Office 2013 is much too bright & white - even if you select "dark grey" as the theme colour!!!
Can the programmers please give us more to choose form with regards to the themes in Office 2013? I cannot stand it any longer... The user interface is horrible as it is too white & bright especially if you've been working on Office for hours... Please give us more theme options than white/grey/ dark grey to choose from. I like most of the other improvements, but I still prefer Office 2010 due to this bad colour theme of Office 2013... Did you overspend in having us choose little flowers/shapes/forms in the top left corner and had no money left to develop the other aspects of the user interface???
February 15th, 2013 7:58am


We have passed this information to the product group for consideration for a future product or update. We are sorry that at this time we have no other option to change the colors beyond what we has already seen.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
February 18th, 2013 3:28am

I would like to say that you are not alone in the wish that there were darker themes for Office 2013.  The dark grey in the "Dark Grey" theme should really be renamed "Slightly Less Light Than Light Grey."  

I really like Office 2013 but I miss having the contrast that the old Dark Theme from Office 2010 provided.

March 6th, 2013 8:12pm

 Now that MS come to their senses on the license transfer issue with the 2013 release. Maybe they will address this lack of color issue real soon.
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
March 6th, 2013 8:29pm

This brightness and contrast issue is a common issue with a lot of software.

While there is an option to make Windows high contrast for the partially sighted, there is a complete lack of consideration for people with sensitivity to light, such as those on the autistic spectrum who make up a far larger proportion of computer users, who need low contrast.

March 6th, 2013 10:13pm

Really ?? Can it be that hard ?? I'm not coder, but with all the customization abilities within windows the programmers couldnt come up with a way to add more color choices ?? I can not roll 2013 out to my coworkers as it stands.. Give us the option.. For the insane prices we are going to have to pay, it's the least you could do..

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
March 7th, 2013 4:16pm

Guys...get rid of Office 2013...the white UI hardly sucks!!!...the differences between 2007, 2010 and 2013 are minimum...if you think a little can work nicely and well in 2007 or in 2010, and no need to suffer with the white bullshit thing of 2013...why do we have to change to something that we don't like when we have 90% of the things in the old versions?...only to have the last update or the last product?...not sense at all, besides, if you don't buy the office 2013 because you don't like it...Micro$oft will have to look for a solution...let's make a complot and DON'T buy Office 2013...or use Open Office...a totally free suite wiith all the things that has Office too and also you can change themes and forget about the white thing, I still using Office 2007 Enterprise Edition and I don't pretend to change fine for me in everything that I need.

  • Edited by Arkangel777 Monday, April 22, 2013 11:28 PM
April 22nd, 2013 11:26pm

I'm with you on this one.  Not only is the interface too bright, there are many things that you have to manuever through with multiple clicks that were quick and simple before (printing anyone?).  We bought new Dell Precisions for our office.  Now that a couple of people have them, no one wants the new machines with Office 2013.  They would rather keep their old ones as long as possible than to be forced to use Office 2013.  Really having some kickback from my users on this big time!! 
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
May 6th, 2013 4:34pm

Arkangel777 is right. Also if you have more than one Office app open which one is active? They are all highlighted the same color. Glad our MS contract is up soon. We'll drop Office 13 since it got a big fat zero from our test users.
July 10th, 2013 1:13pm

This will help reduce the "bright white" color in folders and documents.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
July 31st, 2013 2:48pm

Hi Jaynet,

So what's the verdict, it's been several months since this post started... this UI is horribly bright, why?? Apple did the same with iOS7, it's ridiculous. I'm an MCPD, have been certified in Visual Basic/Studio and SQL Server since 2000 and I know EXACTLY how programmers think and how easy or difficult a task is. Giving us a darker option isn't hard at all, but it's the latest UI fad, all of this bright blinding interface, and Microsoft won't give us a dark option (like Photoshop does) because it's part of the MARKETING/BRANDING push, indoctrinating the "new look", at our expense. Frustrating.

I was given a copy of Office 2013 Pro by Amazon Vine for review, and I'm preparing to write the review, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to shred this version IN that review, because people have been calling out about it all year and Microsoft has ignored them. I hope you reply with a more encouraging answer that something is being done. I will certainly add that in if there is good news on the horizon.


