Fix Black page layout in Microsoft Word

Many Microsoft Word users reported that their page layout has suddenly gone black. With the exception of the worksheet itself, they face a black page: the ribbon as much as the sidebars are black. In this article, you can read how this problem arose and how you can solve it.

Why did Microsoft Word turn black?

This is the new Dark Mode in Office. For more, see

It is very likely that you have enabled Dark Mode yourself. This is no shame; you only have to click wrong 1 time to turn Word from white to black.

However, you may also have switched to Focus mode. The Focus option in Microsoft Word also turns the layout into black.

In either case, read on as I explain how to switch back from different modes.

How to change the black theme in Word to white

The layout, as shown in this image, indicates you have your Word theme set to Black.

word black theme

If you’re not (yet) comfortable with the black layout, you have the possibility to revert back to the Light Mode of course! To set Office Theme of Word to White, follow these steps:

  1. In Microsoft Word, Click File -> Options.
  2. In the General tab, scroll down to category Personalize your Copy of Microsoft Office
  3. Click the dropdown box, next to Office Theme. Select White.
  4. Click OK to save the changes
microsoft word set theme to Office White

Pro Tip:
Alternatively, you can press CTRL-F, and then T. This will open the Options window much quicker

How to fix black Work theme with white document

If you have enabled the Black Office theme, a new button appears in the View tab of the ribbon, named Switch Modes

black theme and dark mode disabled word

The idea behind this mode is you may want the Word application to appear Black, but you feel comfortable with typing text on white paper. The Switch Mode enables you to change the background color of the document to either white or black. Text will change to the opposite color.

To change the background color of a document in Word, follow these steps:

  1. In Microsoft Word, click View to the to the View ribbon
  2. In the View ribbon, click Switch Modes to switch the background color between white and black

How to enable and disable Focus Mode

Focus mode is a distraction-free layout. It can help you to concentrate on an essay or other type of document. The ribbon is automatically hidden.

microsoft word focus mode

If you want to layout adjustments (like changing fonts or adding numbered lists) in Focus Mode, move your cursor to the top of your screen. The ribbon appears automatically and stays open as long as your cursor moves at the top. The ribbon automatically disappears as soon as you click anywhere in your document.

To disable Focus mode, do the following:

  1. Move your cursor to the top of your screen to reveal the ribbon
  2. Go to the View tab in your ribbon
  3. Click Focus to turn off Focus Mode
disable focus mode word

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