Changing color of tags

Before we go into how you can change tag colors lets spend a few words on how ManicTime calculates tag colors. When we started out, our first idea was to have a random color for each tag combination. We soon realized that it was to random, so we decided to show the color of first tag. This means that in ManicTime each tag has its own color. For example lets say we have these tags with corresponding colors:

  • Project 1 (red)
  • Project 2 (blue)
  • Design (Yellow)
  • Testing (Orange)

Then if we have these tag combinations they will be the following color:

  • Project 1, Testing (red)
  • Project 1, Design (red)
  • Project 2, Design (blue)
  • Project 2, Testing (blue)

So you will only see colors red and blue. Design and testing are never first tags, so their colors never count. If we made a tag 'Design, Project 1', Design would be the first tag so it would be yellow. 

We can change the color from:

  • Tag editor - Select a tag, then click Change color.
  • Right click on tag in Day view, go to All instances of ... -> Change color

Lets say we want to change color of 'Project 1, Testing'. Within Tag editor, we select the tag and click Change color:

Lets say we want to change the color to green.
Because 'Project 1, Testing' still uses its default color calculations, for this color to change to green it has to change the color of Project 1. This has some side effects.
Because we changed the color of Project 1, we not only changed the color of 'Project 1, Testing', but we also changed the color of 'Project 1, Design'. If we want to just change the color of 'Project 1, Testing' we can do this by selecting 'Use selected color'. When we do this, color will only change for tag 'Project 1, Testing'.

Lets take one more example. Lets say we have these tags:

  • Client 1, Project X, Design
  • Client 1, Project Y, Testing
  • Client 1, Project Z, Testing
  • Client 1, Project Z, Design

In this case by default all colors will be the color of Client 1.
But what can we do if we want to have a different color for each project? We would have to assign each tag combination its own color. And we most likely have much more subtags than just two, so this would be a lot of work.
Remember when we discussed that each tag has its own color? So in above example Project Z has its own color, it is just not used because it is not the first tag. It would be great if we could somehow say, forget about the Client 1 color, just use colors of the next tag. We can do exactly that by choosing Skip next to Client 1.

When we do this, Client 1 will never be used for color calculation, unless we tag some time with just Client 1.

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