Top Nav

How to Change the Office 2013 Background Theme

The new Office 2013 Preview has 4 different toolbar backgrounds to choose from, or none. Keep in mind these backgrounds aren’t huge. Each background only fills up a small portion of the toolbar (for now) at the top-right corner of each Office app. If you’re curious about what they look like, check out the images of each one below:

None

office 2013 no background

Calligraphy 

office 2013 caligraphy background

Circles and Shapes

office 2013 circles and shapes background

Circuit

office 2013 circuit background

Clouds

office 2013 clouds background

Changing the background is easy.

In any Office 2013 app, click the File Menu to access all of your options.

file menu ribbon

On the File ribbon click the Account menu and there will be a drop-menu to select which background you’d like to use. Changes take effect the moment you make a selection.

Note: The only exception to this is Outlook, which will instead have its menu labeled “Office Account” as shown here and below.

file ribbon >> account menu

Enjoy those snazzy backgrounds in Office 2013! And stay tuned for more groovy office tips here on groovyPost.

,

37 Responses to How to Change the Office 2013 Background Theme

  1. Anon July 18, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    that doesn’t help really, I want to get rid of the whiteness on outlook and this only changes the section on the top left corner….

    • Andymackk July 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

      I agree – it’s all too white – i want a bit more colour to help split it up. Any ideas?

      • Steve Krause July 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

        None yet that I’m aware of. I don’t think they added that feature to this version of the OFfice 2013 Preview… Might need to wait for the final release.

  2. VERY UPSET July 30, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    IT IS TOO WHITE…. MY EYES HURT
    - STUPIT DESIGNER…. KNOW HOW TO DESIGN OR NOT ONE???? STUPIT STUPIT STUPIT…

    • Steve Krause July 30, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      Yeah…. that’s what a lot of us are complaining about. In Office 2010, and 2007 you could easily change the Color Theme — http://www.groovypost.com/howto/change-office-2010-color-scheme/

      however I don’t see those options yet for Office 2013. Probably didn’t make this version of the beta.

      -S

      • Wade November 3, 2013 at 7:27 am #

        Color options in addition to the backgrounds were in the final release, but they only allow for greys. The darkest of them, though, is similar to “Silver” in Office 2013, and it’s quite nice.

  3. Mark Raats February 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Can you make your own themes?

  4. Tammy Wilson February 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    OMG!!! Give me some colors besides white and gray! This kills my eyes!

    • Steve Krause February 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

      Yeah, let’s hope the first Service Pack ads a little more color for sure.

  5. David February 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    I agree. I have been using Outlook/Office for years. This GUI is just horrid. Unfortunately MS has taken a more bold/arrogant approach recently and I doubt this will get fixed.

  6. Leonie February 28, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Microsoft…..please listen! It’s too glarey. Us bored key tappers need colour in our lives!

  7. jon jay March 6, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    I’m brand new to 2013. Where’s the “My Documents” button?

  8. Frustrated Customer March 8, 2013 at 2:23 am #

    I agree with the previous posts. This version is absolutely hideous. Some things are better left untouched. This is not an improvement but a major setback. I am switching to Apple.

    • Steve Krause March 8, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      I understand your concern… I also don’t appreciate the lack of options on the background themes.

      That being said, are you considering switching to Apple in order to use a Microsoft Office alternative or do you plan to just use Google Docs or??

  9. Amro March 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    listen up, there are 3 coloers you can use the white , lite gre and dark grey as following
    file > option > general > personlize your cop of microsoft office > office theme :)

    • 308 March 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

      I’ve been using Outlook since Outlook 2000 when MS mailed out the disc for free, Anyone remember that? thanks for the info but the default view and “3 colors” you mentioned suck, I’m seriously considering going back to Office 2010

    • pfb December 3, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      This is not what people are asking about. They want to change the background color of the email, not just the surrounding tool bars.

      • John Failla December 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

        so excuse me for being such as ass. I thought I could post but I guess this website is full of jerks too!

