The Look and Feel of Outlook 2010

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

Outlook 2010



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 theme

Change the Outlook 2010 color scheme