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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
Is there a way to remove the text from the ribbon icons? I would like to only have the icons. This would reduce clutter within the ribbon.
The minimalistic style only goes so far before becoming a distraction itself. I really liked the style of 2007 Outlook. My first thought upon install was that I hated how Outlook looked. I was able to firgure out how to change to the three different colors but that didn't help. Please Microsoft, offer more themes, one of which is a reversion back to 2007.
Well, based on others comments its clear that some hate the new Look & Feel while others like it. I for one think it is a definit step backwards, the new look and feel is very utilitarian - I liked the "Glassy blue gradients of 2007". I look at the comparisons above and my preference towards the Office 2007 Look & Feel significant to say the least. I really think that you need to provide a theme that brings back the look and feel of Office 2007 so users can choose between the two different looks.
The options have been standard for ages: Text only, text and icons, icons only. Please, there has to be a way to remove the text form the ribbon. It is literally sucking the life out of me. Hiding the ribbon is not a viable option. I know the text is still there, even if hidden...
So so typical of you to dictate a new visual scheme without giving me THE CHOICE to have it how I like. I am referring of course to the now bland and gray looking navigation pane. UGH!!!!! Give me back my nice white background. I've install Outlook 2010 for all of 5 minutes now and the first thing I tried was to find out if I could change the background to white. Going back to 2007..... Cya.
Where did the shortcut for "Mark All as Read" go? Please don't make me right click on a folder to be able to that. I may have to go back to Outlook 2007 as many shortcuts are now changed. Unfun.
I have to agree with the vast majority of the post on here.Why did you dull it down.I love Outlook 2007 and was really looking forward to 2010, but if you haven't made any improvements to the look then I will stick with 2007. I like eye candy and functionality together. Not one over the other.Sorry thumbs down on this one.
Stop the complaining! It is a new product, and ever since I have been working with computers (32 years), people always complain about software changes. It's a change. Get over it! Move forward. You do not have to use Outlook, nor upgrade to 2010. There are many options available, including "front ends", like FranklinCovey's PlanPlus for Outlook, which will have a 2010 version available soon. I have been using Outlook since 1997, and have only seen it get better and better. It is one of the few things that Microsoft does well, besides Word. Yes, there are a few bugs/glitches, especially in the beta, but these can usually be fixed or worked around. Life is not perfect, software is not perfect. Those are the facts, live with them. Thank you, Outlook team, for an AWESOME revision! I love the black "skin" and, most especially, the ability to customize the Quick Access Toolbar. (For those that are still with me, this allows you to put your most used commands in the compact Toolbar, and thus close all the "ribbons". GREAT, GREAT, functionality!!!)
The decision to extend the background colour of the theme to the 'to do bar' and 'navigation pane' without allowing users to decide on their own colour scheme is a huge mistake. It has reduced the contrast between text and background, making it more difficult to read. It seems ludicrous to make such changes and not give users the option of turning them off, or customising them. Silver, Black, or Blue - no option to change the text colour. Windows themes can be customised, why can't office?
Hi, I have setup Outlook 2010 with 2 Exchange accounts. I noticed that on the second Exchange account, the ability to add additional mailboxes is "greyed out" I was able to open additional mailboxes on the first Exchange account. Is this a bug or a known limitation?
Hi We only recently moved from Outlook 2003 to 2007 as we really liked 2003. I hate 2007 especially as it's full of unnecessary colours and calendar is just ghastly. The most frustrating think is the lack of master category list as we use this a lot to categorise our contacts. I don't want to apply colours to my contacts, I can use words! also, I cannot share the master category list with all our other computers - why??? Please fix this in 2010!
I have to agree with Antonie on this one. Great post :)
Outlook 2010 looks impressive, and I'm interested in switching to Outlook from Thunderbird - but I can't because Outlook still doesn't fully support iCal import, in particular of tasks (VTODO). Please add this support, otherwise it's a lost sale from me, I'm afraid.
Absolutley dislike the new look. It's depressing and bland. I am uninstalling it today and going back to Outlook 2007. Nothing in 2010 is worth writing home about. I just spent the last two years teaching people how to find and use the Office Button, and now you guys go back to File? What a joke!
How do I get rid of the gray background color behind my folders? I just want it white (or something other than this, it's hard to see and depressing).