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Office Software Thread, Force colour scheme ?? in Technical; Don't get excited. Sadly there is no group policy available for this. I am hoping someone my have a workaround ...
  1. #1

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    Angry Force colour scheme ??

    Don't get excited. Sadly there is no group policy available for this. I am hoping someone my have a workaround for this..

    I have been able to ascertain that the registry entry for the colour scheme is stored in:

    HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common
    Name: UITheme (DWORD)

    Set to the following to get the theme you want:

    0 - White
    1 - Light Grey
    2 - Dark Grey (only bearable one IMO)

    All great right ? Unfortunately, the value of this key is overwritten when the user opens (e.g) word. This seems to occur where the user would be running through the 'first run' dialog boxes - regardless of whether this behaviour is controlled via GPO. You can actually see the theme get changed as word loads...

    Interestingly, if you alter the theme via the gui, the change persists.

    I have also altered the registry key with word open. If you then close word and re-open, you can see the change applied again... which makes me think that office must be storing this configuration elswhere - and re-applying the settings on launch...

    Any ideas anyone. (Please don't say use 2010 )

  2. #2

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    I've not tried this, as I'm the only person using Office 2013 in our school atm, but I'd try making the change whilst having 2 instances of SpyMe Tools open. One monitoring files, and the other registry. That way you'll be able to trace any changes it's making.

  3. #3


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    Quote Originally Posted by vladker View Post
    Any ideas anyone.
    You need to create the following registry value to change the theme in Office 2013. The first set of digits of the hex value is the colour: 00 = White / 01 = Light Grey / 02 = Dark Grey

    Code:
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities\domain.internal_AD\Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}\PendingChanges]
    "Data"=hex:02,00,00,00
    The easiest way to deploy this setting is through Group Policy Preferences...

    Code:
    Under User Configuration\Preferences\Registry, create a new Registry Item:
    
    Action:         Replace
    Hive:           HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    Key Path:       Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities\%LogonUser%@domain.internal_AD\Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}\PendingChanges
    
    Note that you can get these special GPP variables by pressing F3 while typing in this field. Also, replace 'domain.internal' with your own domain.
    
    Value Name:     Data
    Value Type:     REG_BINARY
    Value Data:     02000000
    * Credit goes to "Vincent Timmermans" on the TechNet forums for finding the above out: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/...6-74305c4a044c



    I also created the following PowerShell script that can change the colour.

    Set-Office2013UIColour.ps1
    Code:
    <#
    .SYNOPSIS
        Modifies the current users Microsoft Office 2013 theme.
    
    .PARAMETER Colour
        White, Light Grey or Dark Grey
        
    .EXAMPLE
        PS C:\> Set-Office2013UIColour -Colour 'Dark Grey'
    #>
    
    function Set-Office2013UIColour
    {
        param (
            [Parameter(Mandatory=$true,
                HelpMessage="Enter a valid colour: White, Light Grey or Dark Grey.")]
            [ValidateSet("White","Light Grey","Dark Grey")]
            [string] $Colour
        )
    
        $ErrorActionPreference = "SilentlyContinue"
    
        Push-Location
        Set-Location 'HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities'
        Set-Location (Join-Path * 'Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}\PendingChanges' -Resolve)
    
        switch ($Colour) {
            "White"      { Set-ItemProperty -path . -name "Data" -Value ([byte[]](0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00)) -Force; Break; }
            "Light Grey" { Set-ItemProperty -path . -name "Data" -Value ([byte[]](0x01,0x00,0x00,0x00)) -Force; Break; }
            "Dark Grey"  { Set-ItemProperty -path . -name "Data" -Value ([byte[]](0x02,0x00,0x00,0x00)) -Force; Break; }
        }
    
        Pop-Location
    }

  4. 2 Thanks to Arthur:

    AngryTechnician (18th August 2013), StevieM (16th September 2013)

  5. #4


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    Just noticed that I forgot to include the username in the first registry key above. It should look like this...

    Code:
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities\username@domain.internal_AD\Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}\PendingChanges]
    "Data"=hex:02,00,00,00
    username@domain.internal = the username of the currently logged on user @ your Windows domain.
    Last edited by Arthur; 18th August 2013 at 02:15 PM.

  6. #5


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    I forgot to post this in November, but Microsoft have updated the Office 2013 Group Policy templates and they now include a setting to change the default theme for all users.



    @AngryTechnician, @StevieM (just in case you didn't know)

  7. Thanks to Arthur from:

    StevieM (17th February 2014)

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