October 3rd, 2013 6:50am

My eyes, my eyes...The goggles, they...and so on and so on...etc., etc.
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
November 27th, 2013 3:57pm

I totally agree with this, we are about to roll it to our staff and i am concerned they are going to hate it for something so simple as colour.

This post is nearly a year old, is anything being done about this ?

December 4th, 2013 2:28pm


I was really rooting for MS to go somewhere with the whole Win8 gig but according to everyone I talk to, and this is across the board, with exception of the MS reps in Best Buy, the feeling is the same.Win8 Big FLOP and the design care is non existent. Hey, it's a POP OS! I actually haven't seen any kids bragging about a new win8 phone though so I guess they missed the boat on that too.


Unfortunately I have to work with it because I need to work with users that HAVE TO use it.

And Jaynet, you might want to also pass on that the people posting here are people MS should listen to, of course, they probably don't listen to you either.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
December 15th, 2013 12:51am

Actually I think I get it...

Its the slowly stripping away of features and function to force everyone to a subscription office product (365).

what's that you don't like 2013, well move on over to office 365, you can do it there and you don't have to pay an exorbitant fee to own (kinda) the software (you can just pay ms monthly...forever.)

December 15th, 2013 12:59am

I agree - the color theme is a complete oversight on Microsofts part
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
December 15th, 2013 4:47am

Finally ... 1 year past

Microsoft still not going to resolve this UGLY issue.

January 9th, 2014 6:43am

They will not let you sell office 2010 anymore and the copies out there all seem to be illegal copies even on 
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
February 12th, 2014 5:32pm

I have just installed and that white is terribly disturbing! Please do something MS!
February 19th, 2014 9:55am

Is there any action on this at all? I have searched and searched for resolution; our organization is still running Office 2010, and color scheme is actually the number one reason; we took a survey when some of our folks installed 2013...

No one wants to look at alternatives, but honestly, the glaring color schemes are very tough on the eyes, leading even our HR folks to inquire with OSHA and other organizations to avoid work-comp litigation.

Please help.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
March 3rd, 2014 5:12pm

My thoughts exactly! Is anyone thinking of the users anymore or are they too busy trying to convince us that we will like this look? We do not want overly bright cartoon icons nor do we want a completely washed out look. I also hate the flat look.
April 22nd, 2014 4:40pm

The bright white is TOO much on the eyes.  Need to put color back in and bring back the 3D effects.  I'm recommending to my clients to stay with Office 2010 and not upgrade to 2013.  Does not pay to try to follow another companies programming move in their OS.
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
June 26th, 2014 8:59pm

That's my complaint exactly. I can live with shades of gray instead of colors, but the failure to provide a dark gray is perplexing. And calling their "slightly less light than light gray" dark gray adds insult to injury.

August 26th, 2014 7:49pm

They could have given us 50 Shades of Gray. LOL!!!
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
September 8th, 2014 5:22pm

I would like to add my support to update the colour themes available for Office 2013.

I have just had 2013 installed on my work computer and have set the theme to Dark Grey. I previously used Office 2010 and the Dark Grey theme was excellent. It provided a nice level of contrast and made the office applications easy to work with.

However, the new Dark Grey theme is for too bright and all of the 3 themes I believe result in Heath and safety issue, at least in my case. I have found the new Office 2013 themes to be harsh on the eyes which make for a very unpleasant and I would even say inefficient work sessions.

I do believe this issue is worth looking at as a priority update.

Thanking you for your time,

Tony Thomas

Rockhampton, Queensland Australia

November 12th, 2014 11:30pm

yes, you hit the point.
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
February 13th, 2015 3:02am

i just found the this thread, and now its 2015, this issue still remain the same, ie. too much white color for office 2013 UI, no wonder apple is taking the lead over microsoft. T_T

February 13th, 2015 3:13am

Im with you. Hope Mocrosoft will improve soon.
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
February 13th, 2015 3:17am

Agree 100%, I purchase Office 2013 with my Lenevo laptop. I wish I could get my money back. I can not take looking at it plus the college I attend just update the lab desktops with Office 2013.


February 25th, 2015 10:32pm

Not just the partially sighted, but those who have been nearsighted for decades, meaning the average middle aged person.  I really dislike the color choices of the new Microsoft word in 365.  Must have been someone young or perfectly sighted!  
Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
June 17th, 2015 2:11pm

I have is the same color problem!  
June 17th, 2015 2:13pm

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics