mentioned in the original instructions). Displaying the ruler also displays style drop downs and other formatting settings in the header of the note.

    Although the shortcut is welcome, it would be nice if this feature didn’t require the ruler to be displayed as few people want a ruler to write a note – it unnecessarily clutters the page. Is there a way around this?