Apply, customize, and save a document theme in Word or Excel

You can give a professional look to a document by applying a document theme. A theme is a set of formatting choices that include a set of theme colors, a set of theme fonts (including heading and body text fonts), and a set of theme effects (including lines and fill effects).

Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint provide many built-in document themes, but you can also create your own by customizing and then saving a document theme. Document themes are shared across Office programs so that all your Office documents can have the same, uniform look. However, unlike Word and Excel, PowerPoint includes background style customization options. For information about how to add and customize backgrounds, see Apply a background picture, color, or watermark to your slides.

 Notes 

What do you want to do?


Apply a document theme

To change the document theme that is applied by default in Word and Excel, select another predefined document theme or a custom document theme. Document themes that you apply affect the styles (style: A combination of formatting characteristics, such as font, font size, and indentation, that you name and store as a set. When you apply a style, all of the formatting instructions in that style are applied at one time.) that you can use in your document.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Themes group, click Themes.

The Themes group on the Page Layout tab.
The Themes group on the Page Layout tab in Excel 2010

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To apply a predefined document theme, under Built-In, click the document theme that you want to use.
    • To apply a custom document theme, under Custom, click the document theme that you want to use.

 Note    Custom is available only if you created one or more custom document themes. For more information about creating custom document themes, see Customize a document theme below.

  1. If a theme that you want to use is not listed, click Browse for Themes to find it on your computer or network.

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Customize a document theme

You can customize a document theme by changing the colors, the fonts, or the line and fill effects that are used. Changes that you make to one or more of these theme components immediately affect the styles that you applied in the active document. If you want to apply these changes to new documents, you can save them as a custom document theme.

Customize the theme colors

Theme colors contain four text and background colors, six accent colors, and two hyperlink colors.

The colors in the Theme Colors button Button image represent the current text and background colors, and the set of colors next to the name of the current theme after you click the Theme Colors button represent the accent and hyperlink colors for that theme. When you change any one of these colors to create your own set of theme colors, the colors in the Theme Colors button and next to the name of the theme change accordingly.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Themes group, click Theme Colors.

The Themes group on the Page Layout tab.
The Themes group on the Page Layout tab in Excel 2010

  1. Click Create New Theme Colors.
  2. Under Theme colors, click the button of the theme color element that you want to change, and then select the colors that you want to use.
  3. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for all of the theme color elements that you want to change.

 Tip   Under Sample, you can see the effect of the changes that you make.

  1. In the Name box, type an appropriate name for the new theme colors, and then click Save.

 Tip   If you want to return all theme color elements to their original theme colors, click Reset before you click Save.

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Customize the theme fonts

Theme fonts contain a heading font and a body text font.

When you click the Theme Fonts button Button image, you see the name of the heading and body text fonts used for each theme font below the Theme Fonts name. You can change both of these fonts to create your own set of theme fonts.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Themes group, click Theme Fonts.

The Themes group on the Page Layout tab.
The Themes group on the Page Layout tab in Excel 2010

  1. Click Create New Theme Fonts.
  2. In the Heading font and Body font boxes, select the fonts that you want to use.

 Tip   The sample is updated with the fonts that you select.

  1. In the Name box, type an appropriate name for the new theme fonts, and then click Save.

Select a set of theme effects

Theme effects are sets of lines and fill effects.

When you click the Theme Effects button Button image, you see the lines and fill effects used for each set of theme effects in the graphic displayed with the Theme Effects name. Although you cannot create your own set of theme effects, you can choose the theme effect that you want to use in your own document theme.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Themes group, click Theme Effects.

The Themes group on the Page Layout tab.
The Themes group on the Page Layout tab in Excel 2010

  1. Click the effect that you want to use.

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Save a document theme

You can save any changes that you make to the colors, fonts, or line and fill effects of a document theme as a custom document theme that you can apply to other documents.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Themes group, click Themes.

The Themes group on the Page Layout tab.
The Themes group on the Page Layout tab in Excel 2010

  1. Click Save Current Theme.
  2. In the File Name box, type an appropriate name for the theme, and then click Save.

The custom document theme is saved in the Document Themes folder and is automatically added to the list of available custom themes.

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Applies to:
Excel 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010