Why Dark Mode in Google Sheets?
It’s no secret that in recent years dark mode has been gaining popularity. Various un-scientific surveys have projected dark mode usage between 60%-90% (Linus Tech Tips, Android Authority, and Medium). Such a widespread dark mode craze left me wondering about Google Sheets. A quick search revealed that beyond simple settings changes, nobody has tackled dark mode for Google Sheets.
In this guide, I’ll walk through every aspect of converting your spreadsheets to dark mode. Starting with themes that you can copy with a click, and then moving on to more advanced settings and add-ons.
Free Dark Mode Templates for Google Sheets
If you are looking for a dark theme template copy, look no further. Here are 3 that should give you some variety to choose from.
If all you want is a template – well, I’m glad I could help. Feel free to use them in whatever way you want. No need to give me credit.
If, on the other hand, you want to learn how I made those templates in under 2 minutes, well that’s what we’re coving next.
How to Convert Any Google Sheet to Dark Mode
How to do this requires a quick summary of a lesser know functionality of Google Sheets – Themes.
What is a Google Sheet Theme
In 2019 Google released a long-awaited theme feature to Sheets. This allowed users to change the default colors of an individual sheet in one place. Initially, I hoped Google would keep iterating on this idea. However, 4 years later, there has not been a single update or expansion of this powerful feature.
The flaws of the native theme functionality
Here are a few ways in which the Themes functionality could be better:
- More pre-set themes to choose from
- The ability to change default fonts to any Google Font
- Transferring themes across spreadsheets
- Setting account level defaults
- Storing favorite themes for later use
Google could add these features at any time, but there have been no updates since 2019. So I stopped wishing about what could be and decided to build something myself.
Gabe’s Theme Generator
2 years ago I developed a Google Sheets Add-on that supercharges the Themes functionality. This add-on provides a solution to each gripe listed above. With over 7,000 users as of May 2023, I clearly was not the only person with this need.
With 1 click you are able to not only generate infinite themes, but also apply, and save them across spreadsheets. This was the first add-on I ever created, and the one I use most consistently. If you haven’t tried it out yet, I would encourage you to give it a shot.
Create your own dark themes
Now that you have the necessary context, let’s dive into how to create your own dark mode themes. The first thing you’ll want to do is download my Theme Generator Add-on.
Next, open any Google Sheet and select Extensions > Gabe’s Theme Generator > Theme Generator. In the sidebar under the advanced dropdown, you’ll see a checkbox labeled “Dark Mode.” Select it and then proceed to generate as many themes as you want.
To preview the theme, select the “Preview” button and then click any theme to see it applied to your sheet.
Google Sheets Dark Mode Setting for Desktop & Mobile
If you really want to go all the way and set Google Sheets itself to dark mode, here is what you do.
Dark Mode for Desktop
- Type in your search bar: chrome://flags
- Within the flags, search for “Force Dark…”
- Click Enable to “Auto Dark Mode for Web Contents”
Dark Mode on Mobile
- Open the Google Sheets App
- Click the 3 dots at the top left corner
- Tap “Settings” and then “Choose Theme”
- Finally, select “Dark”