I'll begin this lesson by opening Excel. As I'm on the Windows 8 Desktop I'll click the Start button and then I'll click the Excel 2013 tile that we added earlier. I'll then choose the Blank Workbook Template and I'm presented with a new blank workbook.
If you're coming to Excel 2013 from an earlier version of Excel you'll immediately notice that the Excel screen now has very little use of colour and contrast.
A very large number of Excel users, myself included, feel that this lack of contrast causes more eyestrain and is more difficult to work with than earlier Excel versions.
Fortunately you're able to change Excel's default white colour scheme to one with higher contrast using the new Office Themes feature.
Three Office Themes are available to customize the look and feel of Excel. Let's explore them now by changing the Office Theme.
So click the File button at the top left of your screen and then Options towards the bottom of the left hand Menu Bar. In the Personalize Your Copy of Microsoft Office section you can see that there's an Office Theme dropdown. I'm going to click the button to the right of that dropdown to see that there are three themes available: white, light grey, and dark grey.
Let's look at light grey first of all. So I point to and click on Light Grey and then click the OK button. You can see that the Light Grey Theme has a little more contrast that helps to separate screen elements.
Now let's look at the Dark Grey Theme. To do that, once again I click on the File Tab, then Options, and then in the Personalize Your Copy of Microsoft Office Session the Office Theme will become Dark Grey. I click OK and you can see that there's a much higher contrast in the Dark Grey Theme. This is my own personal preference. I find the higher contrast is a lot easier to work with.
Experiment with each theme until you discover the one that you'd prefer. All of the screen grabs in my book and all of the screen grabs in this video course were done using the Dark Grey Theme. If you choose a different theme the Screen Grabs in the book will look slightly different to what you're seeing on your computer screen.
You may have also noticed that, in my copy of Excel there's a Clouds tattoo at the top right of the screen. This is called a Background.
Now you can only customize your background if you're connected to the Internet and logged in using a Microsoft account. You're going to learn a lot more about Microsoft accounts later in Session 8 when we'll discuss Cloud Computing.
Personally, I find the background feature is a little frivolous for a serious business application. And for this reason I always leave it set to No Background, but perhaps you feel differently and would like to stamp your own identity onto your copy of Office.
So let's now change the background. I'll click the File Tab as I did before and the Options button from the left hand Menu Bar. I can see that on my copy of Excel there's an Office Background dropdown, but you won't see that on your copy of Excel unless you're signed in using a Microsoft account and are connected to the Internet.
I'll click the dropdown button now to see which background options exist. And you can see there's quite a lot of them but in my case I'm going to select No Background and click the OK button. And you can see that the top right of the screen is now free of the tattoo.
Let's now close down Excel by clicking the Close button at the top right of the screen.
And you've now completed Lesson 1-3 Change the Office Theme.