Google is finally adding a dark mode to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides on Android. The new dark themes look identical to those in other first-party Google apps: The bright white is replaced with dark grays and blacks that should be easier on eyes and batteries.
As an Android user and hardcore dark-mode advocate, this is music to my ears (eyes?). Unfortunately, there’s no word on whether the iOS versions will get dark mode themes as well.
How to turn on Dark Mode in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
The new dark-mode option is rolling out now for Android smartphones and tablets. Many users may already have the new theme installed; you can check for it by following the steps below. Make sure you check for pending updates on the Google Play Store if it’s not showing up, though some users may need to wait a few more days before dark mode arrives on their device (including my own Pixel 3a XL).
Once you have it, here’s how to turn it on:
- Open Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
- Tap the three-lined menu icon to open the side menu.
- Go to Settings > Choose Theme.
- Select the theme from the options listed. Selecting “Dark” will force the app to always use the dark mode, while “Light” does the same for the default light mode. Choosing “System Default” will swap to your device’s system-level theme, so if you have dark mode timers set up, Docs, Sheets, and/or Slide will transition to dark mode along with the rest of your apps.
Preview documents in light mode
I’m the type of person who wants dark mode enabled for all apps at all times, but as Google points out in its announcement for the new Docs dark mode, sometimes you need to see how a document’s layout looks against a white background for design purposes. Google went ahead and added an easy “View in light mode” toggle that lets you quick-swap to light mode when editing in dark mode. To use it, tap the three-dot “More” icon, then tap “View in light mode.” The document will temporarily change themes without having to fiddle with the app’s settings.