Microsoft is Testing a New Dark Mode for Word

Posted on February 9, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365 with 18 Comments

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.”

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.


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