Microsoft Office includes black and dark gray themes. Windows 10’s system-wide dark mode won’t affect Office apps, but you can choose a dark theme for Office apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

According to Microsoft, Office’s dark mode is only available if you have a Microsoft 365 (previously known as Office 365) subscription. (However, you can change your theme to “dark gray” on Office 2016 and Office 2013.) This works on any version of Windows, including Windows 7, 8, or 10. The dark themes are currently not available for Office on Mac.

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

RELATED: How to Enable Dark Mode in Windows 10

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

The default theme in Office 2016 is “Colorful,” but you can also select “White” if you’d rather see starker whites.

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

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

You can select a different “Office Background” from here, too. For example, if you’d rather not see a design behind Office’s 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 applications on other Windows PCs, assuming you sign into them with the same Microsoft account.

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

Unfortunately, documents you create will still have a white background and black text by default. You could change your documents to have a black background and white text, but those colors would be part of each document you save.

So, if you sent such a Word document to someone else, they’d see a black background with white text when they opened it. This would require a large amount of ink or toner if someone printed such a document, too.

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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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