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Set the Office 2007 Color Scheme With a Quick Registry Hack

We’ve written previously about how to set the Office 2007 color scheme away from that awful default blue, but you can also set it with a quick registry hack or even via group policy on your network, so we’ll cover that here.

Of course it’s much simpler to just set the color scheme using the GUI, but if you are like me you save a list of registry hacks that you apply to all new machines, so it still comes in handy.

Manual Registry Hack

Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common

image

Find the key on the right-hand side called Theme and set it to one of these values, depending on the color you want:

  • Blue: 1
  • Silver: 2
  • Black: 3

That’s all there is to it.

Using a Group Policy Template

If you are on a corporate network and want to set the color across all the computers on your network, you can use this custom ADM template for Group Policy, created by our excellent reader Stephen.

CLASS USER
CATEGORY “Custom Office 2007 Config”
POLICY “Color Scheme”
KEYNAME “Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common”
EXPLAIN “Allows you to control the Office 2007 Colour Scheme.”
PART “Pick the colour from the list” TEXT
END PART
PART “Color” DROPDOWNLIST
REQUIRED
VALUENAME “Theme”
ITEMLIST
NAME “Blue” VALUE NUMERIC 1
NAME “Silver” VALUE NUMERIC 2
NAME “Black” VALUE NUMERIC 3
END ITEMLIST
END PART
END POLICY
END CATEGORY

I’m just assuming that you know how to import this if you are an IT guy.

Downloadable Registry Hack

Simply download, extract, and then double-click on the .reg file with the color that you want.

Download SetOffice2007Color registry hacks

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/21/08

Comments (10)

  1. Limitedmage

    OK, now how do I change the theme of NON-RIBBON programs like OneNote in VISTA??? In XP, you can change it by changing the theme, but in Vista, there’s no way to change it and keep Aero, as far as I know, and I’m stuck with blue when I’d much rather have silver or black. Any ideas?

  2. Susan

    Is there a way to change office 2007 to colors other than blue, black, or silver?

  3. Cody

    Or you can just go into Word Options, one way to get there is to click the Review tab, then click the Track Changes arrow down button, then select change username. The next window that pops up allows you to change a lot of Word options, including the default color scheme. This was may be a bit easier than changing registry values…..

  4. Cody

    Oops…. Just noticed you guys linked to a previous article. I should pay more attention. Sorry…

  5. Ken

    you can change the color without hacking the registry. just hit the office button in any 2007 program>options. there you will find the option to change it to any of the colors listed above. why even mess with the registry?

  6. The Geek

    @Ken

    I explained that in the second paragraph. I have a big list of registry hack files that I can apply all at once to any new machine so I’ll get all of my settings without having to open any dialogs.

  7. Baz

    ditto the comment from Limitedmage – this does not apply to OneNote 2007.

    I’ve tried adding the Theme dword entry to various branches within the OneNote entry but to no avail.

    anyone??

  8. kanong

    there are many things that i’ve learned from this great website,

    but this is not interesting, maybe there is the insane way to change the color into our desired color using HexCode color…..

    Thanks anyway…..

  9. Graham

    It would be nice if they offered to just leave the colour scheme matching what we have already defined in XP itself for every other window that ISN’T part of MS Office…

  10. LostLogic

    Thanks a lot for the GPO!

    Just a note for other peeps trying out the GPO, be sure to replace the quotation marks in Notepad, as they will generate a ton of errors upon importing the ADM schema.

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