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November 30, 2023
Tips and tricks

Benefits of dark mode in spreadsheets: Excel's dark theme

Dark mode in Spreadsheets helps you interact with the screen comfortably. Discover Excel's dark theme & explore the benefits of dark mode in spreadsheets today!

Arzu Özkan-  Digital Marketing Manager
Mary Wilson
Content Marketing Specialist

Dark mode is becoming increasingly common for spreadsheets, which many believe is better for the eyes, especially during long working hours. Dark mode changes the colour palette, so the dark interface making it easier to read in high-contrast conditions especially in spreadsheets. 

When it comes to the spreadsheet, only some online spreadsheets like Retable offer a new dark mode.  But Google sheets dark mode is not a native dark mode like Retable.

So let's understand the concept behind the dark mode in spreadsheets. 

Dark mode: What is it and why do we need it?

As the name suggests, dark mode is an opaque colour system for the UI of websites and apps. Usually, you might have seen tools like Excel using dark-coloured text on a white background, just like handwritten text on white paper. This colour scheme is called light mode, the default setting in most apps and websites. However, the dark mode in Excel is just the opposite, where you would see white-coloured text on a dark background. 

Today many apps let you choose between light and dark modes. You can choose between these colour schemes based on many factors like the lighting of the environment, time of the day, purpose of your work, etc. However, people prefer dark mode for health issues, battery consumption, etc. 

In the following section, you will learn the top benefits of dark mode in Excel. 

Benefits of dark mode in spreadsheets

Although dark mode benefits vary depending on user needs, some of the most prominent dark mode benefits are listed below.

  • Reduces eye strain: It is the most critical dark mode benefits. As you already know, light mode emits a large quantity of brightness through the device screen, which causes eye strain. So staring at the screen for a long time can fatigue your eyes and cause headaches. If you turn on dark mode, the brightness coming from the screen is lower, which causes less strain to your eyes. 
  • Saves battery life: Is your device's battery percentage draining quickly while using the spreadsheet for a few hours? Turn on dark mode! Since the dark mode in Excel uses less illumination on the screen, the battery consumption is less compared to the light mode. So, battery save is one of the most important dark mode benefits.
  • Do not interrupt sleep: Are you struggling to sleep after spending hours on a spreadsheet during the day? Then, again, Excel spreadsheet dark mode is the solution! If you don't know already, the blue light emitted from white screens disrupts the secretion of melatonin, a hormone much needed for Sleep. However, since the blue light emitted by Excel dark mode is comparatively less, it will not interrupt your Sleep. 
  • Better contrast with colours: Some colours look even more impressive when contrasted with a darker background. For example, you might have to use different colours to highlight particular cells while using a spreadsheet. Light colours on a light background need a more significant effort to be read by the user than on a darker background. So dark mode in Excel helps users to interpret data more quickly. 
  • Dark mode improves concentration: One of the most critical benefits of dark mode, especially for people who work in front of a screen for long hours, is that it increases concentration. Dark mode reduces blue light which can interrupt sleep. When it gets dark, your brain naturally begins to produce more melatonin, the chemical that makes you more concentrated.

Does Excel has a dark mode?

It's one of the common questions: " How to make Excel dark mode?" The answer is you can't! Even though Excel has a dark theme, it doesn't have a proper dark mode. You can enable the Excel dark mode in many ways. The most popular method is to change the Office Theme to Black or Dark Grey. But, the cells will still be coloured white even after enabling a Excel dark mode. So you might have to choose a dark-coloured background in Excel manually to use your Excel in dark mode. That's not all; you must also change the font colour to white or any other light colour for the entire Excel sheet.  In other words, unfortunately, there is no Excel dark mode feature designed specifically for Excel and suitable for Excel's needs. Excel dark theme is not exactly a dark theme made for Excel spreadsheets. Therefore, instead of calling it Excel dark theme, it would be more accurate to call it Office dark theme, because it only turns your Office Suite interface into a dark theme.

However, if you still want to have a feature similar to Excel spreadsheet dark mode, you can convert your entire Office Suite to dark mode to use Excel in dark mode. This affects the entire user interface but leaves the cells in your Excel spreadsheet white. Excel dark mode cells are not available for now. However, as a solution, you can have Excel dark mode cells by making the background of your cells black and their text white.So you can use your Excel in dark mode.

