Customize Word themes to use as stationery for messages

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Microsoft Office Word 2007 themes are available so that you can easily personalize HTML-formatted e-mail messages. The themes include backgrounds and patterns and offer a set of unified design elements such as fonts, bullets, colors, and effects. You can choose from a predefined list of Word 2007 themes which you can then customize to suit your needs.

Note:  You can only use Word themes if you use HTML as your message format. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Mail Format tab. In the Compose in this message format list, click HTML.

Tell me more about message formats

Microsoft Outlook supports three message formats:

  • HTML     This is the default message format in Outlook. It is also the best format to use when you want to create messages that are similar to traditional documents, with various fonts, colors, and bullet lists. By default, when you select either of the options that allow formatting (HTML or Rich Text), the message is sent in HTML format. So when you use HTML, you know that what you send is what the recipient will see.

  • Plain text     This is a format that all e-mail applications support. You can set Outlook to open messages that you receive in plain text format only. Plain text doesn't support bold, italic, colored fonts, or other text formatting. It also doesn't support pictures that are displayed directly in the message body, although you can include the pictures as attachments.

  • Outlook Rich Text format (RTF)     This is a Microsoft format that only the following e-mail applications support:

    • Microsoft Exchange Client versions 5.0 and 4.0

    • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007

    • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003

    • Microsoft Outlook 2002, 2000, 98, and 97

      You can use RTF when sending messages within an organization that uses Microsoft Exchange; however, we recommend that you use the HTML format. RTF supports text formatting, including bullets, alignment, and linked objects. Outlook automatically converts RTF formatted messages to HTML by default when you send them to an Internet recipient, so that the message formatting is maintained and attachments are received. Outlook also automatically formats meeting and task requests and messages with voting buttons so that these items can be sent intact across the Internet to other Outlook users, regardless of the default format of the message. If the Internet-bound message is a task or meeting request, Outlook automatically converts it to Internet Calendar format, a common format for Internet calendar items, so that other e-mail applications can support it.

What do you want to do?

Customize a Word theme

Save a Word theme

Customize a Word theme

To customize a theme, you start by changing its components, such as the colors, fonts, or the line and fill effects that are used. Changes that you make to one or more of these components affect the open e-mail message immediately. If you want to apply these changes to new messages, you can save them as a custom theme (see “Save a Word theme” below).

Customize the theme colors

  1. On the Options tab, in the Themes group, click Colors.

  2. Click Create New Theme Colors.

  3. Under Theme colors, click the button for the theme color element that you want to change, and then choose the colors that you want to use from the color palette.

    The sample is updated with the fonts that you select.

  4. Repeat step 3 for all the theme color elements that you want to change.

  5. In the Name box, type an appropriate name for the new theme colors.

  6. Click Save.

    Tip: To return all theme color elements to their original theme colors, you can click Reset before you click Save.

Customize the theme fonts

  1. On the Options tab, in the Themes group, click Fonts.

  2. Click Create New Theme Fonts.

  3. In the Heading font and Body font boxes, select the fonts that you want to use.

    The sample is updated with the fonts that you select.

  4. In the Name box, type an appropriate name for the new theme fonts.

  5. Click Save.

Select a theme effect

  1. On the Options tab, in the Themes group, click Effects.

  2. Select the effect that you want to use.

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Save a Word theme

  1. On the Options tab, in the Themes group, click Themes.

  2. Click Save Current Theme.

  3. In the File name box, type an appropriate name for the theme.

    Note: A custom theme is saved in the Document Themes folder and is automatically added to the list of custom themes.

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