Color Theme and Personalization Settings in Microsoft Office

Personalization Settings in Microsoft OneNote 2013
Personalization Settings in Microsoft OneNote 2013. (c) Screenshot by Cindy Grigg, Courtesy of Microsoft

Many of us work in Microsoft Office programs for a large portion of our workday. Why not take a few minutes to personalize the user interface experience? These customizations may not seem like much, but they can make work just a little more fun.

You can customize the user interface Color Scheme and other personalization settings in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and other programs. This is really simple to do, and once you make your selections, they should "stick" for each new session.

How to Change Your Settings

  1. Select File - Options - General. Look toward the bottom of this screen to find User Name, Editing Initials, and Theme. Office 2016 offers new themes for those who find previous theme options too blaring on the eyes, so be sure to check that out if this has been a problem for you.
  2. Some versions such as Office 2013 also offer customization of an Office Background graphic that shows up in the upper right of the screen. Find this by selecting File - Account - Office Background, then selecting from about a dozen illustrations.
  3. Be sure to notice different options available under the Choose Commands from the drop-down menu. For example, you can also Customize the Quick Access Menu in Microsoft Office. You can even get down to the detail of each group (the subsections of each menu tab).
  4. In the upper right, you will see a drop-down menu for specifying whether you want this toolbar customization to apply to all tabs, main tabs, or the optional Tools Tabs (or non-default tabs).


    • Keep in mind that one way to offer several individuals using the same computer more personalization and control over their Microsoft Office experience is to opt for Office 365 accounts as opposed to a traditional desktop installation of the suite. Since each person has their own sign-on, even when using the same subscription, their settings can be unique.
    • In that same vein, Office 365 users can take advantage of syncing across multiple devices, to include the personalization and customization settings such as those mentioned above. This means your user experience should be fairly similar across various device sizes and types, though some user interface differences should be expected. If you are unfamiliar with Microsoft's cloud suite, you may be interested in checking out resources on this page: Microsoft Office 365 Tools and Tips.
    • If you are on a PC, you may also be interested in Microsoft's Personalization Gallery. This site offers several resources for Windows themes, desktop backgrounds, and language pack customizations. Note that some of these system customizations for PC will vary according to your version of the Windows operating system.
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    Your Citation
    Grigg, Cindy. "Color Theme and Personalization Settings in Microsoft Office." ThoughtCo, Jan. 13, 2018, Grigg, Cindy. (2018, January 13). Color Theme and Personalization Settings in Microsoft Office. Retrieved from Grigg, Cindy. "Color Theme and Personalization Settings in Microsoft Office." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 18, 2018).