If you’ve upgraded to Outlook 2013 and are struggling with the new softer look, and missing the older higher contrast look in the reading view, you may be wondering about changing the themes. Outlook does have a few themes that can be changed, however they really only change the perimeter, and don’t change the email list.

I'm told to give the new themes some time, and they will grow on you, and perhaps they will, and perhaps I'll give them a try, but for now, I've got way too much email, and I feel like I'm straining to read and find relevant content. so, here’s an quick way to at least get a higher contrast, black on white email list:

 Outlook 2013 Default Theme (Blue on white)  Modified View to Black on White
   

 To Change the email:

  1. In the Ribbon, select View
  2. Within the View tab, select Change View
  3. In the Manage All Views dialog, select <Current view settings>, then select [Modify…]
  4. Select [Conditional Formatting…] 
  5. Notice the [Font…] configuration, with the nice soft blue font color
  6. Simply select Color and change from Custom to Black 
  7. Apply the view to all folders
    1. From the same  view menu, select Change View
    2. Select Apply Current View to Other Mail Folders…
  8. Simply select the folders you wish to update, and check the Apply view to subfolders checkbox if you’d like as well.

While this doesn't change all the elements back to the 2010 theme, like the folder icons in the navigation, it at least provides a little more contrast to view way too much email.

Steve