Microsoft Unveils new default theme for Office

Devesh Beri

Microsoft has introduced a new default theme for Office to modernize and enhance accessibility in documents, presentations, worksheets, and emails. The updated theme includes changes to fonts, colour palettes, styles, and line weights, providing users with a fresh and improved experience.

Aptos Font – Replacing Calibri

As part of the refresh, Microsoft presented five candidate fonts to replace Calibri, seeking user feedback. Bierstadt emerged as the preferred choice, subsequently renamed Aptos. Aptos supports various weights and includes narrow, serif, and monospace variants.

Revamped Color Palette

The company researched popular colour palettes and design trends to develop a set of default colours that work seamlessly across all Office applications. The new colour palette aids users in creating accessible content suitable for charts, lists, shapes, and more.

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Improved Outline Weights and Styles

Microsoft has increased the default outline weights and improved consistency between shapes and lines. Additionally, they refreshed the default style of Word documents and Outlook emails to enhance readability, professionalism, and ease of navigation.

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Theme Rollout and Compatibility

With the theme rollout, all new documents, presentations, worksheets, and emails created in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook will automatically use the new default theme. Existing documents, however, will maintain their original themes, and users need not take any action to transition to the updated style.

Customization Options

Users who prefer the previous Office theme can still use it, as it has been renamed Office Theme 2013 – 2022. For those seeking alternative fonts, Microsoft offers a wide selection within Microsoft 365 to match specific needs and preferences.

Availability for Microsoft 365 Insiders

The new default theme is currently available to Microsoft 365 Insiders on specific versions:

  • Win32: Version 2308 (Build 16701.20000) or later
  • Mac: Version 16.76 (Build 23070400) or later
  • Android: Version 16.0.16701.20000 or later
  • iOS users can expect the feature to become available at a later date.

Feature Release

Microsoft is gradually rolling out the features to ensure a smooth experience for users. Some features may not be immediately accessible to all users, but they will be released soon. In rare cases, Microsoft may even decide to remove certain features from the product based on feedback and testing.