When you select cells in Excel, text in Word, and even e-mail in Outlook, your system displays the selected data in a contrasting color—the default is gray. Office doesn't control the color, Windows does and it doesn't take long to change the default. Just keep in mind that the change is system-wide and not just a subtle change to Office. If you can live with that, do the following to change the selection color in your Office applications and everything else, in Windows XP:
- Right-click the Desktop and choose Properties from the resulting context menu.
- Click the Appearance tab.
- Click Advanced.
- From the Item dropdown, choose Selected Items.
- From the Color 1 dropdown, choose the color you want to use with selected items (cells, text, email, and so on).
- Click OK twice.
The process is a little different in Windows 7:
- Right-click the Desktop and choose Personalize.
- Click Window Color (at the bottom of the screen).
- Click Advanced Appearance Settings.
- Repeat steps 4 through 6 above.
If other people use your system, this change might not be a good idea. At least check with everyone else first. Even if you're the only one using the system, this change impacts almost every application, so be prepared for a bit of adjustment.
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Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.