Office: Selected Items Color Ignored in Office Programs

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Article ID: 135795 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you change the Selected Items color in Windows, this color may not be used when you select items in your Office applications.


This occurs because the Office applications do not use the Selected Items color in Windows for every element that you select in the application. For example, when you select text in a cell on your Microsoft Excel worksheet or you select text in a Microsoft Word document, the selection does not appear in the color that you chose for the Selected Items element for your display.

One of the screen elements that you can select a color for using the Display icon in Control Panel is the Selected Items element. The color that you select is used, for example, when you click a menu, or an item on a menu, or an icon in a folder. This color is also used when you select text in Notepad. However, this color is not used when you select text in the Office applications.

When you select text in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel, the selection appears in an inverse color of the Window color. For example, if you select the color white for the Window color, the selection is black when you select text in your worksheet or document.

The Selected Items color is used in the Office applications when you select the following:
item in list box and drop-down
menu item
item in text box
NOTE: In Microsoft Excel, the Selected Items color is not used for selected text in a text box or a selected item in a spinner control.


To change the Selected Items color or the Window color in Windows, do the following:

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click Start. Click Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Display icon.
  3. Click the Appearance tab.
  4. In the Item list, click the element that you want to change, such as Selected Items or Window. In the Color list, click the color that you want the item to appear.
  5. Click OK and then close Control Panel.


For more information about changing the colors of the screen elements in Windows, click the Index tab in Windows Help, type the following text
colors, screen
and then double-click the selected text to go to the "To Change The Way The Items On Your Desktop Look" topic.


Article ID: 135795 - Last Review: September 27, 2013 - Revision: 1.2
  • Microsoft Office 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 95 Standard Edition
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