The black mode of Microsoft Word is about to get a lot blacker

Office desktop
Office desktop (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Word's dark mode now inverts the colors of your documents.
  • Previously, the app just inverted the colors of its menus.
  • The change is currently available in the Insiders Beta channel.

Office Insiders on the Beta Channel have an improved dark mode to try out. Now, when you set Microsoft Word to its black theme, the app will invert the colors of your document. Previously, when you used the black theme, the app would invert its menus but leave the document alone.

The change was spotted and shared by Hayden Barnes, an engineering manager for Ubuntu on Windows Subsystem for Linux at Canonical.

If you open up the non-Beta version of Office and switch to black mode, you'll see a bright white document and dark menus. The contrast is quite stark and doesn't result in a very black "black mode."

The updated black mode is more of a true black mode and would fit in on a system with other elements set to dark mode.

See more

Here is the current black mode for comparison:

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

While the theme is called "black" within Microsoft Word, you can also get it by setting Word to "Use system setting" if your PC is set to dark mode.

We have a guide on how to change the color theme of Office apps if you'd like to try out Word's black mode or other themes.

And here's how to enroll in the Office Insider program on Windows 10 (sign up for Beta Channel) to get started.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

9 Comments
  • This is awesome. Previously I just changed the color of the Word document I was working in. Since 95% of the time I'm making a PDF for others' consumption, and the PDF printer knows not to print the background, this works fine. But it doesn't help with Excel. So I'm really looking forward to this being applied to Excel and not just Word.
  • That's what I do too, but of course that needs to be done per document. Docs from anyone else always open the other way and I have to re-save mine back to having a white background before sharing. A true dark mode for Word (and for Excel) settable by the viewer (rather than the document creator) will be a huge plus!
  • Yes and yes.
  • Missing colorful window title on Darkmode
  • Best office news in a long time! Now if they could just do the same in Excel... :-)
  • why cant we just pick the colours we want, rather than a preset, unchangeable colour that changes every six months? its same with other uwp; is it that hard to allow customization?
  • Yes. if you add a lot of options and changes, someone will find something else to complain about.
  • changing border size-colour, window background, button size, wording size-colour was possible since win 95, and nobody complain it ever. it was only an option for people who wants to use. i also understand microsoft; chopping off unused features, but still...
  • @NevzatAydin This is why designing software primarily with telemetry data never works.