Dark mode is coming to Office on the web, plus Outlook for iOS and Android

There's also an existing "black" theme within Office desktop apps, which reproduces the mobile dark mode.

Credit: Microsoft

If you can’t stand an excess of photons blasting your retinas, rejoice: dark mode is coming to the mobile version of Outlook, as well as Office on the web.

Microsoft said Wednesday that it’s bringing dark mode today to both Outlook for iOS and Android, as well as Office.com—the version of Office that lives on the web, not on your PC. When Apple rolls out iOS 13, the company will add dark mode to the iOS versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneDrive, Planner, and To-Do on mobile.

“While some Dark Mode experiences can be neon or overly bright, people felt that Outlook mobile kept the kind of relaxed feeling you might want in a dimly lit living room or bedroom,” Jon Friedman, the chief designer for Office 365, wrote in a blog post on Medium. “They described the experience as comfortable, crisp, clear, and aesthetically pleasing, a nod to how Dark Mode can reduce eye strain.”

Friedman added that Outlook will automatically switch to Dark Mode depending on your preferences. In the meantime, Outlook for Android automatically switches to Dark Mode when you choose the Battery Saver option.

Microsoft hasn’t formally added a “dark mode” to the Office desktop apps, but the “black” Office theme basically reproduces it. (One exception: PDF files, which still seem to render with a light background.) To enable Office’s black theme in an Office desktop app like Word, go to File > Account within the Office menu, and then scroll down to the Office Theme. You’ll have a few options to choose from, including colorful, light, and black. It’s the latter mode, added as part of Office 2010, which essentially reproduces the dark theme in other Office apps.

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Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
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