Office 2013, so bright it hurts my eyes

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I recently made the move from Microsoft Office 2010 to Office 2013. Not much has changed in the new version, but one thing seems to annoy many people around the world including me. For some reason Microsoft has decided that everything in Office 2013 has to be very white and bright. Not sure why, but it seems to be some kind of trend that many other software companies like Google and Apple also apply to. White seems to be the new black for some reason!

How can we change the brightness of Office 2013?

Okay, there are two other themes you can choose, Light Gray and Dark Gray, but that does really not solve the problem. In older versions of Office, we also had the possibility to choose Black, Silver or Blue, but that is for some reason no longer an option.

How to change color Theme in Office 2013

If you want to change to one of the gray themes, here is how it is done. It does help a little I think:

  1. Click File > Office Account (or File > Account)
  2. Select the Office Theme you want from the dropdown list

Office 2013 Themes

I went to Microsoft own TechNet forum to see what solutions there was available for all the people that would like another theme with some colors or maybe just a darker theme. I did not found a solution, but look what I found instead:

Question about Office 2013 Theme:


Answer from Microsoft TechNet Community Support:


The guy is asking for another color theme because it is too bright and the answer is to adjust brightness of the monitor..!! That is just bad customer service if you ask me. Why not listen to your customers and try to give them what they want, if it is in your power? I have found so many people asking for this all over the Internet. We are not asking you to redesign your Office logo. We are not asking for to change the default theme in your Office distribution. All we are asking for is to be able to download or design a theme with a little bit of colors. Is that really too much to ask for Microsoft?

Outlook 2013 Logo change from Yellow to Blue

Another thing that has changed is the color of the Outlook icon. After many years with a yellow Outlook icon, the Office theme has changed it a blue icon for some reason.

History of Outlook icon   Outlook-2013-High-res

What people things about the new Office 2013 Design

I have found some quotes from people’s reaction to the new design of Office 2013:

“Office 2013 is much too bright & white”

“Did the Adams Family design the Office 2013…?”

“Everything looks so flat and dead. I’m working with these tools all day long…and it’s like I’m living in a Twilight Zone episode”

“Worst design – ever! The 1950’s called and they want their Office back”

“Is it me or is office 2013 meant to make eyes bleed?”

 What do you think about the new design of Office 2013?

Please let me know what you think about the new design and the fact that there is no way to select a theme with some colors? Please drop me a comment below.

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About Thomas

I am an IT Professional that has this blog as a hobby project in my spare time. I have been in the IT business since 1996 and want to share some of the thing I have picked up over the years with people who visit this blog... Connect with me on: Twitter | Google+ | YouTube Subscribe to my Newsletter