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How do you get to the Color menu on stickies?

Stickies is a digital sticky notes app that comes pre-installed on Mac computers. It provides a quick and easy way to jot down notes, make to-do lists, and more. One of the handy customization options in Stickies is the ability to change the color of individual notes. This can help you visually organize your notes or simply personalize them to your liking. Accessing the Color menu is easy, but not immediately obvious if you’re a new Stickies user. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the simple steps to get to the Color menu and change note colors in Stickies on Mac.


Before we get into the steps, there are a couple things you’ll need:

  • A Mac computer running a supported version of the macOS operating system. Stickies comes pre-installed starting with OS X Tiger.
  • The Stickies app, located in the Applications folder. If for some reason Stickies is not installed, you can download it for free from the App Store.
  • At least one sticky note already created in Stickies. If you don’t have any notes, launch Stickies and click the + icon in the bottom-left corner to make a new note.

As long as you meet those requirements, you’re ready to customize note colors!

Accessing the Color Menu

Here is the step-by-step process to get to the Color menu for an individual note in Stickies on Mac:

  1. Open the Stickies app if it’s not already open. Your existing notes will appear in their default yellow color.
  2. Click once on the note whose color you want to change to select it.
  3. Go to the top menu bar and select Format > Color. Alternatively, you can right-click on the selected note and choose Color from the menu.
  4. This will open the Color menu with color options for that specific note.

And that’s all there is to it! Once open, the Color menu provides several ways to customize the color of your selected sticky note, which we’ll cover next.

Using the Color Menu

When you open the Color menu for an individual note, you’ll see the following options:

  • Color presets – Stickies provides 12 default color presets to choose from. Simply click on a color to instantly apply it.
  • Background Color – For more customization, click this option to open a color picker where you can select any color.
  • Text Color – Similarly, click this to set a custom text color against your chosen background color.
  • Reset – Chooses the default yellow color and black text.

The presets provide some common color choices like blue, green, pink, and more. But the Background Color and Text Color options give you unlimited possibilities.

You can mix and match backgrounds and text as you please to find the perfect note color. Some examples:

  • White background with black text for a clean, paper-like look
  • Soft red background with white text for emphasis
  • Dark blue background with yellow text for contrast

Don’t be afraid to get creative with different color schemes to liven up your sticky note collection!

Other Customization Options

In addition to color, Stickies provides a few other formatting options that can help you customize your notes:

  • Font – Change the text font and size under the Format > Font menu.
  • Style – Bold, italicize, or underline text under the Format > Style menu.
  • Layout – Rotate individual notes or change alignment under the Format > Layout menu.

Between the formatting choices and the color combinations, you have a ton of possibilities to make your stickies fit your personal style.

Best Practices

When using color in Stickies, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use color purposely to color-code notes by category, priority, or whatever system makes sense for your needs.
  • Aim for sufficient contrast between background and text colors. Dark text on a light background (or vice versa) will be the most readable.
  • Consider reducing opacity on vivid background colors to soften the effect.
  • Give your eyes a break periodically if you’re staring at brightly colored notes for too long!


If you’re having any trouble getting to or using the Color menu for your sticky notes, here are some things to check:

  • Make sure Stickies is fully updated to the latest version. Older versions may not have full color support.
  • Try restarting Stickies and your Mac if the Color menu is unresponsive or laggy.
  • Check that you have a note selected before trying to access the Color menu. It will be grayed out if no note is actively selected.
  • The Color menu only applies to one note at a time. You cannot batch edit multiple note colors simultaneously.


Customizing sticky note colors in Stickies for Mac is easy and adds a nice personal touch to digital notes. Simply select a note, choose Format > Color, pick your desired color preset or custom color, and watch your sticky note change hue. Along with other formatting options, you can create an organized and aesthetically pleasing sticky note system in no time. So try spicing up your stickies on your Mac with a fresh coat of digital paint!

Color Meaning Example Usage
Yellow Default color General notes
Blue Work notes Meeting agendas
Green Personal notes Shopping lists
Red Important notes Deadlines and tasks

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about accessing the Color menu in Stickies:

How do I change the color of multiple sticky notes at once?

Unfortunately, you have to change notes’ colors one at a time in Stickies. There is no batch editing for note colors.

Can I create my own custom color presets?

No, you are limited to the default 12 presets in the Color menu. To save a custom color for reuse, you’ll need to select it again through the color picker each time.

Do note colors sync across devices?

If you access your sticky notes through iCloud syncing, the colors will remain consistent across linked devices. Without iCloud, note colors only apply to the local device.

How do I revert a colored note back to the original yellow?

Just select the note and choose Reset from the Color menu. Or manually set the background color back to default yellow.

Can I change the color of stickies on iOS or other devices?

The Color menu for sticky notes is only available in the Mac Stickies app. Color customization is limited on the iOS version and other platforms.

The Benefits of Color-Coding Your Sticky Notes

Using color in your sticky note system comes with many benefits beyond just making things look more lively. Here are some of the top advantages:

  • Organization – Color can represent different categories, priorities, or types of information at a glance.
  • Clarity – Distinct colors help your eyes focus in on the right note more easily.
  • Cohesion – Consistent color schemes give your notes a cleaner and more uniform look.
  • Prioritization – Vibrant colors naturally draw your attention to important notes.
  • Expression – Color allows you to put more of your personality into your notes.
  • Coordination – Match sticker or folder colors to notes for a coordinated system.

Whatever your motivations for wanting to use color, it can be a great enhancement to your overall sticky note workflow. Give your notes a splash of color today!

More Tips for Using Stickies

Now that you know how to access the Color menu, here are some other tips for getting the most out of Stickies on your Mac:

  • Use different font styles like bold or italics to make key text stand out.
  • Add checklist bullets or numbers to turn notes into task lists.
  • Right-click on a note and choose Lock to prevent accidental changes.
  • Adjust note transparency under Format > Layout so they don’t fully obscure desktop icons.
  • Stack related notes together in a pile by dragging one on top of the other.

Stickies has a lot more functionality than just changing note colors. Play around with all the formatting and organizational features to build a sticky note system that suits your personal needs.

And if the built-in options aren’t enough, explore integrating Stickies with other productivity apps using automation tools like Keyboard Maestro or AppleScript. The possibilities are virtually endless!


The sticky notes feature on Mac has been around for years, providing a fast way to jot down thoughts and reminders. But the ability to customize note colors makes Stickies even more flexible and fun to use.

Whether you want to color-code your notes or just make them more aesthetically pleasing, accessing the Color menu is easy. Just select a note, choose Format > Color, and pick from the preset colors or custom options.

Combined with other formatting like fonts and text styles, you can create an organized, efficient, and colorful sticky note system perfect for any project or task. So try adding some more life to your digital stickies by changing up the colors.