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I am documenting some software in MS Word. I want white text on black background when viewing on the computer (it saves eyes and power), but I want black text on white background to save ink in case people print. Is this possible?

I don't know if this helps but I will likely be saving as PDF. Currently, I have a dark background with "Automatic" font color. Shame there's no way of defining the background to be clever like the font color.

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migrated from programmers.stackexchange.com Oct 27 '11 at 15:58

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8 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could use HTML instead of word documents.

Not only is it a standard and easily viewed, but you can actually define different stylesheet for screen and printer.

Depending on your needs, you can knit the markup by hand or customize TinyMCE for your needs.
Or, as is quite common, you could use a wiki system to write your documentation, which would also give you all the features of a wiki (versioning, linking, searching, tagging etc.).

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You could use a different windows theme while editing your word/excel documents.

There is a inverted contrast accessibility theme that will do just that.

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I had hoped i could do somethign specific to the word document. –  Kohan Oct 27 '11 at 16:12
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Used to be you could activate a mode that gave you white text on a dark blue background, like in the DOS days. It affected only the viewing of the document; it still printed as expected. But they took that out in Office 2007, sorry.

You could in theory write a macro that changed the colors around when printing, and changed them back afterward, and then attach it to the Word document. A lot of work for little gain, though.

FYI, it takes less power to display a white screen on a modern LCD, so if that's your concern, leave it the way it is.

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cool, thanks for the info. –  Kohan Oct 28 '11 at 8:24
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On the ribbon go to "Page Layout" and then "Page Color" - select black Then on the font styles you are using, change the color to white. There's probably a way you can set this up as a default template if you want it for every document. Not sure if it will try to print it this way or not. It's not too hard to switch it all back before you print though. (revert the page background, and select all; change font color)

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Keep your document settings for onscreen viewing as you have chosen (black background, “automatic” text color). In Word 2010, go to the File tab; select Options; select Display; go to Printing options and UNCHECK the box that says “Print background colors and images.” This will PRINT your document with black text on a white background.

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Yo! i have been searching hard for this. I found the answer. YES! you can do this if you use windows vista, windows 7 or windows 8 goto Control panel > personal display setting > change theme then you scroll down untill you see high contrast black. select it now everthing will go black. this is useful if you work at night and sleep in day time. or if you work in a dark environment to save enrgy or what-so-ever. hope this was helpful!!!

THIS WORKS IN ANY WINDOWS APPS IF YOU HAVE WINDOWS VISTA, 7 OR 8

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Yo! Does it print the inverse? –  Carl B Nov 30 '13 at 18:18
    
I imagine it would, as it's just a "display theme" getting set. On a completely unrelated note, there's a program called "f.lux" that makes working at night much easier on the eyes. –  Kohan Dec 2 '13 at 10:22
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For Word 2013, the easiest method that I know of is:

  1. Choose Design on the Ribbon
  2. On the far right end of the Ribbon, select Page Color. If you don't see it, you may need to expand the Ribbon to show all commands.
  3. Choose your desired page color. If you choose black, Word will automatically display your text in white.

To make the color settings persistent, click Set As Default just to the left of the Page Color button.

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I found a way around this. I create my text documents on Google Drive first (that could be any online resource) while using the Hacker Vision extension which inverts the screen colors to protect your eyesight. Then you can copy it to Word and do the final arrangement :)

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