(Credit: Apple)

In its latest update to the Office 365's suite of apps, software giant Microsoft revealed support for MacOS Mojave's Dark Mode, which will let users write papers or create spreadsheets without straining their eyes.

Since Apple debuted Mojave's Dark Mode this fall, many software companies have updated their apps to allow for a more muted version instead of the usual white background. Microsoft also rolled out a number of smaller changes to its apps, but the Dark Mode is the most visible change to Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook.

SEE: Google Lens arrives on iOS inside the Google search app

"Go easy on your eyes with Dark Mode," Microsoft wrote of the update. "A dark background is easier on the eyes in low-light environments."

The update was announced at the end of October on Twitter by Akshay Bakshi, a Microsoft Office product manager. Beta testers have had access to the Office 365 Dark Mode since then, and Microsoft officially rolled it out to all users this week.

Among other improvements, Microsoft also said iPhone users will be able to insert a photo directly into a PowerPoint slide and Outlook will allow you to share your calendar with others.

Although some thought Microsoft would restrict the Dark Mode to Office 365 subscribers, it have made it available to all users, even those who purchased Office 2019 as a one-off without the full Office 365 subscription.

Microsoft brought Dark Mode to in July due to rabid user demand. In a blog post at the time, Microsoft touted the usefulness of Dark Mode and its effect on how people used devices.

"Dark Mode is a more-pleasant way to read your email if you prefer interfaces that are less bright or if you are in a low-light environment," it wrote.

"One of the most crucial principles we had when designing Dark Mode was to minimize the amount of eye strain that people felt. Many email clients on the web today advertise a dark mode, but we learned from interviews with others and our own usage that having the reading pane be on-light while the rest of the interface was left on-dark often made the experience worse than if the full screen were left on-light."

They resolved the problem by recoloring email messages to "preserve the readability of the original message and preserve the intent of the original sender."

As we head into 2019, expect even more companies to allow users to switch between dark and light modes as more studies come out about the effect of screen time on users' eyes.

FOLLOW on Twitter for all the latest app news.


  1. Microsoft Office's suite of apps now work with MacOS Mojave's Dark Mode.
  2. Microsoft made a number of small changes to Outlook, Word, and Powerpoint, including a new functionality allowing users to upload iPhone photos directly onto a slide.

Also see

Jonathan is a Contributing Writer for CNET's He's a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.