Immersive Reader & Custom Page Background Color in the Retail (Non-Sub Based) Word 2019?

If, like me, you’re wondering if the retail version of Microsoft Office 2019—the single purchase one, not the subscription-based Office 365/Microsoft 365—comes with the same Immersive Reader, the answer is: yes. And that’s great, because it makes Word so much more comfortable, imo:

(Sorry, this retail version of Office is in French and I’ve not yet checked if I can switch language, like with O365.)

Also, one can use a custom page background color and therefore keep using the traditinal page layout with margisn and border:

Don’t mind the odd-looking custom tab you can see in the Ribbon: that’s one of the really neat features of newer Word versions, the ability to create your very own Ribbon/Tabs, and group whatever tools you often use. That option, plus the ability to hide the Ribbon and define keyboard shortcuts or almost any tool, is 😍

FYI, the retail version I use is ‘Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2019’, no idea what the ‘Professional Plus’ stands for but unlike what the screenshot may let you believe: OneNote is not pre-installed (I reckon because this version of Office does not come With any OneDrive Storage?)

Why bother with the retail version of Office if I already use the sub-based Microsoft 365? I needed Word on a machine that won’t connect to the Internet, and the sub-based Microsoft 365 needs to connect at least once a month to check if your sub is still active. This retail version needed to connect online only once, in order to activate the license.


A True Dark Mode for Microsoft Word

A True Dark Mode for Microsoft Word

Some users consider dark mode a fad. Because of my deteriorating eyesight, I don’t have such a luxury: I can’t read dark text on bright/light colored background, be it on screen or on paper.

Before dark mode was a thing, I was using a high contrast accessibility theme—which is great but also way too radical for my specific needs. Dark mode has given me the best of both worlds: a more or less ‘normal’ looking setup, only with bigger fonts, less eye candy and, well, darker colors.

So, how does Microsoft Word deal with dark mode? Very well, as long as you do not limit yourself to what the majority of guides will suggest you do, that is to use Office 365 dark mode. There is more to it, as you will see.

Illustration: the left of the screen shows Word using its dark mode plus the Immersive Reader: the text is white on a black backround, with an image that is unchanged. There is no page break or margins, the document almost feels like a basic text editor save that it shows an image too. The other half of the screen shows the wallpaper: a night view of a desert scene with many stars.
Microsoft Word in all its dark glory, once fully configured.

But let’s start with the obvious: activating Office’s dark mode.

Continue reading A True Dark Mode for Microsoft Word

Using the Traditional Save/Open Dialog Box in Microsoft Office

By default, when you hit Save or when you try to open a file, the latest versions of Word and other Microsoft Office applications will use a new kind of window called the Backstage. As Microsoft wrote, the backstage “is everything that you do to a file that you don’t do in the file.”

A view of the new Save As dialog box, aka the Backstage Continue reading Using the Traditional Save/Open Dialog Box in Microsoft Office