This is an obvious and simple tip. Office 2007 and Office 2010 both provide the option to change the main color scheme. This can be done from any of the main Office Suite applications, including Outlook. In Outlook 2010, this is accessed through the Office Backstage by selecting File, Options. In the General tab, the Color Scheme lists three options in its drop-down box: Blue, Silver, and Black. If you use Microsoft Expression, you may be accustomed to the default black color scheme and would like to have Office follow that style.

The value for this selection resides in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER section of the registry as well. You can find the option at:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\\Common\

Where = 12.0 for Office 2007 and 14.0 for Office 2010. Here a DWORD value called Theme determines the color scheme for Office 2010:

  1.             Blue (Default)
  2.             Silver
  3.             Black

Changing this value to a number beyond this list did not change the color scheme from whatever it was set to prior to testing a higher value. Figure 1 shows a Process Monitor capture of the change from Blue to Black on my Office 2010 installation, with the value changing from 1 to 3.

This is one of many settings that can be controlled with Group Policy in a Group Policy Object (GPO) and the Office Customization Tool (OCT), both of which I will cover in an upcoming tip.