Microsoft Office’s dark mode now works in documents too

Microsoft Office’s dark mode now works in documents too

Microsoft on Tuesday announced a more extensive dark mode in Word. Previously, the program’s dark mode would only affect the ribbon and toolbars, but not the actual document. That all changes beginning today.

“As we log long hours with our screens, it has become increasingly important to reduce eye strain and accommodate light sensitivity,” Microsoft said in a blog post (via The Verge). “Therefore, we’ve extended the Black Office theme to now include your document canvas as well. This has been a long-requested feature from many of Officer Insiders and we’re excited to make it happen.”

The GIF below demonstrates what Microsoft’s more extensive dark mode looks like in Word. To access the feature, click on File > Account > Office Theme > Black. The nice thing about the new change is you can switch between a black and white page background color. When you choose a dark theme, Microsoft said colors within your document will also be shifted to accommodate the new color contrast.

“Indeed, reds, blues, yellows, and other colors will be shifted slightly to mute the overall effect of the color palette and look more visually pleasing with the new dark background,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft said there’s actually a benefit to seeing your document without dark mode applied. That’s because the white canvas portrays how others will see it by default, like when you send it to a colleague. You can switch back and forth between and white and dark canvas, or even disable the dark canvas completely by going to File > Options > General > Personalize.

The more extensive changes to Word’s dark mode is currently available to Insider Beta Channel users running version 2012 (Build 13518.10000). The feature is rolling out slowly to Insiders to ensure things are working smoothly. If testing goes well, hopefully we’ll see the same features brought to a stable release.

If you’re not an Office 365 subscriber, Google supports a dark mode that’s available across Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

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Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.