office logo

If you’re getting bored of the default theme in your Office desktop apps, you can change the color and background to give it a more personalized feel. It’s simple and only requires a few simple steps, so let’s get to it.

Changing the Office Color Theme via App Options

By default, Office uses what it calls the “Colorful” theme. This theme gives the title bar the color of its respective app. For example, Word’s is blue, Excel’s is green, PowerPoint’s is red, and so on. Additionally, it gives you a standard light gray background and ribbon, and a white content area.

You can change the theme from inside any Office application, and those changes are made throughout all of your Office apps.

First, open any Office application. We’ll be using Word in this example.

Click the “File” tab at the top-left of the ribbon.

select file

A pane will appear on the left side with several different options. At the very bottom of the pane, select “Options.”

Options in pane

In the Word Options window that appears, make sure the “General” tab selected on the left and then on the right, find the “Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office” section. Here, you’ll be able to change your Office background and theme.

general settings

You have four theme options: Colorful, Dark Gray, Black, or White. Select the theme you’d like to use.

office theme options

Next, if you want to change the Office background, you have a few selections to choose from:

  • No Background (Default)
  • Calligraphy
  • Circles and Stripes
  • Circuit
  • Clouds
  • Doodle Circles
  • Doodle Diamonds
  • Geometry
  • Lunchbox
  • School Supplies
  • Spring
  • Stars
  • Straws
  • Tree Rings
  • Underwater

Office Background options

Once you’ve selected your desired theme, click “OK” and you’re done!

Unfortunately, Microsoft didn’t provide a preview of the themes with this option, so you’ll have to repeat these steps to view each one. If you’re not happy with that and you use Office 365, you can use “Account Settings” to change the theme, which does show a preview.

Changing the Office Color Theme via Account Settings in Office 365

Back in whatever app you’re using, select “File” and then select “Account” in the pane that appears.

Your Account Information will appear. Here, select the menu under “Office Background” or “Office Theme,” browse through the different background and themes with a live preview, and choose the ones you want.

account settings

You’ll see a live preview as you go.

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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