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PowerPoint appears in grayscale or black & white, b/w


You start PowerPoint 2007 or one of the other Office 2007 programs. The program behaves normally but it looks like almost all of the color has been removed from the user interface. Everything is in black and white and gray with just a few bits of color.

Possible solutions

Check your display settings

Make sure your computer's display settings are set to show more than 256 colors. Right-click the Windows desktop, choose Properties, click Settings and set Color Quality to 256 colors or more.

Is Windows in high contrast mode?

Check your accessibility settings and turn off High Contrast display if it's enabled.
In Control Panel, launch Accessibility (or Ease of Access Center). Look for the "High Contrast" option and make sure there's no check next to it.

Note: You may have turned on the High Contrast settings accidentally. By default, Windows XP, for example, enables Alt + Left Shift + PrintScreen as a hotkey to toggle High Contrast on and off. It'd be easy to hit the Left Shift as well as the other keys while making a screenshot. If you think this may have happened, press Alt + Left Shift + PrintScreen again to see if it toggles back to normal display settings.

Is SMS Mirror Driver installed?

And finally, if the above suggestions don't work, try this from Rick Bridges in the Microsoft public Office newsgroups:

The problem was caused by Windows defaulting to the SMS Mirror Driver instead of the ATI driver for the video card.

The SMS Mirror Driver is installed with the SMS Agent, it handles video acceleration for the SMS Remote Control Agent.

This can be fixed by opening Device Manager and removing or disabling the SMS Mirror driver.

Restarting the system then allows Windows to load using the correct video card driver.

The SMS Remote Control Agent still worked properly, and the Office 2007 now looks like it's supposed to look.

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PowerPoint appears in grayscale or black & white, b/w
Last update 07 June, 2011