Since Mountain Lion, the highlight tool in Preview allows one to select among a small number of colors. Is there a way to customize the colors (add to or change)?

  • 1
    The only solution mentioned in Can Mountain Lion's Preview.app be configured to use Lion's highlighting colours? is to copy an old version of Preview to 10.8.
    – Lri
    Sep 12, 2012 at 15:17
  • Thanks for the hint! ML Preview introduced some nice changes though which would be a shame to lose... Sep 12, 2012 at 19:59
  • Colors are back in Mavericks..?
    – beroe
    Sep 3, 2014 at 18:25
  • @beroe not sure if I understand your comment, as far as I can see Mavericks has the same limitations as Mountain Lion Sep 3, 2014 at 21:29
  • I misunderstood. I thought you were seeing even fewer options than the [limited] color palette that is available. I searched in the Resources and didn't find any place where that is set.
    – beroe
    Sep 3, 2014 at 21:59

3 Answers 3


What they are talking about is having more color choices for highlighting text than are available by default. Both the Yosemite choices in your post and the Mavericks choices (see below) limit the user to 5 preset colors. There doesn't appear to be any way to use the OS-built-in Apple color picker to choose anything other than this very limited set. Very frustrating.

Mavericks highlight color choices


When you click the colour drop down on the annotations toolbar, you should see an Other option, that will allow you to pick arbitrary colours.

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the answer, but unfortunately that only works in Lion, not in Mountain Lion... Sep 12, 2012 at 2:18
  • 1
    Ah sorry. I don't have a 10.8 machine handy to double check that, so I just took a stab at it.
    – robmathers
    Sep 12, 2012 at 2:33

I don't know what you guys really talking about, but in 10.10.2 everything works just through the right click:


  • OP is asking if they can pick a custom color instead of being limited to the five shown in your screenshot.
    – spaaarky21
    Apr 26, 2023 at 18:07

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