Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Adding a Background to Your Document.

Adding a Background to Your Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 29, 2015)

You probably are already aware that Word provides many different ways for you to get fancy with your documents. For instance, you can add graphics and WordArt that convey information much better—at times—than mere words alone can.

One of the ways you can make your document fancy if it is destined for a Web page is to add a background. Simply follow these two simple steps:

  1. Make sure the Page Layout tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  2. Click the Page Color option in the Page Background group. Word displays a small palette that shows colors and has a couple other choices.
  3. Choose the color you want to use for the background of your documents.

Note that the color you selected is visible as a background for the document. This background color is visible only if you are using Print Layout or Web Layout views. If you switch to a view that doesn't support the background color, the document looks normal again (with a white background), but switching back to a supporting view again displays the same background color.

If you want to get rid of the background, follow the same steps, above, but in the third step choose "No Color" from the options.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6279) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Adding a Background to Your Document.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Understanding Cell Indenting

Formatting a cell could, if you desire, also include the indentation of information within the cell. This tip examines ...

Discover More

Changing the Footnote Continuation Notice

When a footnote needs to span two printed pages, Word prints a continuation notice at the end of the footnote being ...

Discover More

Aligning a Paragraph in a Macro

If you are applying formatting from within a macro, you may want to change the alignment of various paragraphs. Here's ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Adding Vertical Lines at the Sides of a Word

Vertical lines are even easier to add around a word than are horizontal lines. There are a variety of methods you can use ...

Discover More

Rotating a Page of Text

You can rotate a page of text by using the Far East language support built into Word. This tip shows how easy it is to ...

Discover More

Making a Customized Theme Available to Others

Microsoft Office applications (including Word) allow you to work with collections of common formatting specifications, ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.