Switch Excel Spreadsheet from Light view to Night View?

Copper Contributor

i have cataracts and struggling to read spreadsheets due to the glare.

11 Replies


Excel has a feature called "Dark Mode" that changes the color scheme of the program to a darker palette, which may be easier on the eyes in low-light conditions. Here are the steps to switch to Dark Mode in Excel:


Open Excel and click on "File" in the top left corner.

Select "Options" at the bottom of the left-hand menu.

In the "General" tab, find the "Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office" section.

Click on the drop-down menu under "Office Theme" and select "Dark Gray" or "Black" to switch to the Dark Mode color scheme.

Click "OK" to apply the changes.

Once you've switched to Dark Mode, the color scheme of your Excel spreadsheets will be darker, which may reduce glare and make it easier to read.


Dark Mode is available in newer versions of Excel.


For Windows:

Excel 2016 or later versions support the Dark Mode feature.

To check if you have Excel 2016 or later version, click on the "File" tab, select "Account" and then click on the "About Excel" button.


For Mac:

Excel for Mac 2016 or later versions also support Dark Mode.

To check if you have Excel for Mac 2016 or later version, click on the "Excel" menu, select "About Excel".

If you have an earlier version of Excel that does not support Dark Mode, you can try changing the color scheme of your operating system to reduce glare. For example, on Windows, you can go to Settings > Personalization > Colors and choose a darker color for your app mode. On Mac, you can go to System Preferences > General and choose "Dark" under the Appearance section. This will affect the overall color scheme of your computer, including Excel.



I hope this helps!


*Response with AI assisted.

It cahnged the Header but not the actual spreadsheet. I need to change the spreadsheet to dark mode.


You could slip a dark background into the sheet through Page layout menu | Background.  The trade off is you'd have to change the font color to something other than black.  The background does not print with the sheet.


This is what it'd look like:





If you are on Windows:

Click the Start button or press the Windows key.

Type contrast themes and press Enter.

You might select one of the dark themes. Keep in mind that this will affect all apps.


I have done this with my Web pages but it doesn't work with spreadsheets.
When I followed your instructions on a current spreadsheet, it asked where I wanted to get a picture from (Bing, Word and something else).
You could do a Bing search for a color. You'll get plenty of options for solid color backgrounds.


It works for me: this is the Aquatic theme. Night Sky is even darker.



Same exact issue. Changing Office Theme settings changes the color on everything except the spreadsheet. I even checked to see if maybe for some reason my spreadsheets were being color filled white by default. I started color filling spreadsheets and changing the color of the borders to basically replicate dark mode. That was fine for my own stuff but then I realized I can't set up work spreadsheets like that or they'll think I've been replaced by Wednesday Addams. Hoping to find a solution to this. I think my work around may be adding a solid color picture to every spreadsheet, but this is a looong way from ideal. First, it's gotta be a gray or brown picture, as the font stays default black. The background does not print, but the background does stay with the file, so again, unless you're Wednesday Addams, you'll have to remove the back ground before sending it to anyone at work. Hopefully someone figures this out.
I feel like this is a problem that needs more attention by Microsoft. I love the seamless switch between light mode and dark more that exists in Word and Outlook. Excel needs this too. This would be particularly useful for those of us who are vision impaired (as I am myself).
I also agree, As i am working in a shared environment i have issues with both cataract remnanats and glaucoma so having a white background and black coloured writing is difficult for me, and a small minority of my colleagues.
What would be ideal for me and my colleagues is an option to show the spreadsheet's worksheet data inverted as a personalised toggle or option so it doesn't affect my normal sighted colleagues view who prefer the light view but can actually be read and reasonably comfortably in a reversed view for those of us who find it difficult to see a glaring white filled view.
So Microsoft or anyone, any take up on providing this feature to MS Excel as a part of the accessibility?