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Changing Interface Color in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn about changing the interface color in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Windows 7 and higher






When PowerPoint 2013 is launched, you see the Presentation Gallery, as shown in Figure 1. Notice the bright orange section on the left side of the Presentation Gallery. Also, any highlighted areas use orange. Now let us explore the PowerPoint program interface -- to do that, choose any of available Themes within the Presentation Gallery, such as the Blank Presentation option.

PowerPoint 2013's Presentation Gallery
Figure 1: PowerPoint 2013's Presentation Gallery

This will create a new, blank presentation, and show you the PowerPoint 2013 interface (see Figure 2). Notice the bright orange Status Bar. Also, all selected options are colored bright orange.

PowerPoint 2013's Interface
Figure 2: PowerPoint 2013's Interface

Is this bright orange color hurting your eyes? Can you stare all day at so much orange and not wish for something not so blazing and hot? Worse -- all the Ribbon tabs are now stark white -- you may have no clue where the slide ends and where the actual program interface begins!

Looks like many users complained to Microsoft during the Office 2013 beta -- so they added an extra option not available during the beta that enables you to change the interface color to something more subtle and neutral. In this tutorial you'll learn how to change this interface color as explained in the following steps:

  1. Choose the File menu to bring up the Backstage view, as shown in Figure 3. Now, select Options (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).
  2. PowerPoint Backstage view
    Figure 3: PowerPoint Backstage view
  3. This brings up the PowerPoint Options dialog box, as shown in Figure 4. Make sure that General option is selected within the sidebar. On the right side of the dialog box locate the Office Theme option (highlighted in red within Figure 4) within the Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office section.
  4. PowerPoint Options dialog box
    Figure 4: PowerPoint Options dialog box
  5. Note that White is the color selected within the Office Theme selection box (refer Figure 4), which is the default option. Now, click the downward pointing arrow next to this box to bring up a drop-down list, as shown in Figure 5.
  6. Office Theme drop-down list
    Figure 5: Office Theme drop-down list
  7. Here you'll find three color choices:
  8. White (default),
    Light Gray, and
    Dark Gray
    .
  9. Note that when White is choosen, you end up with so much orange within your PowerPoint interface. Choose another color option such as Light Gray and click the OK button. This will change the interface color into Light Gray (see the Ribbon area).
  10. Interface color changed to Light Gray
    Figure 6: Interface color changed to Light Gray
  11. Also, the highlighted areas now are in a darker orange color, as you can see in Figure 6. Compare Figures 2 and 6 -- although still orange, this color variant is not that harsh on your eye.
  12. Note that any changes you make to the interface color in PowerPoint 2013 also apply to any other Office 2013 applications installed on your computer such as Word and Excel.
  13. Also, when the cursor is placed on the Comments option on the Status bar, that area gets highlighted in a brighter orange hue (highlighted in blue in Figure 7).
  14. Comments option shows an overlay highlight of bright orange
    Figure 7: Comments option shows an overlay highlight of bright orange
  15. Now select the Dark Gray color option within the Office Theme drop-down list (refer to Figure 5, above), and click the OK button. This causes the interface color to change to a darker gray color, as you can see in Figure 8. Notice that the Status bar and other highlighted areas now sport a darker grey color, that's almost black and so much more pleasing to the human eye!
  16. Interface color changed to dark gray
    Figure 8: Interface color changed to dark gray
  17. Now, place your cursor over the Comments option on the Status bar and that area will turn into bright orange color, as you can see Figure 9.
  18. Comments option continues to show an overlay highlight of bright orange
    Figure 9: Comments option shows an overlay highlight of bright orange
  19. That's still a lot less orange than PowerPoint 2013's actual defaults! Also, compare Figures 1 and 10 and notice that the bright orange section on the left side of the Presentation Gallery is now changed to dark gray.
  20. Presentation gallery displaying changed interface color
    Figure 10: Presentation gallery displaying changed interface color

See Also:

Changing Interface Color in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Changing Interface Color in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

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