Microsoft Word is getting an improved all-Dark Mode option

Polycount

Posts: 2,862   +575
Staff member
Something to look forward to: Anyone who has ever worked on a Microsoft Word document late at night can understand how insufficient the software's so-called "Dark Mode" is. While it does invert the color scheme of the various menus bars, over half of the screen -- the space where your document sits -- is still a blindingly-bright white. Fortunately, that'll be changing: Word users will soon gain the ability to darken their canvas, too.

The feature is fairly self-explanatory. By toggling it on in Dark Mode, you'll be able to alter the colors of your document to better match the rest of the UI. This should make it far more comfortable to type when the sun is down, without needing any third-party apps or tools (such as screen-dimming software or blue light filters).

If you don't like the idea of a dark canvas for whatever reason (perhaps you're working on a color-sensitive document), you'll be pleased to hear that this feature is not mandatory, and it isn't being automatically bundled with Word's broader Dark Mode functionality.

Instead, if Dark Mode is on, you'll eventually be able to click a "Switch Modes" button to swap between the normal white canvas and the new dark gray alternative.

The slightly-revamped Dark Mode is not available to all just yet; only Windows Insiders can experiment with it. However, provided user feedback is positive, we should see it roll out soon. Perhaps even this month or the next, if we're particularly lucky.

If you're willing to put up with a few bugs, you can join the Windows Insider program's Beta Channel and grab Version 2012 (build 13518.10000) to test the feature today.

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Neatfeatguy

Posts: 353   +539
When they can no longer find any way to rearrange or add features

Don't give up on them yet. I'm sure sometime over the next 12 months they'll find a way to completely rearrange menu settings and screw everything up.

I used my 2003 Student version of MS Office for years until maybe 3 years ago when I finally caved and found a copy of 2016 MS Office. I needed some of the unsupported formulas that 2003 Excel didn't have for some spreadsheets I needed to work on for work. 2003 didn't support some of the formulas I was using so I needed something newer so I could work from home....it's been 3-4 years that I've been using MS Office 2016 and I still can't find certain settings I knew in the 2003 version without resorting to googling "how to do suchandsuch excel 2016". By the time I finally learn all the ins and outs with the menu in 2016, MS will find a way to make that version defunct and drastically overhaul Office 365 layout to piss everyone off.
 

Todd Sauve

Posts: 38   +50
Don't give up on them yet. I'm sure sometime over the next 12 months they'll find a way to completely rearrange menu settings and screw everything up.

I used my 2003 Student version of MS Office for years until maybe 3 years ago when I finally caved and found a copy of 2016 MS Office. I needed some of the unsupported formulas that 2003 Excel didn't have for some spreadsheets I needed to work on for work. 2003 didn't support some of the formulas I was using so I needed something newer so I could work from home....it's been 3-4 years that I've been using MS Office 2016 and I still can't find certain settings I knew in the 2003 version without resorting to googling "how to do suchandsuch excel 2016". By the time I finally learn all the ins and outs with the menu in 2016, MS will find a way to make that version defunct and drastically overhaul Office 365 layout to piss everyone off.

Yup. I'm just sticking with Office 2003. I don't really like all that ribbon stuff. If I ever do ditch 2003 I think I'll just go over to Libre Office for free.
 

BSim500

Posts: 810   +1,802
Libre Office is nowhere close. But at least it's for free.
Depends on your needs. We ditched Microsoft Office for LibreOffice years ago (not just personally but several computers in a family run small business too) and couldn't be happier. The few features it lacks (online collaboration, Visual Basic) are irrelevant to us whilst all the advantages of LibreOffice (free & DRM-Free, more advanced PDF export options, much cleaner HTML export, cross-platform, stable UI, clicking URL's actually open them externally in the browser YOU want, etc), are the ones we notice the most day to day.

The mere concept of having your own business rely on lifelong subscriptions to temporary delay the built in kill-switch (DRM / activation) just to be "permitted" to produce simple documents that even Microsoft Office 2003 could handle for 95% of people seems quite insane in 2021...

Edit: As for that "Dark Mode" screenshot, that has to be the most unbelievably ugly and eye-fatiguing thing I've seen in any word processor (even compared to their recent "wall of whitespace" junk design). A more functional "dark mode" has been there all along simply by leaving the page white / making it a 5-10% grey and making the application background a 70-90% grey in Tools -> Options -> Application Colours.
 
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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,044   +6,809
Still using my 2016 version of Word and haven't seen anything even close to making me want to upgrade, especially since they have limited the package in the past few years........yawn ......
 

Digitalzone

Posts: 176   +103
I don't use export to HTML or PDF so much. UI is defintiely more polished at the Office suite. Just recently what pissed me off was: in LO in Classic UI, the inserting Table is not under Insert, but it has it's own Table menu. But why? I naturally look for it in Insert menu. I switched to new Ribbon copycat... Much better UI. Seriously, Ribbon is just perfect concept. LO should have implemented much earlier.
Then, I wanted to decapitalize pasted text. In Word, it's just there, on the Ribbon, in LO its nowhere, you have to find it. Worse, its not possible to do it to the text pasted into cell...I gave up, did it manually. Googling how to decapitalize text in LO UI just itself shows that UI is not so intuitive and lacks.