Change a theme and make it the default

Changing a document theme can be confusing. If you want to change your current theme, switch to a different one, or create a new theme, the Design tab in Word or the Page Layout tab in Excel is the place to start.

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Change theme colors

Excel

  1. On the Page Layout tab, click Colors, and pick the color set you want.

Theme Colors Gallery open via the Colors button on the Page Layout tab

 Tip    The first group of colors are the colors in the current theme.

  1. To create your own set of colors, click Customize Colors.
  2. Click the button next to the theme color you want to change (for example, Accent 1 or Hyperlink), and then pick a color under Theme Colors.

Change a theme color

  1. To create your own color, click More Colors, and then pick a color on the Standard tab or enter numbers on the Custom tab.

 Tip   Under Sample (shown above), you can see a preview of the changes that you made.

  1. Repeat this for all the colors you want to change.
  2. In the Name box, type a name for the new theme colors, and click Save.

 Tip   To return to the original theme colors, click Reset before you click Save.

Word

  1. On the Design tab, click Colors, and pick the color set you want.

Theme Colors gallery

 Tip    The first group of colors are the colors in the current theme.

  1. To create your own set of colors, click Customize Colors.
  2. Click the button next to the theme color you want to change (for example, Accent 1 or Hyperlink), and then pick a color under Theme Colors.

Change a theme color

  1. To create your own color, click More Colors, and then pick a color on the Standard tab or enter numbers on the Custom tab.

 Tip   Under Sample (shown above), you can see a preview of the changes that you made.

  1. Repeat this for all the colors you want to change.
  2. In the Name box, type a name for the new theme colors, and then click Save.

 Tip   To return to the original theme colors, click Reset before you click Save.

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Change theme fonts

Excel

  1. On the Page Layout tab, click Fonts, and pick the font set you want.

Fonts gallery on Page Layout tab

 Tip    The top fonts are the fonts in the current theme.

  1. To create your own set of fonts, click Customize Fonts.
  2. In the Create New Theme Fonts box, under the Heading font and Body font boxes, pick the fonts you want.

Create new theme fonts

  1. In the Name box, enter a name, and click Save.

 Tip    You can also change the effects of a theme by clicking the Effects button under the Fonts button.

Word

  1. On the Design tab, click Fonts, and pick the font set you want.

Fonts gallery on the Design tab

 Tip    The top fonts are the fonts in the current theme.

  1. To create your own set of fonts, click Customize Fonts.
  2. In the Create New Theme Fonts box, under the Heading font and Body font boxes, pick the fonts you want.

Create new theme fonts

  1. In the Name box, enter a name, and click Save.

 Tip    You can also change the effects of a theme by clicking Effects.

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Save a custom theme for reuse

Once you’ve made changes to your theme, you can save it to use again. Or you can make it the default for new documents.

Excel

  1. On the Page Layout tab, click Themes > Save Current Theme.

Theme gallery accessed from Theme button

  1. In the File name box, enter a name for the theme, and click Save.

 Note    The theme is saved as a .thmx file in the Document Themes folder on your local drive and is automatically added to the list of custom themes that appear when you click Themes.

Custom themes accessed from the Themes button

Word

  1. On the Design tab, click Themes > Save Current Theme.

Theme gallery accessed from Theme button

  1. In the File name box, enter a name for the theme, and click Save.

 Note    The theme is saved as a .thmx file in the Document Themes folder on your local drive and is automatically added to the list of custom themes that appear when you click Themes.

Custom themes accessed from the Themes button

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Make my changes the new default theme

After saving your theme, you can set it so it’s used for all new documents.

Excel

Apply your custom theme to a blank workbook and then save it as a template named Book.xltx.

Word

  • On the Design tab, click Set as Default.

Save as Default option for Word Themes found on the Design tab

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More about themes

A document theme is a unique set of colors, fonts, and effects. Themes are shared across Office programs so that all your Office documents can have the same, uniform look.

You can also change the Office theme. The Office theme is the color scheme for your entire Office program, while document themes are more specific (they show up in individual Word documents or Excel spreadsheets).

Choose a different Office Theme

In addition, you can add a pattern to your Office program, by changing the Office Background.

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Applies to:
Excel 2013, Word 2013