Frequently Asked Questions

What is Magic Rainbow Unicorns?

Magic Rainbow Unicorns is a Google Docs add-on that will allow you to change font colours or highlight at a click of a button. Select the text you wish to apply the magic to, and rainbow colours will be applied dynamically from beginning to end of the selected text or paragraph.

Get it here:

Why won’t it start?

This is a common problem and it’s usually caused by Google server issues. It can also happen if your internet connection is very slow or you are disconnected from the internet.

If the add-on won’t start, please try refresh your browser window.

How do I select text?

The most common way to select text is to click and drag the mouse in any direction. You can also use your keyboard: position the cursor at the beginning of the text you wish to highlight, then hold the “Shift” button and press the right arrow button. You are also able to double click to select words and triple click to select whole paragraphs.

In Slides you are also able to select entire slides, or elements on a single slide. To do this, hold down the Control or Shift button while you click to select multiple elements.

But what is text?

Text is a piece of writing – so any group of letters, words or symbols.

But what are elements?

In Google Slides, each slide has one or more elements, which are things like Images, Text Boxes, Shapes and Tables. Magic Rainbow Unicorns can be used inside Text Boxes and Tables only.

What does “shade” mean?

Changing the shade will allow you to produce a rainbow of pastel colours.

How do I change the rainbow?

Change the start or end colour to make your rainbow have a smaller range of colours. You are even able to reverse the rainbow!

How do I select a colour?

In Chrome and Firefox you will be able to pick a colour, but in Safari you will need to enter in a colour. You can use a 3 or 6 HEX colour code or one of the following colour names:

  • red,
  • orange,
  • yellow,
  • green,
  • cyan,
  • blue,
  • indigo,
  • violet,
  • magenta

What is a highlighter?

The option highlighter allows you to change the text background colour producing a highlighter effect.

How do I revert to a black font?

To revert the colour change, use “Undo” (Ctrl-Z), or highlight the text, click the “Text Colour” button on the toolbar then click on black.

How do I remove the highlighter?

To undo the highlight colour change, use “Undo” (Ctrl-Z), or highlight the text, click the “Highlight color” button on the toolbar then click on None. You also need to click the bold button “B”.

Why is there a rainbow in my custom colours?

Custom colours are simply a reflection of the colours used in the document. If you decide you don’t like rainbows after all follow these steps to restore your document’s custom colours:

  1. Press Control-Z, or select all the text in the doc and change the font back to black,
  2. Wait for the changes to be saved
  3. Refresh your browser window

Can I change the font colour as I type?

Unfortunately not, you can only change the colours on selected text.

Can it work on list bullet points?

Unfortunately not, because Google App Scripts does not have a way to programmatically change the font style of the bullet glyphs. You will have to do this change by hand by double clicking on the bullet point, then changing the colour of the font to match the left most character. I’ll keep an eye out for updates from Google.

Can I use it in large documents?

You can use Magic Rainbow Unicorns to colour at most 50000 characters at a time (including spaces) before Google script restrictions kick in. If you have really long documents select your text in batches instead of selecting the entire document.

Why are the colours not blending together?

It’s only possible to make a character one colour (sadly) so if you select only a few characters you won’t see a colour blend, or even the full rainbow. If you select a whole page of text you will get a nice blend. You can see this in the add-on screenshots. The rainbow colours are calculated using hue (or a sine curve if you select the original algorithm) so should be able to generate every colour.

How do I install the Magic Rainbow Unicorns add-on?

Please see this Google Docs Help Guide.

How do I use this in all my docs?

You are able to use Magic Rainbow Unicorns in all your Google docs – once you have installed the add-on it is available. Note, though, that if you have multiple Google accounts you will need to install the add-on for all the accounts separately or ensure you create your documents in the correct account.

How to I delete or uninstall this add-on?

Please see this Google Docs Help Guide.

What does Authorization mean?

To install and use a Google Docs Add-on, you must authorize the add-on script to have some access to your account.

If you have multiple Google accounts, you will first be asked which account to use for the installation. The add-on will only have access to that account, and you will need to be logged in with that account to use the add-on.

You will be asked to give Magic Rainbow Unicorns permission to do the following:

  • View and manage documents that this application has been installed in
  • Display and run third-party web content in prompts and sidebars inside Google applications
  • Allow this application to run when you are not present

What this means is that Magic Rainbow Unicorns will be:

  • able to access and modify the data in the documents you use it in,
  • allowed to display a pretty sidebar in your documents,
  • allowed to create a menu item under Add-ons when you open your document.

Please click on Allow to complete the installation of the add-on.

I see the error “Authorization is required to perform that action.”

This is a common error and it usually means that there are multiple Google accounts logged in at one time.

To solve this problem simply log out of all the accounts (by clicking on your profile icon at the top right hand cover, switching to the logged in accounts and then proceeding to logout).

Then return to your Google docs and open the Magic Rainbow Unicorns Add-on (from the menu).

You may be shown a popup requiring you to authorise Magic Rainbow Unicorns to access your docs. Please go ahead and don’t worry because I don’t save or send your information anywhere.

It should then work.

For future reference, you are able to review (and revoke) your account permissions here:

Where are the unicorns?

Unfortunately there are no unicorns. This is just a rainbow font tool, but calling it Rainbow Font Tool is boring. ( Ha Ha !!! )

Why isn’t my unicorn the same as my friends?

The unicorn you see at the top of Magic Rainbow Unicorns is not an image, but is a emoticon called Unicorn Face which is represented by the unicorn code U+1F984. This means that different browsers and operating systems will display them differently.

If you would like a different unicorn, then switch to a different browser (or computer).

How can I share my creation?

I’d love to see all your magic documents; please connect on Facebook:

But I have another question…

You can send me your questions, comments or suggestions using the Help menu option inside Google Docs.

Go to Add-ons -> Magic Rainbow Unicorns -> Help.

Then press the “Report an Issue” button and fill in your question, comment or suggestion before pressing “Send”.

Remember to check the Optional checkbox to send me your email address if you’d like me to reply. (Note some school email addresses don’t allow me to respond.)