How to make Office UI look like Adobe UI

This is a special post for avide Adobe users. Adobe products have dark gray menus. It reduces the eye-strain. Office menus are white in color by default. And many people work on Office as well throughout the day… so how do you reduce the eye-strain? Simple.

Go to File – Options and choose Dark Gray theme. This theme was introduced in Office 2016. Office 2013 also has a gray theme but it is not as dark. See the difference for yourself.

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Default Theme is white

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Change it to Dark Gray theme

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You can also try the Colorful theme. It changes color based upon the product.

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Which version of Office are you using? A new way of finding out

The official answer is here. But it requires some trial and error. I found a very simple way. Rather than asking the user (or customer) to find out this information, it is simpler to detect it myself. I ask the customer to send the screenshot of File menu to me. That shows the version number easily.

2003 and before – File menu has a Page Setup menu option.

2007 – NO File menu. Instead there is a round, colorful button image

2010 – File menu has Save and Send option

2013 – File menu has Share option

Simple and effective. Works all the time.

How to get the good old File Open dialog with CTRL O

Small but useful post. Since Office 2012, CTRL O or CTRL S do not open Open / Save dialogs. You must click CTRL O – Computer – Browse to get that dialog. This is a GOOD THING. Because Microsoft wants to change our bad habit of storing everything locally and help us move to internet storage (OneDrive, SharePoint, DropBox, etc.).

In some cases, you want to do some quick and repeated operations on local PC. Want the simple Open / Save dialog just with CTRL O and CTRL S. Wish granted!
File – Options – Save – Don’t show the Backstage when opening or saving files.

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Use this option temporarily. When the job is done, go back to the Backstage view. I will write more articles about Why Backstage is important very soon.

Have you noticed the miraculous Touch Mode in Office 2013?

Using Office on a Windows touch tablet is difficult – because all the buttons and menu options are very close together. You end up choosing the wrong option by mistake. Frustrating! Solution has been given since the Office 2013 version was released. On top left corner of Office tools, look for the Touch Mode button.

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Choose Touch Mode and miraculously your problem is solved – instantly. Of course, number of options available do not reduce (that is not an option for Microsoft!). But the SPACING between them increases so that you can confidently touch what you want with your finger.

Also notice that the right click menus, drop downs and galleries also get spaced out. Can you even begin to imagine how much extra effort went into implementing this feature? Appreciate it and use it!