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I know FrontEnd`SelectionSetStyle is undocumented, but its name suggests it does what I need. What is its syntax?

I have already tried several variations of the following button on some selected code in an input cell.

  FrontEnd`SelectionSetStyle[FontColor, RGBColor[{1, 0, 0}]];


Using the kernel, the following code does what I need:

 SetOptions[NotebookSelection[InputNotebook[]], FontColor -> RGBColor[{0, .7, .5}]]; 

I assume that FrontEnd`SelectionSetStyle can change the font color of the selection while using the front end only. If so, what is its syntax?

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After your update it is unclear what your question is. Can "what" be done in the front end only? –  Mike Honeychurch Oct 18 '13 at 20:42
@MikeHoneychurch: I re-worded the question, thank you for the note. –  Hector Oct 18 '13 at 22:12

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