Excel’s dark theme has been popular since it was introduced in Office 2013. With our guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know about Excel dark mode with step-by-step instructions on how to access it.
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How To Turn on Microsoft Office Dark Mode on Windows
You must do two things to turn on dark mode in Microsoft Excel entirely:
- Turn on dark mode for the interface
- Alter certain setting options
Note: If you want the cells to be a dark color, you’ll also need to select a different fill and text color from the default white.
Enabling Microsoft Office Dark Mode for the Interface
- Open Microsoft Excel and head over to any worksheet.
- Click the “File” > “Account” > “Office Theme.”
- Select “Office Theme.” Depending on how dark you prefer your menu, choose either the “Dark Gray” or “Black” option from the drop-down menu.
Change The Interface to Dark Mode Through the Options Menu
After enabling dark mode for the Excel interface, ensure all parts of your Excel experience are in dark mode.
- Open Microsoft Excel and head over to any worksheet.
- Click on “File” > “Options” (in the bottom-left corner).
- In the Settings window, click on “General” > “Personalize Microsoft Office.”
- Select the “Office Theme” option and choose either the “Dark Gray” or “Black” option from the drop-down menu.
- Click the “OK” button to save the changes.
How To Enable Excel Dark Mode for Cells
It’s important to note that enabling dark mode with the methods above only makes the interface elements darker. It won’t change cell colors.
To use dark mode for the entire spreadsheet, you’ll need to turn on dark mode for the interface (instructions above) and change the fill color of the cells:
- Open a Microsoft Excel worksheet.
- Highlight the entire spreadsheet by clicking the Ctrl + A (Windows) or Cmd + A (for Mac). You can also navigate to “File” > “Select all.”
- Click the “Fill Color” button found under the “Font” section and select the color you want to use.
- Change the font color to something lighter for better readability (like white or grey). Highlight the entire spreadsheet and select “Font” > “Font Color.”
Does Excel Have a Dark Mode on MacOS?
Microsoft offers dark mode directly in the Office apps, but it’s a bit different on macOS. On an Apple computer, you don’t have the option to toggle dark mode in Excel. Instead, you’ll need to activate dark mode in your Mac’s system-wide settings:
To activate dark mode on macOS, go to “System Preferences” > “General” > “Dark.” Alternatively, you can toggle dark mode on in your Mac’s “Control Center.”
How To Make Excel Dark Mode With VBA Code
To enable Excel’s dark mode for cells using a VBA code, you’ll need to activate dark mode in your Excel window first. You can do this by following the steps mentioned above for activating dark mode for the Excel interface.
Next, insert Excel dark mode with a VBA code:
- Open a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
- Press the Alt + F11 (Windows) or Opt + F11 (on Mac) keys. This will open the Visual Basic for Applications window.
- Create a module in the VBA editor by selecting “Insert” > “Module.”
- Copy this VBA code into your created module.
- You can press the F5 key from your keyboard to turn dark mode on and off.
Making a Dark Mode Shortcut Using VBA Code
You can also make a shortcut to enable dark mode:
- While the module window containing the VBA code is open, open any Excel sheet.
- Click “Customize” > “More Commands.”
3. Select “Choose Commands from” > “Macros.”
4. Choose your macro from the list with the name “ToggleDarkMode.” Click the “Add” option.
5. To turn it off, click the “ToggleDarkMode” option (under Quick Access).
How To Activate Dark Mode Excel for Mobile
While it’s possible to activate dark mode for iOS and Android, the process differs slightly.
Dark Mode for Android
To activate dark mode for Excel on Android:
- Open Excel from the Main Home screen.
- In the top-right corner, click the Ellipsis (…) icon.
- Click the “Settings” option in the pop-up window.
- From the “Display Preferences” section, click “Theme” > “Dark.”
Dark Mode for iOS
Under the iOS Excel application settings, there isn’t a dedicated toggle for the dark theme. To change it from the iOS settings — head to “Display & Brightness” > “Dark” to activate the dark mode.
Turning on Excel Dark Mode on Mobile for Cells
Changing to dark mode won’t change the color of the cells. You’ll need to change the fill and text color for every spreadsheet if dark mode is enabled. Both iOS and Android Excel applications feature a similar interface, so the steps you have to follow are the same.
- Open an Excel spreadsheet and save the spreadsheet to your device to enable Excel editing features. Do this by clicking the Ellipsis (…)/Arrow icon (in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Select all the cells by clicking on a cell and dragging the fill handle downward, diagonally.
- Click the Ellipsis/Arrow icon (near the bottom-right side of the screen) to open the editing menu for your worksheet.
- Tap the “Fill Color” button (at the bottom of the screen) and select your preferred color.
5. Next, change the font color by clicking the Ellipsis/Arrow symbol (at the bottom-right part of the screen).
6. Click “Font Color” and choose a lighter color to contrast with the dark cell.
Note: Every time you create a new worksheet, you’ll have to follow the same steps to create a dark background in Excel.
Reasons To Use Microsoft Excel Dark Mode
There are several reasons why you should use dark mode in Excel:
1. Reduces Eye Strain
Working on a bright spreadsheet for extended periods can strain your eyes. Excel’s dark mode can be more comfortable for longer periods — and can even help prevent eye fatigue.
2. Helps You Focus
Although there is no difference in overall reading comprehension when using dark mode, many users feel that they can focus for longer periods of time.
3, Improves Clarity
For some users, Excel spreadsheets can be read more easily using dark mode, thanks to a stronger contrast between the background and the text.
4. Visual Consistency
Employing dark mode in Excel — especially when using other tools or applications that support it — can provide a unified visual experience. If you’re jumping between several applications, using dark mode can be extremely useful.
5. Personal Preference
The dark mode gives Excel a modern look. Some users favor the dark mode’s aesthetic and find it more visually appealing.
Related: 11 Best Excel Courses Online in 2023
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dark Mode Better for Your Eyes?
The dark mode is widely thought to be better than the standard light mode for decreasing eye strain, especially in low-light environments. In dark mode, the screen emits less light in general (especially blue light), which can be uncomfortable for some. Dark mode frequently uses light-colored fonts and UI elements on a dark-themed background. This contrast might make the text easier to read.
How Do I Turn off Dark Mode in Excel?
Open Microsoft Excel, head over to any worksheet, and click “File” > “Account” > “Office Theme.” Choose the “Colorful” option from the drop-down menu or click the “Use System Settings” option.
Does Excel Have Dark Mode on Mac?
When using Excel on a Mac, you can’t toggle dark mode directly. To activate dark mode in Excel, you’ll need to turn on dark mode system-wide on your Mac. This can be done either:
- Through the file path (Control Center > Display > Dark mode)
- Navigating to “System Preferences” > “General” > “Enabling Dark mode”
Excel dark mode is pretty easy to get set up. Although you’ll need to change the options in the settings manually, it only takes a few seconds.
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