How to switch to light or dark gray theme in Office 2013/2016

I have been a long time Office user and find the software to be of great use to me. Ever since Office 2013 was launched, a lot has been written about it. But some people started complaining that though the newly added start pages for Word, PowerPoint, Excel and other applications in Office helped them get to recent documents and new templates immediately upon launch, it had too high a contrast color.

Many found it as a challenge to even sit in front of the bright background of Office 2013 and use it for a few hours. However, after receiving users’ feedback about the white UI in Office 2013, Microsoft decided to introduce 2 new themes or color schemes in Office 2013: Light Gray and Dark Gray.

The option offered users a way to work comfortably with the Office applications as it provided some optional skins. In this post, we see how to apply these new themes by following simple steps highlighted below.

Switch theme in Office 2016/2013

Open any Office 2013 program (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and click on the ‘File’ menu residing in the Ribbon. Next choose the ‘Accounts’ tab from the left-side bar.

On being directed to account settings page, change the current default theme to the desired theme of your choice. As shown in the screen-shot below you may find the following 3 optional skins:

  1. White
  2. Light Gray
  3. Dark Gray

Simply, select the one you would like to use from the drop-down box and it will be instantly applied.

Alternatively, you can choose ‘Options’ from the left side-bar and under General tab, choose the desired theme from the drop-down menu.

Hope this helps in making working with Office 2013 easier on the eyes for you.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.