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QuickBooks 2013 color and user interface changes

QuickBooks 2013 presents a new color scheme and User Interface (UI) which simplifies, organizes, and modernizes the product experience.

For more information on the changes, please see the Detailed information section below.

Note: In some cases the QuickBooks display can be affected by your Microsoft Windows resolution and font settings.  If you are experiencing issues with forms fitting on the screen, icon sizes, fields overwriting and hiding field labels, screen distortions, or font sizes, please see QuickBooks doesn't look right.

Detailed information

Simplified User Interface
We’ve simplified and removed clutter, improved organization, and made the UI more clear and concise.


  1. Typography/font styles now have a greater sense of hierarchy.
    1. Headers or page labels are larger and easy to quickly scan and identify.
    2. Some of the totals or balance areas (as appropriate) are also larger for easy scanning.
    3. The text in areas where you do your work is larger and has a little more vertical space.
    4. We realize that in some cases, less rows may be visible on the screen, but the trade off is text that’s easier to read.
    5. In some cases, such as the label of an icon, the font size remains the same since the icon is a visual cue.
    6. The use of all caps on field labels helps differentiate between the label and your data.
  2. These rules of typography are being used as consistently as possible, so wherever you are in the UI, you will be able to recognize field label or page header.
  3. Over time, QuickBooks had many graphic elements added to it. Many were inconsistent in style, in placement, or in use. We haven’t been able to address all the graphic elements, but the majority are now in a consistent style and use a common metaphor language to help you recognize them more easily.


Modern Visual Design
We’ve updated the design system, using contemporary standards and principles.


  1. Because many QuickBooks screens have a lot of content, color is being used in a way than is very different from previous versions.
    1. Darker areas are being used to make parts of the screen recede and used primarily in navigation areas (where users typically “scan” vs. read).
    2. Areas where work is done are lighter, and brighter.
    3. A neutral gray is used as a background color in many places.
    4. Green and blue are used as key colors that help you know where to look and what the main action is (see More Consistent Experience below).
  2. The ribbon and left navigation—while more interaction than visual—also align with contemporary standards. The ribbon helps surface hidden functionality; making many actions only 1-2 clicks away.

More Consistent Experience
We’ve addressed inconsistencies and to create a cohesive and consistent user experience.


  1. Previously, QuickBooks had 5+ ways to display a selected row in a table. In 2013, a selected row is always green (dark green for primary, light green for secondary). As you scan the screen, this will serve as a visual indicator for where to focus.
  2. Previously, QuickBooks had many different button styles. In 2013 most primary action buttons are blue and secondary buttons are silver. Much in the same way that you can quickly identify the row color, when there is a primary action on the screen, you can now quickly identify action and secondary buttons. This consistency can help you complete your tasks more efficiently and makes learning how to complete a new task easier.


If this information does not answer your question, you can read discussions and post messages and questions relating to your issue on the Intuit QuickBooks Community site for free. You can contact an agent for additional guidance. Fees may apply.

KB ID# INF21127
5/28/2016 8:48:06 PM
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