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When designing Outlook 2010, we worked hard to ensure that the colors, shapes, and text used within the product provide a pleasant experience and make it easy for you to get work done. We have done this by redesigning parts of the user interface to give Outlook a clean, crisp, high-quality look that is free from distracting visual elements. By simplifying many parts of the user interface, we’ve allowed your e-mail messages and meetings to shine in the foreground better than ever before! Let’s take a look at some examples of how the new visuals improve Outlook.
For instance, in the screenshots below, notice how the new look of the Navigation Pane buttons is simpler. We have removed the glassy blue gradients and bright orange selection color so that the buttons are less distracting and more refined. For more about the changes in the Navigation Pane, see Melissa’s earlier post.
Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
The To-Do Bar and Navigation Pane have been darkened in Outlook 2010 – this makes your message list and reading pane pop out from the surface of Outlook so that it is easier to focus on the content that matters – your messages!
We also flattened and simplified the Calendar to achieve the same goals as in the Inbox – to make your content easier to focus on.
The ribbon has been simplified as well – notice how buttons and groups of buttons no longer have borders.
We have also removed unnecessary visual elements (like the Inbox header below) to provide more room on screen to show your messages.
The default theme for Outlook 2010 is the Silver theme, as shown in the screenshots above. In addition to the Silver theme, Outlook 2010 includes two more great color themes — Blue and Black.
Outlook 2010 Blue Theme
Outlook 2010 Black Theme
Outlook 2010 Silver Theme
To change an Office theme, click the File tab, click Options, and then on the General tab, choose a different color scheme.
I hope you will agree that Outlook 2010 is the best-looking Outlook, ever! Let me know what you think in the comments!
For more about the goals behind the Office 2010 refresh, see Keri’s post on the Office 2010 Blog.
Tom O’Neill Outlook Program Manager
More info on Outlook themes:
Changing your themeChange the Outlook 2010 color scheme
In Outlook 2003 I could print a single envelope directly from a contact, but in 2007 I cannot. Please fix this in 2010. This is a much used feature when I do not need to construct a letter but need to mail an article or something. PLEASE BRING BACK THIS FEATURE!!! THANKS FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.
Until now I never fully appreciated Outlook 2003 until now. I don't understand how and why what was put into Outlook 2007 and 2010 is better. Not to be deliberately rude, it's this attitude that says, "Take it or leave it...black or white...and no middle ground, no real customization that customers/users can't be allowed to skin 2010 to their liking...black, light blue and silver...thanks, but no thanks!
I personally do not mind the new look of Outlook 2010 - in some sense, it is better and in some ways, it is a step back. I generally agree that gray on left and right side is very boring and depressing to look at. About the black theme, I liked it but could not really find it usable because of black text on dark gray background. That is very eye-straining to look at. Also, it is not consistent at all. There is some white text on grey background - like favorite list, folder list, upcoming meeting day titles on right, todo tasks etc. And, then there is some black text on grey background - like all text labels in ribbon (very very bad!), calendar on the right, meeting details on the right etc.. All text should be white on grey (light or dark) - Or else the whole theme looks very confusing and unusable. Interface of many Adobe programs (photoshop etc.) is a great example of how to do black themes. Osho
The new look is HIDEOUS. The 2007 look was really stunning and great. The new look reminds me of some kind of bad properties page in Windows 3.1 or something. Giant step backwards in the deisng and it's a shame because there are some nice technical improvements in 2010.
Looks great, but could you drop support for margin, border, font, color and background-color CSS properties while you're at it? My standards-compliant emails don't look screwed up enough in Outlook 2007 & 2010, and I want to spend the rest of eternity trying to make my emails look roughly the same in all email clients. Thanks again!
I have to agree on the interface being ugly and bland. It feels like everything is messy with nothing having a "place" to be in since there are no borders or icons. Hard after rolling out Office 2007 to our user base to present ANOTHER interface change after everyone likes the current one.
Must say that Outlook 2010 interface is a big disappointment. So flat and what's with the ugly grey-color? I rely heavily on Categories in Outlook 2007 and Categories in Outlook 2010 are pretty much useless. Where are the colours? It looks like Open Office or Office 2000. First time I'm not excited about new Office. Think I'll keep the Office 2007.
Where I work, we are more than 5,000 employees and we rely heavily on coloring the font of the messages that we get according to a certain rule. That use to be the ORGANIZE BY COLOR option. It has dissapear in 2010 and now I cannot distinguish my important messages from the people that I have to work the most. Please, place it back. That is an important feature of 2007.
I'm used to have the reading pane below the message list, but with this new appearance I fell it impossible: the border between the list and the pane is so thin that they look like one messy area. This is not a good thing.
I need the ability to mark WEEKENDS in a different color WITHOUT having to mark all of them as an all day event! Different color would make them stand out. Please bring back to the borders aorund the menu buttons. This separated groups of buttons and made them easier to see (Eg formating buttons with a border around them).
Well I don't see a very huge difference between the first Outlook (2007) and the second (2010). Instead of changing the interface they should've focused more on the most important part of Outlook, the search function. I worked with the beta version of Outlook 2010 only some days because there were problems with my version of lookeen and the beta version of Outlook. So I reinstalled Outlook 2007 and I'll wait for the final version which will hopefully be able to work with third-party-products.
Hmm, agree with majority of posters. change for change's sake is no good. I have Outlook 2007 still sitting on the shelf since I really like the "clissic" interface on 2003 (me for one like the "top menus" that has been around since the dawn of time). Once new HW arrives, Win7 is to be installed (dumping RC) and I will give Outlook 2007 a try. For 2010, MSFT ought to focus on stability, "streamlining", consistency, and compatibility. Not "dull" color schemes.
'fraid that 2003 is still the best looking Outlook ever. 2010 is much better than 2007, but the window title bar still looks crappy, just as the ribbon does. Give us back the Win2k look, menus, toolbars, and "normal" window title bars! Otherwise the new features look great. I will have a difficult time deciding: Get the cool new features of 2010 or keep the clear and functional interface of 2003... Ultimately I will probably stick to 2003.
Definitely not a fan of the new flat look. It looks amateurish and dull, like taking a trip to the past.
Getting used to the flat look, but would like some texture back. Having a tough time with the reading pane divider. Too thin to grab onto and drag to view more of a msg. or the other way to view more emails and less msg. I also miss a differentiating color in the title bar at top.