Windows 8 And Office 2013 - A Color Disaster (Booth!) RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hi all,

    Let me also cry it out : "Let us change the colors" !!!

    The colors of Office 2013 are incompatible with the color settings of Windows 8.
    The only Windows Color Scheme that works is "Standard".
    Using any other scheme Office stops the cooperation and it looks like a Win3.1 app.
    The back and forecolor of the ribbon tabs are booth black :((((((

    This could not be true. Who ever have tested this...?

    If I would be asked be any of my customers whether to user Windows 8 / Office 2013
    my answser would be "NO - not at all - not until they change it" !!!!

    I'm getting "eyes cancer" cause of the "colors". It's all white and white and white.
    Or black on black - absolutely useless. PLEASE change it !!!

    Best regards,

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 8:23 AM

All replies

  • +1. The Office 2013 lack of color makes my eyes bleed too.

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 1:52 PM
  • There is a dark grey option in the RTM version, it's still not fantastic but it's a lot better.
    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 11:30 PM
  • The flat look combined with only grey as a theme option is terrible. What on earth were the developers thinking? Yuck and double yuck.
    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 11:55 PM
  • There is a dark grey option in the RTM version, it's still not fantastic but it's a lot better.

    Hi again,

    The problem is, if you drift away from the standard Windows color scheme,
    then Office shows no changes between the 3 available color schemes :(
    (not on my system...!)

    Only if I use the standards Windows color scheme, then there are marginal differences...

    Also all ribbon buttons are not transparent any longer.
    They all have a dark/black background color.

    Really looks like years ago  8-0

    Best regards,

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012 5:15 PM
  • Hi all,

    We have passed this information to the product group for consideration for a future product or update. We are sorry that at this time we have no other option to change the colors beyond what we has already seen.

    Jaynet Zhang

    TechNet Subscriber Support

    If you are TechNet Subscription user and have any feedback on our support quality, please send your feedback here.

    Thursday, November 1, 2012 1:19 AM
  • I've got to say there's a reason I use the Windows classic grey colour scheme and make my clients use it - because of colour compatibility issues.  This looks to be an example of it.

    The problem is that Windows 8 doesn't have that scheme, so I've created a custom theme by exporting it out of Windows 7, importing into Windows 8 and tweaking it slightly.

    So if there are going to be discussions about improvements to the colours in the software, putting the Windows Classic colour scheme back into Windows 8 would be a good idea, there must be literally a million legacy applications that need it.

    For example, try installing Office 2003 on Windows 8.

    Thursday, November 1, 2012 3:30 PM
  • Another thing you can pass along is that the colour of the Outlook 2013 icon is stupid, using the classic windows colour theme in Windows 7 with the standard blue background, you can't see the icon against it if you create a shortcut there.  I'm sure that's something people will commonly do.  There's a reason it used to be yellow, can't understand why the colours were changed, people were so used to them.  In fact I think I'm going to create a custom icon and colour it yellow.
    Thursday, November 1, 2012 4:02 PM
  • I've found another problem, if you use the dark grey scheme the foreground colour isn't dark enough, so it looks washed out.

    That I think can be reported as a bug.

    Also, the envelope icon that appears when a new e-mail is received is too dark.
    Friday, November 2, 2012 5:04 PM
  • The Word, Outlook, Visio, and Project icons now all look the same dark blue. Used to be Orange. Now they all look the same. Crazy.

    I have no idea who approved this icon color change or the grey theme - but they should be seriously be tested to make sure they are in fact human. No human would have done this intentionally.

    • Edited by ABCFED Friday, November 2, 2012 11:50 PM
    Friday, November 2, 2012 11:40 PM
  • I could not agree more - I have these icons tied to my Windows 7 task bar and hitting the right icon when switching apps is hard because I need to look at the letter inside of the icon instead of its color. Especially Word, Lync, and Outlook looking the same is killing me. I have replaced the new Outlook 2013 icon with the Outlook 2010 icon so that it is yellow again. You may want to google "outlook 2010 icon pack".

    • Edited by sep2li Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:52 AM
    Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:43 AM
  • Who sits down and make these decisions??? Do they investigate what are the needs of the public before they roll out these apps? I can't get any of my users except three to upgrade to 2013, they looked at it and totally refused to use it. As an IT manager I understand change but even to me  - to put it mildly - It sucks! I am looking for any third party app (which I bet will soon be out) to add some kind of better visibility to Office 2013
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 11:45 PM
  • This is a complete disaster, typical ignorance on the part of Microsoft.  LET PEOPLE CHOOSE WHAT COLOR THEY WANT ON THEIR DESKTOP.  This is crazy, I was always a Microsoft fan despite a lot of things but this is it for me....Windows 8 is the same.  Just have to wait for some third party to pick up on tweeking this.....
    Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:04 PM
  • Couldn't agree more on all that was said. I am a huge Microsoft fan, but Office 2013 is useless. And unfortunately it's not only the UI... Even in Visio they stripped out the Colors. WTF? A visualization tool without Colors????
    Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:52 PM
  • My eyes have a lot more stress on them and I would really appreciate themes that are better on the eyes. These 3 themes need some work and with all of these comments, i'm sure someone will notice (Hopefully!!)

    Here is my vote for more color themes!

