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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
My first impression on Office 2010 and particularly Outlook 2010 is the way it looks so bad depressive... We're back to grey??!! what a '#*&??! it really looks boring and the "cleaning up" of the icon in the band at the top of the screen makes it less clear to me.... the blue and black theme are more acceptable, although still boring and spending 8 hours/days in front on this boring stuff won't be a great pleasure... Office 2007 was refreshing and entertaining at least. Please had some more color theme like green, orange, red , yellow... we're not all depressed microsoft programmers and want some color in life ;) !! cheers, i'll check the rest of the functions now
Totally dislike the new interface. The addition of the ribbon and the way it was implemented in 2007 was far more pleasing and intuitive to use. 2010 has made my preferred black theme unusable
I actually have been working on a development pc that still has office 2000 on it. Recently, I upgraded everything to office 2007. I have always used office products, and the design of 2007 is very bad - visually it is confusing/ unnecessarily complex and distracts from the information that the user wants to focus on. So of course, your new design is a step back - as it should be - simplicity is far more elegant and less distracting. The vast majority of users will agree with this once they start using the new office products. You are definitely on the right path!
Hate the 2010 color schemes for Outlook. Must have been designed by the Vista UI people. At least give us a theme that matches the theme from the last version. Outlook 2010 itself seems like a decent product.
Wow microsoft, cool 3 whole "great" color themes! Good job, really. Usually i am an microsoft fan, but the possibility to change themes/schemes is really an missing in the new 2010 office apps. I don't like the looks of the new 2010 at all. Its to simple, to basic. 2007 looked much better. Is it so difficult to add the possibility to change the apps to your personal style? Cant imagine that.
Yikes! This is hideous! What a flat, ugly look! Everything sort of blends together in one mass of white. Also, does anyone really think that ribbons are superior to the old menu system that the knowledge of which was transferable from program to program? If I didn't have to support newer versions of Office, I would gladly go back to 2003. It was clean, functional, and easy to look at.
I was surprised to see only three colors to choose from in 2010. I've tried them all an don't particularly like any of them. It seems very odd to me that you'd add new ones and not also leave the old ones there for those who liked them. Obviously you'd get a lot few negative responses as you've seen here saying that the previous colors were better. Perhaps an upgrade pack would help. The simplist things, I don't get how MS misses them. Honestly, do you do case studies or just have a few people in a room dictate? If you did asked people if they wanted a choice of 3 colors or 6, what do you think you'd get? You'd get 6, of course! Or more... I agree that the current colors are depressing, and color makes a huge difference since we look at it all day. This may be the reason I stop my trial and decide not to buy the upgrade. If you release a color pack or theme upgrade so I could have a more colorful and upbeat work environment, you might win me over.
Hate the gray, black and silver. The little blue numbers that tell me if a message is not read in a folder is very hard to see now. Give us an option to go back to white in the left pane or make the black theme have a white number as contrast.
The colors are hard to read. As a partly color blind person the navigation pane is maddening. The three themes are not enough. I would prefer a classic option that is high contrast with text black. Also when responding my text is not all black anymore. Control of color schemes is critical. Change for the sake of change is not good. Please please provide another color option in an update. I am also testing for our company. I hope an update will bring back more contrast options to the navigation pane specifically. I will be recommending that we wait for a period of time before we adopt this. The color schmemes need to be fixed and a 2003/2007 option needs to be offered. People can still tell that it is Office 2010 by the ribbon. Thank you for your consideration and listening.
Please, please can I have a higher contrast background color like white; again for the navigation pane!
@Mike - You can use any of the High Contrast settings of your Operating System (XP, Vista, Win7) and Outlook should respect those settings.
I'd love to see more color scheme options for Outlook. Black? Seriously?
I've been using Office 2010 for a month and am very unhappy with the color schemes of silver/blue/black. I want to customize my color scheme. How can I do this?
The samples above show a white background for the office outlook document. I have a blue background that is irritating. Is there a way to have a paperwhite background?
The colours are horrible would like to have a choice of brighter colours.