  10. jab March 19, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Office 2013 is awful…

  11. MLL April 25, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    The web is now full of postings saying how much we all dislike the boring look of this product. Most are then accompanied by some expert’s instructions on how to select which of three 3 boring, eye-strain inducing options we already know how to find. Bah! Humbug!

  12. Cliff Fraser April 29, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    So we’ve come full circle, for those of you old enough to remember the original incarnation of MS Office will know that the original color scheme was grey or grey. As the program, sorry app, developed [sic] the interface moved boldly to colors ending up with see through banners [yeuk]. I’m all for simplistic, but the reversion to grey or grey takes us back 20 years. Let’s at least have a CHOICE of all that was foisted on us over the years, I am sure some people like to see what’s behind the app, while others like glaring white.

  13. Taiseen June 30, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    Very poor design..
    Diificult to use..
    Disappointed

  14. John July 21, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    The background is too bright and hard on the eyes. The options are of little benefit

  15. Max July 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    This is so pathetic.
    Microsoft, WAKE UP and listen
    who beta tested these awful eye-sore themes??

  16. GeekGirl August 2, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    Hey all

    Not sure how much this will help you out, but this helps change SOME colours in outlook :)

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/stevelasker/archive/2013/02/11/changing-the-color-them-for-outlook-2013.aspx

  17. Tom Carnahan August 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    I agree with everyone else … the Office 365 is “just too white” … let me customize it to achieve diversity! This is an “eye killer” … to heck with the ADA requirements for contrast … all the white is tiring and hurts those who aren’t vision challenged. This WAS a step backwards!

    By the way, where is the feedback line? I would like to give Microsoft an earful.

  18. Suzette Friis August 6, 2013 at 4:09 am #

    Hi there,

    How did you change your outlook skin to purple ?

  19. Becky September 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    I am assuming whoever designed this did not use it much! The lack of contrast and color is AWFUL!

  20. John Failla October 30, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    My background theme is lost every time I close my document. When I open I have to set a new background again. I can’t figure out why it won’t save.

    • Steve Krause December 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

      Hi John,

      I think you are talking about creating a “Theme” for your documents or Emails? Not the overall app correct?

  21. Ashley November 13, 2013 at 4:11 am #

    It is for this reason I will continue using 2007, which allowed shading of headers

  22. Tom Carnahan December 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    This is not the right place for this comment, but I haven’t found a good place to ask the question, namely:

    “Is anyone else having performance issues with Office 360?”

    Outlook 360 (2013) is “so slow” it is painful. I can literally wait 30 to 60 seconds for each email to open. I have almost given up reading my email through Outlook and usually go to my ISP’s webmail to read it. If I can’t find a solution to speed it up soon, I will go back to office 2010. I have looked at services running in the background and it seems to be Outlook that is the CPU/Memory hog.

    • Steve Krause December 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      Hi Tom,
      When you say Outlook 360, are you talking about your Email at Work via the browser? Or is it an Outlook client installed on your PC?

      What exactly is it because “Office” 360 is different from Outlook 2013.

      • Tom Carnahan December 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

        Hi Steve,

        I am talking about Office 360 running on my PC at home (the Outlook component of the downloaded client software, i.e. NOT through a browser). When you go to the File tab\Office Account\About Outlook, it says “Microsoft Outlook 2013 … 32 bit, part of Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium”.

        Any idea what might be going on?

        • Steve Krause December 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

          Just opening up an email should never take more than .25 or .5 seconds. Taking 30-60 seconds just sounds wonkey Tom.

          Have you enabled the Reading Pane?

          http://www.groovypost.com/howto/microsoft/reading-pane-default-outlook-2010-easier-reading-emails/

          This is for 2010 however it should be the same in 2013.

          Also – you mentioned your ISP. Is this install of Office 365 for your personal use or your company email?

          • Tom Carnahan December 5, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

            I have the reading pane enabled. This install is for personal use.

            I was going to give the extra 4 copies to family members, but now that they have seen all the problems with it, they won’t touch it.

            – tom

  23. Rat December 27, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    Hate this, it stinks. Windows seem to be going backwards instead of improving.

Leave a Reply

 

navid: #navigation
×

Subscribe to our free newsletter and have our tips delivered to your inbox. Free Signup