Solo Tip Tuesday: Change the Outlook Background Color

by Reba Nance on April 30, 2013

I use categories in Outlook for a number of reasons. One thing categories allow me to do is look at my calendar and easily tell the difference between a meeting I have to attend, a presentation I’m scheduled to make, and a meeting I need to track but won’t attend.

Here’s how to change the background in Outlook. Give it a try—you can always easily change it back!

  1. In an open item, select the Microsoft Office Button (icon in upper left-hand corner)
  2. Select Editor Options (in the lower right-hand)
  3. Select Popular (upper left-hand), and then the color scheme that you want.

A blue color scheme is the default, and some colors (such as shades of blue or purple) don’t show up as well. Try selecting black or silver; black has the most contrast and colors really pop. Even if you don’t use categories, sometimes it’s good to change things up and give yourself a whole new Outlook!

You can see this tip and others, on topics ranging from Outlook and Word help to App reviews and online tools, all here.

Longtime readers of the Colorado Bar Association’s C-Brief, its weekly eNewsletter, know each week there is a tip from Law Practice Management Director Reba Nance. Those tips are moving beyond the newsletter and now have a permanent home within the Practice Management section of CBA’s website. We’ll share some of the best tips each week here as Solo Tip Tuesday.


James Moss April 30, 2013 at 11:06 am

Not all of us have our MS software set up so that your tips work.

In an open item, select the Microsoft Office Button (icon in upper left-hand corner)
Select Editor Options (in the lower right-hand)
Select Popular (upper left-hand), and then the color scheme that you want.

Only gets me the option to min/max/close etc.

I have no Editor Options.

to change it correctly you should click on File/Options/General and use the Color Scheme dropdown box.

Reba Nance May 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I’m using Outlook 2007. I suspect you’re using 2003 because you mentioned clicking on “File” first. Unfortunately, I can only list the instructions for 2007 since I don’t have 2003. I have held off switching to 2010 myself because most lawyers I know are using earlier versions.

Sorry my instructions didn’t work for you- and I’m glad you figured it out in 2003!

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