    Mark Latham

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 6:17 PM
  • Thank you for the feedback on Office’s new look. We are actively collecting,
    sorting and reading through feedback on Office 2013’s design and User
    Experience. As the audience for Office 2013 grows, we are being mindful of
    patterns and pain points that emerge from user feedback. While we do not have
    any additional Themes planned at this time, it is an issue we are watching very

    Jennie, Program Manager - Office Support

    Thursday, December 20, 2012 7:27 PM
  • Thank you for the feedback on Office’s new look. We are actively collecting,
    sorting and reading through feedback on Office 2013’s design and User
    Experience. As the audience for Office 2013 grows, we are being mindful of
    patterns and pain points that emerge from user feedback. While we do not have
    any additional Themes planned at this time, it is an issue we are watching very

    Jennie, Program Manager - Office Support

    If you have no additional themes planned by now, then obviously you have NOT been listening to user feedback. Some people are tolerant of the new theme, but I've yet to hear anyone at all who likes it. Seems like the lack of themes is the number one most requested feature feedback you've been given - yet - you have no additional themes planned. Are you for real?
    Thursday, December 20, 2012 10:45 PM
  • Office 2013 color schemes (white, light gray, darker gray) are horrible on the eyes.  Why can't MS provide addl color schemes?  Why is this so difficult?  I have yet to find a customer that loves it.  Arghhhh!!!!
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 4:59 AM
  • I uninstalled office 2013 and went back to office 2010. It's not so much that it's ugly, but the combination of the white and the flat look is a stress on the eyes. You have to concentrate more to use it because the theme naturally highlights the wrong elements in the application.

    Monday, February 4, 2013 7:19 PM
  • Dear,

    I do not think continously cut&paste your default answer "We have passed this information to the product group for consideration for a future product or update.  and or ... we are being mindful of patterns and pain points...." is what we would expect from a professional forum like this. If in large companies I hear Execs opposing to upgrading to office2013 beaucse of the lack of options to change colour schemes apart from three shades of grey and them facing potential OHS complaints from medical staff and/or employees, I would not hesitate one second and escalate this up to the level of Balmer. You cannot continue to ignore these valid remarks provided by (so far) very loyal users.  I think 99.9% of Office use is on corporate /academic / private desktop computers not on a tablet. Quite honostly on my 3 - 26 inch expensive monitors the least I want is a boring eighties style interface that might (I say might) work on a tablet.  In my environment (professionally and privately) I hear nothing but complaints about this dreadful interface (and it's inability  to be changed).  I cannot imagine that "I will de-install and go back to Office 2010" or : " I will not upgrade" is the kind of response you might want from your most valuable existing user base. I think there is a lot at stake for your Office business unit so if I where you I would take these signals extremely serious and not wait even a week to provide additional templates so that you can put your existing hughe Office user base back in their comforrt zone or there might be no further real future for this product. The future of office is still on a desktop, not on a tablet or surface that (at current) nobody buys.
    PS: see the number  of "views" on the topics about colour scheme, interface too bright etc and that says it all!

    • Edited by StefanWeckx Friday, February 8, 2013 12:26 PM
    Friday, February 8, 2013 12:11 PM
  • Why would Microsoft make their Office 2013 desktop product unpleasant to use? To drive everyone off the desktop on to their online Office 365 subscription plan most likely! This would explain why they have no plans to fix it. Yep, its probably deliberate! 


    Saturday, February 16, 2013 8:18 PM
  • Your response basically states you realize MSFT fouled up, and that you all are not looking to fix this issue. If you were, then your designers, programmers, and other would be making a reasonable effort to supply a temporary fix at least until a patch through a Service Pack could be implemented.<o:p></o:p>

    If you went to your bank and they told you that the only way to access your money was to stand in line, and they have no plan to alleviate the issue, but will monitor the situation... then based on your response, you would find this practice by the bank acceptable!

    If MSFT has no intent on fixing this problem, which is a very BIG problem, then at least have the courtesy to say MS has no intent to provide a solution, and stop wasting our time with the bogus corporate canned responses. I've been working in the IT field since the late 70's... to say the least, Windows 8 and Office 2013, with respect to themes is totally off the mark and a complete disater. It is also apparent that you are not listening to what the user's of the product are writing.

    Monday, February 18, 2013 7:29 AM
  • No, I have Office 365 and the background color options are the same as Office 2013, in other words, basically bad and non-existent. I have gone back to using Thunderbird which has plenty of color options.
    Saturday, February 23, 2013 7:40 PM
  • Apologies to Microsoft then for thinking it was deliberate. I just don't get why Microsoft is not listening to its customers and fixing the problem. Utterly baffling. Failure to respond constructively to strong customer feedback is one sign of a failing company. 


    Sunday, February 24, 2013 5:34 PM
  • Please, please, bring the colours back!!!
    Wednesday, February 27, 2013 4:00 PM
  • Please note that one of the issues, at least for me, is the lack of contrast between highlighted items and non-highlighted items. For example, when I drag a message to a folder it is almost impossible to see which folder is highlighted. This is true in all three color schemes.

    So, while I am not overly concerned about color for colors sake, usability is key. 

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013 7:16 PM
  •  I wonder if this issue is even fixable. The complaints have been voiced way back during the beginning of the 365 preview. Also I have not seen any 3 party fixes like the dozen or so start menu replacement options for Win 8.
    Wednesday, February 27, 2013 8:29 PM
  • Hello Microsoft,

    Would you be kind enough to respond to these comments?  Please explain why there has been no reasoning submitted of why there are no color options.  Do you not realize that people actually like color and want to have choice?  Why do you think it's okay to impose such ugly limitations?  I just upgraded from Office 2010 to 2013.  2010 colors were disappointing enough, but the first thing I noticed about 2013 was the awful, bland color scheme.  Seriously?

    If you are not aware, the few people like us who take the time to voice our complaints represent a thousand others who will never make the same effort, yet have an identical opinion.

    Microsoft - what's up?


    • Edited by Don Small Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:42 AM
    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:38 AM
  • Nobody tested any of it. Office 2013 and Windows 8 totally SUCK.

    I can't believe I "upgraded" to this crap.

    John Whitten

    Thursday, February 20, 2014 7:54 PM