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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    Why is the Office 2013 color scheme so bland?

    Any idea why Office 2013 programs are so bland in appearance? It makes working with them quite difficult in the absence of clear colour differences between screen/pane elements.
    (My Setup: 3,70GHz Intel Core i7-4820K CPU; MSI Military Class iii X79A-GD45 Plus Motherboard; Win 8.1 Pro (64 bit); 16GB RAM; SAMSUNG SD840 PRO SSD (6GB/SATA III); Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; GeForceGTX 760 2GB Graphics Card; Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2014 Premium, NIS 2014, etc). (UEFI-booted). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    The color scheme is part of the move towards Windows 8 "Metro" apps with its Chromeless GUI.

    Jerry

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    You can get a little more contrast if you choose the Dark Gray theme. It's the best they offer, but it is bland, indeed.

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    Well, let's hope someone creative decides to make some better contrasting themes available!!
    (My Setup: 3,70GHz Intel Core i7-4820K CPU; MSI Military Class iii X79A-GD45 Plus Motherboard; Win 8.1 Pro (64 bit); 16GB RAM; SAMSUNG SD840 PRO SSD (6GB/SATA III); Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; GeForceGTX 760 2GB Graphics Card; Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2014 Premium, NIS 2014, etc). (UEFI-booted). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive)

  5. #5
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    It's Microsoft's way of doing things to make all its products look like the current version of Windows; so Office, Microsoft's own website, etc. are all looking more like Windows 8 these days. Even properties with strong brand identities, like Skype, start to acquire some Windows-like elements.

    The current version of Windows uses flat, feature-less "tiles" as interface elements. The tiles are boring because you're not supposed to look at them - they're supposed to be "live" with content, in Windows 8, at least.

    All this is part of Microsoft's historical marketing scheme for Windows. You'll see the same treatment on websites that pander to Microsoft. PC World is a good example.

  6. #6
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    It is simply awful - a huge, I mean a huge step backward? Why do they think that mobile users want less color?

    Why did they combine desktop / laptop with mobile. Silly move and I dislike windows 8 very much, and after being forced to upgrade to Outlook 2013, really hate it. I can't tell what is truly greyed out for a reason and what is just bland.

    Awful, I would go back to Office 2010 if I could and to think that I paid over $100 for Outlook that i have owned for years!

  7. #7
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    In either Win 7 or Win 8 go to Control Panel/Personalization and rummage about among the themes and backgrounds and related settings. You might like to try any of the high contrast themes, for example, and additionally you can download free themes from Control Panel. You will find that a significant amount of the theme will carry over to your view of the applications.

    Failing that, you have the option of concocting your own themes and saving them. As soon as you have anything that looks decent to you, then save it; you can always use it as a starting-point for further development or to have a variety of personal settings available at any time. Bear in mind that Aero consumes resources.

  8. #8
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    no, using themes does not seem to work for Outlook.... I have tried

    Same with wanting to make the right hand scroll bar get wider, no can do in Windows 8

  9. #9
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    If you go to 'Color' in Win 8 you will see a small collection of discrete colors, where in Win 7 you have the full palette. I don't know if you can get more colors in Win 8 or not.

  10. #10
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    Modifying the Window Color of Office 2013 Applications

    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    You can get a little more contrast if you choose the Dark Gray theme. It's the best they offer, but it is bland, indeed.
    I've discovered a way to change the color of the white Window in Office 2013 applications.
    (1) Right-click on your Desktop.
    (2) Left-click on Personalize.
    (3) Left-click on Window Color.
    (4) Left-click on "Advanced appearance settings."
    (5) In the "Window Color and Appearance" window that opens, left-click on the words "Window Text."
    (6) Notice that the "Item" window below has changed to "Window" and shows a swatch of color (probably white unless you've already figured this out on your own) labeled "Color 1." Left-click on the dropdown arrow next to the color swatch, then select a color from the small palette that opens. If one of those colors doesn't grab ya, then left-click on "Other..."
    (7) Choose any color that suits you, either one of the Basic colors or you can click on the marker in the "rainbow" box on the right and slide it around to select different shades of colors. You can also slide the black indicator arrow up and down the right side of the Color window to choose a lighter or darker shade of whichever color you choose. I recommend a slightly off-white or creamy color that tones down the stark white of the Microsoft window space.
    (8) Then left-click OK, then Apply, then OK again.
    (9) Left-click on "Save changes" in the "Window Color and Appearance" window, and then close the Personalization window.
    And that's all there is to it!! You'll also find that the window color for _all_ of Microsoft's Office 2013 applications has changed, too... for no extra charge.
    Cyndie Browning
    GableGotwals
    Tulsa, OK

  11. #11
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    Thank-you, thank-you! I realize that it's not a life or death issue, but I am very happy to know how to change the color scheme now so that I can maneuver with a bit more ease.
    Erin Walsh,
    Director of PR-Boost Software
    www.boostsoftware.com

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