Feature Request: We need a true dark mode in Microsoft Office Apps

Occasional Contributor

While apps like Word, Excel and Access all have a dark theme for the UI, however, it is rendered quite ineffective considering its intentions (to reduce eyestrain). The main focus of these apps is the content in the middle of the screen (whether it be a spreadsheet or a document) so when I enable dark theme and the largest part of the screen is still bright white, it makes me wonder why I would use it in the first place. 



In OneNote, Microsoft has done a great job at including a 'dark mode' and this is what I'd like to see in Word, Excel etc. where the dark mode includes the background and inverts the text along with brightness of the pens while keeping photos and other attachments in their original forms: 

This can be as simple as a 'Switch Background' button in the ribbon (like in OneNote).



I'm a student who suffers from severe photophobia due to albinism and this feature would allow me personally to use word without eyestrain and fatigue while still keeping the document accessible to other people who want to view, share or print it. It would make my workflow less complex as I would no longer need to invert the colours of the entire screen through Ctrl + Win + C over and over again and would definitely allow me to focus more on my classes and be a better student. 

6 Replies

Hi @jraff 


you can do this in Word




I know, and I do that. The problem is, I have to change it back before I go to send it to a colleague, or before I print it. Also, various elements such as tables and borders don't change colour, they stay black - rendering them invisible. I believe a quick "change background" button would resolve all this - just like the one in OneNote.

This is a great idea and I would suggest that you submit this feedback in the apps you'd like to see this implemented in by going to Help > Feedback. In the meantime, the workaround you've been using is the best available option at this time.

@jraff This may be helpful for you (albeit, still not quite as good as the solution you proposed): a Redditor created a Dark Mode template for Excel here that I've been using with luck: https://www.reddit.com/r/excel/comments/citne4/true_excel_dark_mode/


"You can download the required files here:

You'll need to put both of them in the following location: %AppData%\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART"


The grid in Excel defaults to the Normal Style.  The Style controls the Fill colour (if any) amongst other things.  You could change the Fill to very dark grey, possibly with a medium grey border and white text.

Hi @jraff


You probably know this already but true dark mode is now available in Word for Microsoft/Office 365 users. A Dark Mode button will appear in the View ribbon if you set the theme to Black (it may work for another theme but I'm not sure). I have found it very useful.

We are still waiting for the same feature in Excel.