Change the Office 2013 Colour Theme

First time I saw Office 2013 I thought “damn that’s very white”. It’s actually painfully white. As a picture, it lacks contrast (dark colours being closer to black, and light colours being closer to white) and a tonal range (because it’s almost all white by default).

I googled for a solution and nothing official from Microsoft appeared but I did find instructions in a forum.

  1. Open up an Office 2013 program
  2. Click on File –> Office Account or File –> Account, depending on the program you’ve launched
  3. Change Office Theme from White to one of the two other options.

Here’s how the default setting looks in Office Account:


That appears like this:


Changing the Office Theme to Light Grey has this effect:


That’s subtle. If you want more contrast/tone then go with Dark Grey:


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2 thoughts on “Change the Office 2013 Colour Theme”

  1. Cheers for the heads up.

    Still a pretty poor show from microsoft this time. Seems very reminiscent of the decision to grey scale everything in visual studio. I just don’t understand why they would put so much colour into Windows 8 & “the modern ui” to then completely strip office.

    I propose renaming the themes to “bleak”, “pale” and “depressing”

    1. > I propose renaming the themes to “bleak”, “pale” and “depressing”
      Great proposal, Dan,
      the best I’ve heard!!! So much effect with so little effort – if I were Balmer I would have promoted you to a VP immediately 🙂

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