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Word 365 new feature mystery

Additions and changes to Microsoft 365 (Word, Excel etc) are often not explained properly beyond a short paragraph. Then there are cases where even that explanation is a mystery.

We’re obliged to Hannah J. from Munich for asking about this item on the Microsoft site from April 2019 which we overlooked.

From What’s new in Microsoft 365 – way down under April 2019 changes.

“Add color to your page

New page colors mean that if an all-white or all-black background isn’t for you, it’s a snap to change it”

It sounds interesting but what part of Word is Microsoft talking about? There are several places were the background color of the page or screen can be controlled.

What’s Microsoft talking about?

Word already has a wide range of Page Color choices and even Fill Effects that have been there for years.  This is from Word 2016, Design | Page Background | Page Color.

Maybe Microsoft is talking about Read Mode, the little book icon on the status bar?

But no.  View | Page Color still has three options for the on-screen background; None (white), Sepia (light brown) or Inverse (black).  It’s the same in Word 2016 and the very latest Word 365.

There’s no way to change the on-screen edit mode background from White.  There was a ‘Blue background, white text’ option or ‘Doogie Howser’ mode in early releases of Word, supposedly for easier screen reading. It was dropped in Word 2007 when Office switched to the Ribbon, this is from Word 2003.

Immersive Reader

We’re pretty sure they are talking about the Immersive Reader.  View | Immersive Reader | Page Color.

Immersive Reader is on the View tab.  It’s an alternative reading mode with options for changing column width, text spacing and line focus.  Very useful for people with reading difficulties.


The regular changes to Microsoft 365/Office 365 are great but really need better explanations beyond a sentence or two that are all some updates get.  May we draw ‘softies attention to the word Context in their own Thesaurus.

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