If you ever want to change the way Excel highlights selected cells on a worksheet then you won’t have much luck scrolling through Excel’s options because, prior to Excel 2013, it’s controlled by the Windows Appearance settings.
In Windows 7 the setting can be found under Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Window Color and Appearance > Advanced Appearance Settings. The item of interest is ‘Selected Items’.
If you decide to go crazy with your selection colour then be careful because this setting is used universally.
In Excel 2013 things have changed and, whilst one can change the colour of the grid using the ‘Window’ item option in the Window Color and Appearance settings, there doesn’t seem to be a way of changing the selection colour to something other than that grey. You know the one I’m talking about…
There’s just too much grey on that screen for me and I’m not a fan of the grey and green combination. The problem is that the Dark Gray Office theme is the only theme which I think is remotely half decent (at time of writing there’s only a limited choice of three themes) so, for now, the sea of grey is something which has to be tolerated.
The solution to all of this is simple: Microsoft could release a Color Theme Editor for Office 2013 which does a similar job to their Color Theme Editor for Visual Studio 2012. For example, its Blue theme looks far better than the two themes (yes, only two) which are available out of the box and is a close match to Visual Studio 2010:
I think that’d be pretty cool but if that’s too much to ask for then I guess an update with some new, built-in themes would be okay too.
What do you think of Excel 2013’s general appearance compared to previous versions? I haven’t upgraded to Windows 8 yet so I’d also be interested to hear how well you think their appearances gel together. If you like the idea of a Color Theme Editor for Office 2013 then post a comment to say so: you never know, someone from Microsoft might be reading.