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How to enable dark mode in Microsoft Office

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To enable dark mode in Microsoft Office for Windows, navigate to File > Account, then set the Office Theme to “Black”. You can also switch Windows 10 or Windows 11 to dark mode and use the default “Use system settings” setting. On a Mac, you need to change your system theme to dark mode.

Microsoft Office includes black and dark gray themes. System-wide dark mode on Windows 10, Windows 11, and Mac will now affect Office apps, but you can also choose a separate dark theme for Office apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint on Windows.

How to enable Microsoft Office dark mode in Windows

According to Microsoft, Office dark mode is only available if you have a Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) subscription on Windows 10 and Windows 11 PCs. (However, you can change your theme to “dark gray” in Office 2016 and Office 2013. This even works on Windows 7).

To change your theme in Windows, click the “File” menu in the upper left corner of an Office application like Word, Excel, Outlook, or PowerPoint.

Click the “Account” option in the sidebar. On the right, open the “Office Theme” drop-down menu, and then select the desired theme.

The default theme in Microsoft Office is now “Use system settings.” This means that Office will only use a dark theme if your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC is set to use a dark theme.

You may still have your Office installation set to use another option, such as “Colorful,” which was previously the default setting.

To enable dark mode, select “Black” for the darkest possible Office style.

(If you prefer to stick with “Use system settings,” you can choose a dark Windows system theme from Settings > Personalization > Colors in Windows 10 or Windows 11. Select “Dark” under “Choose your color” in Windows 10 or minus “Choose your mode” in Windows 11.)

Select office theme "Black" for a completely black dark mode.

You can also select “Dark Grey”. This theme uses lighter dark grays, which you might prefer if you find the Black theme too dark.

You can also select a different “Office Background” from here. For example, if you prefer not to see a layout behind the Office ribbon bar, click the “Office Background” box and select “No Background.”

These theme and background settings affect all Microsoft Office applications on your system. They even affect Office apps on other Windows PCs, assuming you sign in to them with the same Microsoft account.

Select "Dark gray" for a smoother dark mode.

There is a second place where you can also choose your theme. To find it, click File > Options. Make sure the “General” category is selected and look for the “Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office” section. Click the “Office Theme” box and choose the desired theme. Click “OK” to save your changes.

Open Word Options, go to the tab "General" and select "Black" beside "office theme".

The documents you create will have a background that matches your theme by default. For example, with the dark theme, Office will display white text on a dark background. To prevent this from happening, check “Never change document page color” in the Word Options window.

This setting is visual only. If you send a Word document created in dark mode to someone else, you’ll only see a black background with white text if you open it in dark mode. It won’t require a lot of ink or toner if someone prints such a document; will print normally.

RELATED: How to enable dark mode in Windows 10

How to enable Microsoft Office dark mode on Mac

Office dark mode is available in both Microsoft 365 and Office 2019 for Mac, but you need to turn it on by enabling dark mode system-wide. You can’t enable dark mode separately for just Office apps while using your Mac in light mode.

To turn on dark mode system-wide on your Mac, use the toggle in your Mac’s Control Center or go to System Preferences > General and choose the “Dark” appearance. Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Mac will immediately go into dark mode.

Enable Dark Mode in System Preferences on Mac

You can choose not to use dark mode for individual Office apps if it’s enabled system-wide. For example, to disable Dark Mode for Word, go to Word > Preferences and select “Turn off dark mode” under Customize. You will need to repeat this step for each app separately. For example, to change this for Excel, go to Excel > Preferences.

In Microsoft Word preferences, you can also choose whether your Word documents will have a visually dark background color while you work on them. Choose between “Dark mode has a dark page color” or “Dark mode has a white page color” under Customize.

Select Dark Mode options for Microsoft Word under Customize.

RELATED: How to enable dark mode on Mac

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