If you are wondering how to make Excel dark mode, you can follow the steps below.

How to change Excel to dark mode:

  • Click File, then click Account at the bottom of the File menu.
  • In the Office Theme dropdown, choose Dark Gray or Black.

That's all, now you can change your Excel to dark mode. But remember that your Excel spreadsheet's cell will not be turn to dark mode.

How to make excel cells dark mode?

  • In the Insert Pictures dialog box, click the Search Bing search box.
  • Type "solid gray" or "solid black," depending upon how dark you want the background to be, and then press Enter.
  • Select a background image and then click Insert.
  • Or directly choose all your Excel cells and make the background black
  • Remember that to  use your Excel cells in dark mode you should also change your font color.

Does Google Sheets has a dark mode?

Google Sheet dark mode helps you to view your spreadsheets in a more comforting tone while working during long hours. Also, Google Sheets dark mode reduces the strain on your device's battery. The Google Sheets dark mode theme is available for mobile and desktop devices. It is easy to switch switch between dark mode and light mode whenever you need to.

Unfortunately, Google Sheets dark mode is not available for desktops. Although this prevents you from easily using dark mode in Google Sheets, you can create a dark mode-like appearance in your Google Sheets by following a few steps. You can try using your Google Sheets in dark mode by switching your operating system or browser to dark mode. However, this is not always functional and may not work in every browser.

However, it is easy to use the Google Sheets dark mode feature on your mobile devices. You can set your theme to "dark" by entering the Google sheets application from your mobile device.

Although the Google Sheets dark mode feature is not natively available on the desktop, it can help you reduce the strain on your eyes and battery by using Google Sheets in dark mode on your mobile devices.

Retable Dark mode

Spreadsheets are one of the most valuable inventions for business owners. It helps them manage data most efficiently and saves tons of paper. 

Retable, a simple online database, AKA an Excel alternative, makes the process even more accessible with its project management features, tables, different views, workspaces and more. As a result, most companies have already started using this powerful database management solution. 

Now, Retable has introduced an in-built dark mode which you can enable with a single click. Unlike Excel sheets, you don't have to waste time choosing a darker background or changing font colours. The dark mode in Retable helps you interpret data easily and allows you to work freely without straining your eyes!


As you know, Excel sheets are an inevitable part of every business. Excel sheets help simplify many business operations, such as database management, task management, performance reporting, etc. Therefore, a dark mode is necessary to keep your eyes healthy and save battery power. 

Retable's new dark mode feature lets you interpret data better and work with the slightest pressure on your eyes. Moreover, you can enable dark mode with a single click! 

FAQ Questions

1) What is the dark mode?

The dark mode is a colour system for the UI of websites and apps where you can see white-coloured text in a dark context. 

2) What are the significant benefits of dark mode in Excel?

  • It reduces strain on your eyes.
  • Helps you distinguish colours and interpret data more quickly.
  • It does not hinder your Sleep
  • It consumes less battery power

3) How to turn on dark mode in Excel?

Excel doesn't have a proper dark mode; it only has a dark theme. You must change the Office theme to Black or Dark Grey to enable it. Then you have to change the background colour and font colour. Retable lets you enable dark mode with a single click without wasting time.

4) How does dark mode help you save battery?

Unlike light mode, the dark mode emits less brightness from the device screen. Since it requires only less illumination, it consumes less battery power. 

5) Is Google Spreadsheet dark mode available on desktop?

Google spreadsheet dark mode is only available in the mobile app. On desktop, Google spreadsheet dark mode is not available but you can try to use dark mode theme for your browser to view your Google spreadsheet in dark mode.

6) Is there a dark mode for Excel Online?

Excel dark theme is not considered a native feature of Excel. If you need to use Excel online dark mode, you should switch your entire Office suite to dark mode. Although this will turn a large portion of your user interface into dark mode, the background of the cells in your Excel spreadsheets will remain white. Therefore, there is no proper Excel online dark mode.

7) Is Google spreadsheets dark mode available on mobile?

Yes! Actually Google spreadsheets dark mode only available on mobile. Google spreadsheets do not have a dark mode for desktop. But you can use Google spreadsheets dark mode from your mobile device.

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