How To Change Office 2013 Background Pattern

The latest iteration of Microsoft Office is touchscreen ready and cloud friendly. Microsoft has redesigned the user interface, and the new fast and fluid design gives you faster access to the tools and works great with touchscreen, styles, mouse, or keyboard.

Microsoft Office 2013 offers limited options to customize the default look. One can only customize the Quick Access Toolbar and the ribbon. Microsoft has removed the option to change the default color scheme from this version of the Office. Because of this, users need to live with the default white color scheme only.

Office 2013 Background

Users who have been using Office 2013 preview must have noticed the background pattern that appears in the upper right of the window. Users who don’t like the default background pattern can change the same under options. The Office 2013 preview version ships with six patterns: calligraphy, circle and strips, circuit, clouds, straws, and tree rights. An option is available to disable or turn off this feature.

Office 2013 Backgrounds

Office 2013 Backgrounds4

Office 2013 Backgrounds5

Office 2013 Backgrounds1

Office 2013 Backgrounds2

Office 2013 Backgrounds3

Step 1: Launch Office Word, Excel, or any other Office 2013 program.

Step 2: When you see the Start screen, click or tap a template to proceed to the productivity area.

Step 3: Click or tap File, click or tap Options to see Options dialog.

Change Office 2013 Background Pattern.

Step 4: Here, click or tap General on the left pane to see all general options on the right-hand side. Expand Office Background drop down list and a choose a background. To turn off this feature, select None from the drop down list.

Change Office Background

Step 5: Click OK button to apply the new pattern.

Don’t forget to check out how to install Office 2013 on a different drive, how to activate Office 2013,  and how to uninstall Office 2013 customer preview.



  1. Stéphane says

    I’m using the final, released version of Office 2013. Actually, instead of File-Options, you should go into File-Account. There you can make the background light or dark grey, instead of white. You can also get rid of those circle and stripe things on the top right of your window.

  2. Sue says

    I absolutely hate the white background and the fact that we cannot change it. Office Theme and Office Background offer very little. This is a giant step backwards.

  3. Djankes says

    Why not just revert to 8-bit color modes if we’re only going to use white and gray. My Windows 3.1 was easier to look at!

  4. Tammo says

    Microsoft has really gone soft (maybe it’s the name). The final build added colors back in and just like Henry Ford said about hsi cars: “You can have any color you want as long as it’s whit or grey”. What the hell is so difficult about providing more color choices? Office 2007 looks sooooo much better.

  5. Greg says

    Come on Microsoft what happened to colors? Give us the option to change it. No offense design team but your new age look sucks. I thought the underwater selection would give me some blue colors instead it looks like all your option are for a 4 years old…… UCK!!!

  6. Stefan Metzeler says

    I really hope someone of importance is reading this at Microsoft, because this alleged “design” with all-white user interface elements is THE DEATH SENTENCE for Office and Windows!

    I just had the really bad idea to install Office 2013 and I absolutely, totally HATE it. I cannot describe the degree… I feel the desire to smash the screen, which is completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

    I’m working on 3 30 inch screens with 2560×1600 resolution. What do I care if this interface MIGHT work on a portable device.


    This is the absolute minimum one can expect of a company like Microsoft – to do proper USABILITY testing.


  7. AlfaR says

    Microsoft, Please some COLORS in Office 2013 interface!
    It hurts nobody, and is more atractive!

  8. ra says

    I was using the preview version of word in a dimly lit room which is not uncommon at night for me. I also usually like having the ribbon fully expanded. the white is literally blinding. I really hope they let us change this in the final release. a color scheme, or lack of one, seems like such a silly thing to not make customizable. even the reading mode is blinding. there’s a reason the kindle and nook (the PC software) offer different background colors.

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