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The 3 color schemes (blue, silver, black) available in Office 2007 provide poor differentiation for active windows. It is really hard to locate the currently active editor (Word) window at a quick glance. Cursor hover response is also poor.

Is there a way to configure Office 2007 to use other color schemes?

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@#%@%@$#% -- we just got forcibly upgraded at work from Office 2003 to Office 2007. I want something besides blue/silver/black, don't understand why I can't just have the default color scheme selected by Control Panel that applies to all other Windows applications. –  Jason S Aug 5 '11 at 13:41
That's the way it is ... –  harrymc Aug 6 '11 at 15:49

7 Answers 7

I dont think so.... They may not add any custom themes concept because it exposes the security vulnerabilities.

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There are no other alternate themes for the office 2007/2010 products built-in. Running a websearch, there are no results that actually show how to hack or modify the system to revert to 2003-esque looks or to allow third-party tools like WindowsBlinds. So it appears you are out of luck. –  music2myear Aug 5 '11 at 14:43
As a note, which Color Scheme is used is read from the registry path: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\Theme and this value only takes 1,2 or 3 as accepted input. Given that, I would say the color schemes are build-in and thus no chance of adding anything. –  Tex Hex Aug 8 '11 at 17:52

Which OS are you using? If you got Aero on, you'll have to jack up your Color Intensity and/or turn off transparency, which really screw with the colors.

It's easy in XP to differentiate.

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There is an in-progress work to hack office 2013 themes to get them more readable. Don't know if/when a download will ever be available. https://officethemehacker.wordpress.com/

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There are rumors about a new, darker and more contrasted theme coming in Office 2016: http://www.windowscentral.com/upcoming-version-office-will-let-you-switch-dark-side

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To answer your question, no, not that I know of. However, a minor workaround: If you revert to windows classic, there is a little more contrast between active and inactive windows as the top part of the window chrome turns a darker shade of gray.

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office 2007 ignores that and continues to be the only ugly themed window even if you kill the theme service. –  gcb Nov 12 '13 at 18:05

There is another workaround, though the cure may be worse than the problem. You can change the OS theme to a high-contrast theme, then manually choose the colors you want. But as I said, this is system-wide, so it's going to change everything, not just Office.

In XP you'll find it under Control Panel-->Accessibility

In Windows 7 it's under Control Panel-->Appearance and Personalization-->Change the Theme

So it can be done, but not likely to help much.

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office 2007 ignore all that and uses its own crappy bloated theme that you can't even tell which window has focus. –  gcb Nov 12 '13 at 18:05

no there is no other way to customize this color scheme but you can make it look like office 2003 and your main concern is visibility so I think this'll be appropriate ... check this article over here


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It would be nice to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link only for future reference. –  slhck Aug 12 '11 at 10:07
The link doesn't work any more. So yes, a bit more detail would have helped. There's not even enough information here to formulate a search. –  Ian Goldby Apr 10 '12 at 8:27
found a cache webcache.googleusercontent.com/… and with that i could find the new url pcworld.com/article/161516 it is NOT about color scheme, but about the menu ribbon, and suggest a plugin that makes it a regular windows menu ubit.ch/software/ubitmenu-languages –  gcb Nov 12 '13 at 18:09

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