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I have recently changed to a dark theme in Windows 7.

This mostly works nicely, but the problem is the page backgrounds in Word and Excel (2010) become dark, too. I don't want that, because I want what I see on the screen to correspond to how a printed page will look. Also, the dark page background doesn't work well with text colors, etc., in existing documents.

Is there anyway to make Word and Excel display a white page background by default, no matter the system settings?

Changing the normal template was recommended for Word, but it doesn't seem to work. Also, that would only work for new documents I created, anyway.

Thanks for your help.

Update: I want to keep the Windows window color dark. Otherwise, things such as Explorer have a white background, too, which kind of ruins a dark theme. I just don't want this to apply to Office documents. It seems like a reasonable request to want to distinguish between the two: Office documents are not part of the Windows user interface; they are documents.

  • What do you mean a dark theme changes the paper color? – Raystafarian Mar 24 '14 at 9:59
  • @Raystafarian, I mean that I don't want Word to have a dark background. I want it to stay white, so it corresponds to what a printed page would look like. – dan1111 Mar 24 '14 at 11:48
  • So you mean the theme (color scheme) for office? Like if you go to word options and pick blue/silver/black? Maybe some screen shots would help. How did you apply the windows theme? Word has never had a white background window in 2010 – Raystafarian Mar 24 '14 at 12:27
  • @Raystafarian, no the problem is the page background becomes dark. Sorry if that wasn't clear. – dan1111 Mar 24 '14 at 12:45
  • That was my first question, the paper isn't white? A screenshot might help. – Raystafarian Mar 24 '14 at 12:45
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Using a high contrast theme will require you to adjust the properties manually.

  1. Go to Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Personalization
  2. At the bottom of the window click Window Color
  3. In the Item: drop-down choose Window
  4. To the right choose what color you want under Color 1:
  5. Click Apply, then OK

enter image description here
Note: This image is for reference only. Yours will look different.

Now when you open Word or Excel the background should be the color you chose.

  • Thanks, but I know about this. The problem is, I want the window color to be dark, just not in Word or Excel. Editing question to clarify this. – dan1111 Mar 24 '14 at 11:49
  • Yep, that would have been nice to know before I answered. – CharlieRB Mar 24 '14 at 11:54
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option allows you to change the background color to whatever you would like. Keep in mind that the color you choose is a part of the document and is visible when sharing the file. It does not show up when printed, however.

  • Make sure the Page Layout tab (Word 2007 and Word 2010); or Design tab (Word 2013 and Word 2016) of the ribbon is displayed.
  • Click the Page Color tool within the Page Background group. Word displays a palette of colors from which you can choose.
  • Choose the color you would like to use for your background.
  • By 'option', do you mean 'Word > Option'? – KAE Jan 24 at 20:54

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