Microsoft is Testing a New Dark Mode for Word

Microsoft Word for Windows is picking up a major improvement to its dark mode implementation: Soon, the writing canvas will be dark as well.

“As we log long hours with our screens, it has become increasingly important to reduce eye strain and accommodate light sensitivity,” Microsoft’s Ali Forelli writes in the announcement post. “Therefore, we’ve extended the Black Office theme to now include your document canvas as well. This has been a long-requested feature from many of Officer Insiders and we’re excited to make it happen.”

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday — and get free copies of Paul Thurrott's Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (normally $9.99) as a special welcome gift!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Forelli adds that with Dark mode enabled, the previously white page color is now a dark grey/black and that colors within documents are shifted to accommodate the new color contrast, mute the overall effect of the color palette, and look more visually pleasing with the new dark background.

As always, you can change the theme in Word by navigating to File > Account > Office Theme. But Microsoft is also experimenting with a new Switch Modes interface in the Word ribbon that would let you access this functionality a little more easily.

Microsoft is currently testing this feature publicly in the Beta channel of the Office Insider program, but it’s not yet available to all Insiders for reasons that only God and Microsoft know. It’s also leaving open the possibility that if this feature doesn’t test well enough, it could be pulled and not offered in a stable version of Office.


Tagged with

Share post

Please check our Community Guidelines before commenting

Conversation 18 comments

  • fishnet37222

    Premium Member
    09 February, 2021 - 2:50 pm

    <p>So, Word with dark mode enabled won't really be WYSIWYG.</p>

    • thalter

      Premium Member
      09 February, 2021 - 3:41 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#612519">In reply to fishnet37222:</a></em></blockquote><p>True, but if you are producing content for digital consumption (as more and more of us are), that doesn't really matter. </p>

  • mclark2112

    Premium Member
    09 February, 2021 - 2:54 pm

    <p>Ooooh, fancy. It's like 1989 all over again! White text, black background…</p>

  • mattbg

    Premium Member
    09 February, 2021 - 3:34 pm

    <p>Dark Mode + Focus Mode = interesting (to me, anyway).</p>

  • anthonye1778

    Premium Member
    09 February, 2021 - 7:23 pm

    <p>This will definitely be a QOL improvement for me both professionally and personally. </p><p><br></p><p>Now… if only had a native dark mode ;)</p>

  • kennyb

    09 February, 2021 - 7:42 pm

    <p>Wait, Contoso is a fake city? This whole time I thought it was a fake company.</p>

    • mikegalos

      09 February, 2021 - 10:27 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#612551">In reply to kennyb:</a></em></blockquote><p>I thought everyone knew that the Contoso family of companies were named after Contoso, Colorado where they have their headquarters.</p><p><br></p><p>Maybe I just know that from being a long-time Contoso stockholder.</p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    10 February, 2021 - 1:09 am

    <p>This is actually fixing a regression bug. Word used to have an option for white on blue, but that was removed for some reason beyond the kin of average people.</p>

  • Daekar

    10 February, 2021 - 5:01 am

    <p>Can't wait for this</p>

  • dftf

    10 February, 2021 - 5:13 am

    <p>You could do this right now for every app if you wanted in Windows 10.</p><p><br></p><p>Make sure your Windows and App themes are set to the "Light" variant.</p><p><br></p><p>Then go to Start &gt; Settings &gt; Ease of Access &gt; Colour Filters. Set "Turn on colour filters" to ON. Then choose either "Inverted" or "Grayscale inverted". Now everything on-screen gets inverted: what was white, becomes black, and so-on.</p>

  • TigerTom

    10 February, 2021 - 7:07 am

    <p>I've tried dark mode and I just can't get on with it. Seems to strain my eyes more than light mode.</p><p><br></p><p>Plus I just think it's ugly in my opinion.</p><p><br></p><p>I don't even use the light option, nice bit of colour is the right mix for me at any rate.</p><p><br></p><p>I can see a benefit if you've got an OLED laptop to save a bit of juice but that's a pretty niche case at the moment.</p>

    • mikegalos

      10 February, 2021 - 10:59 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#612582">In reply to TigerTom:</a></em></blockquote><p>Absolutely. Black on White is, by far, the easiest on the eyes except If you're working in a dark room such as on a laptop or tablet in bed. </p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

  • j5

    10 February, 2021 - 7:41 am

    <p>I try dark mode in Office every now and then and it's not a good as other dark modes. It's almost like the high contrast mode. </p><p>I like dark mode because I work late at night and it'll be nice to have everything have a nice consistent dark mode.</p>

  • dkrowe

    Premium Member
    10 February, 2021 - 9:10 am

    <p>I prefer Dark Mode, so any improvements are welcome. Workarounds for copy/paste would be nice as well: using browser in Dark Mode, copy from web page, paste into email…too dark…switch off Dark Mode, copy, paste, switch Dark Mode back on.</p>

  • christianwilson

    Premium Member
    10 February, 2021 - 1:10 pm

    <p>I have a Weiss ring floater in my eye that is more prominent in my vision on bright screens, particularly in the dark. I use dark mode a lot to minimize having to look through it, so this is good news to me. I am excited for this to roll out. </p>

  • illuminated

    11 February, 2021 - 1:09 pm

    <p>Goodbye paper.</p>

  • crunchyfrog

    11 February, 2021 - 1:11 pm

    <p>I'm waiting for the day they move to plaid mode.</p>

  • datameister

    25 February, 2021 - 12:20 pm

    <p>I don't use Microsoft Office, but just from looking at the picture, is there also a dark mode that only affects the interface tools and not the content being created? Seems weird to change the paper and text color away from WYSIWYG. Can you imagine if Photoshop did that?</p>

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thurrott © 2023 Thurrott LLC