Changing How Word Presents Your Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 2, 2017)

As you work with Word, you will probably notice that it is like working on a piece of paper. The background of the screen is white, text is in black (or some other color you specify), and information generally appears as it would if you would print the document.

If the white background hurts your eyes or is distracting to you, Word allows you to change the appearance of the screen so that you have a blue background with white text. Many people find this more pleasant to work with. You can change this appearance of Word by following these steps if you are using a version of Word prior to Word 2007:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the General tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The General tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Blue Background, White Text check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

This feature was removed from Word 2007, so it is no longer available. The reason Microsoft gave for removing the feature is that it was included for compatibility with older versions of WordPerfect. Apparently they no longer feel that such compatibility is important.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1844) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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