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Joshua C.
Joshua C., PC Technician
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 703
Experience:  Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician with over 10 years of experience.
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This morning I found that all the background and text colors

Customer Question

This morning I found that all the background and text colors had disappeared from my Excel 2010 spreadsheets -- all of them. Colors still work in my MS Word 2010. I tried "repair office" after phoning but it didn't help. All spreadsheets are black and white and accept no coloration.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Microsoft Office
Expert:  Joshua C. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for using my name is ***** ***** I am going to assist you today. I need a little more information about the question you have asked.
If you go to print preview do the colors show correctly?
Were the spreadsheets created in Excel 2010?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

print preview does not show any colors. Some files were created in previous version of office, but I checked one that I know was created in 2010 Excek and it is the same as all the others.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Friend, I need to leave my office for the night momentarily. Once I get home I can still access this computer via logmein; it will take me just under 2 hours. Can we keep this question open and continue it when I get home or tomorrow - 12/10?

Expert:  Joshua C. replied 4 years ago.
of course I will be online most of the night to assist my customers.
When you get home I would run the System File Checker on your work computer to see if you have any corrupt files:
1. Click Start
2. Type: CMD, from the results, right click CMD
3. Click 'Run as Administrator'
4. At the Command Prompt, type: sfc /scannow
Once the scan is complete let me know and we will move onto the next steps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, Joshua.

Got home. I keep many files on dropbox which I access both from home and the office. The files open correctly on my home computer (also running Office 2010). Even one file that was in black and white at the office and which I added some information to shows the new and old information correctly colored on my home computer. So could it be that there is something wrong with the Excel at the office which is just blocking the coloration? Maybe I need to uninstall and reinstall Office at my office?

Also, I am logged in to the office computer from my home computer and when I open one of my dropbox Excel files at the office computer is still shows black and white while when I open it here at home the coloration is correct!

Expert:  Joshua C. replied 4 years ago.
You have two options then:
1. Go to Add and remove programs on your work computer and select repair office 2010 or click on uninstall and when the uninstall windows opens click repair. Then check and see if it resolves the issue.
2. Uninstall and re-install Office 2010
These two options will assist in resetting the color settings, registry options and other files.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Josh, Thank you. I have started "repair" as you suggested, but it will take time. I must get some sleep before an early start tomorrow. Can we continue this until I see if repair works (tomorrow morning)?

Now, the "repair" function completed and I rebooted the system at the office as told to do on the screen there. This did not fix the problem, so I guess I'll need to do your 2nd option.

My problem is this: I'm on vacation from the office until Saturday. I will try to get a friend to do the uninstall/reinstall for me, but I may not know how it turns out for several days. I want you to get credit for your help, but I would rather not pay the $38 until we get the problem definitely resolved. So, as I said, I'm going to bed and will check your advice in the morning. Thanks again for your help so far.

Expert:  Joshua C. replied 4 years ago.
It's no problem that you will need to wait a week or so you can return to this question at any time and let me know if the uninstall and re-install worked.
Another bit of advise that I wanted to give you is that you can also use Open Office to make all the same documents as Microsoft Office. The best part of OpenOffice is its completely FREE. You can take a look at Open Office at:
I look forward to hearing back from you and I hope that your vacation is great!
Expert:  Joshua C. replied 4 years ago.
I just want to check in and see if you have returned from your vacation and had some time to go over the information I provided.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I finally got to reinstall Office 2010 today, and the same problem still exists. There are no colors in Excel; only in Word. Is there some kind of hidden switch in Excel that turns off the color capability? As I indicated, the colors are still there--I use Dropbox and the very same files opened on my home computer with the same version of 2010 (it is a 2-station license) display all the colors. Even adding colors at my office computer, even though I cannot see them there, then show up when I open the files at home. So unfortunately my problem is not yet solved! What do I do nest?

Just to be through for your problem solving, I first tried repair from the installation disk and that did not work. Then I removed the program using the installation disk, rebooted, and installed. Rebooted, and still no colors in Excel.

Frank M

Expert:  Joshua C. replied 4 years ago.
Try the following steps to see if High Contrast mode was turned on:
Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
Click Accessibility Options.
On the Display tab, click to clear the Use High Contrast check box.
Click OK to close the Accessibility Options dialog box.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This did nothing to change things.

Expert:  Joshua C. replied 4 years ago.
If you go to print preview in Excel does it show the colors? If you print one of your Excel documents does it print with colors?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'll be specific.

1. I was at the office this morning. I made a few changes to one Excel spreadsheet, clicking a new background color into a cell (even though the color did not show up on screen). I saved it and brought it home. I put it in my computer, opened it, saw the changed color (along with all the rest), and printed it on my home printer which printed all the colors correctly including the newly-changed one.

2. Our secretary will be in the office tomorrow. I am just about certain already that my black and white file on my office computer will print in proper colors on the office printer, but I will do that now via logmein--send the file to the office printer from my office computer--and ask her to check it first thing in the morning (9:00-ish) when she comes in.

3. The men who take care of our computers at the office are all just scratching their heads like I am. It is very frustrating. I hope you or one of your associates can soon get to the bottom of this.


Frank M

Expert:  Joshua C. replied 4 years ago.
Has anything changed on your work computer recently? New Monitor, new graphics card etc?
The usual reason that this issue occurs is High Contrast settings are enabled under the computers control panel. Are you 100% sure that the High Contrast settings are not set on your work computer?
If High Contrast settings are not set there is a chance that the monitor on the computer or color settings have been altered recently. However this would only have occurred if something has been changed on your work computer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Your suggestion made no sense. High Contrast settings would affect all programs on the computer. The only one malfunctioning was Excel.

My son and son-in-law are here for Christmas and they and I talked this through tonight. In ten minutes they identified the problem as a setting in themes which caused Excel to malfunction.

I must say I am disappointed with the service. You obviously tried to come up with something, but you repeatedly did not seem to understand what I told you. I am not trying to get out of a fee, although I do not believe it is deserved because JustAnswer did not solve my problem. So let me know what I must expect, and better luck next time on understanding and advising a correct fix to the presenting problem.