Changing the Document Window Background Color

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 12, 2017)

3

Cheryl wonders how to change the white background to another color that would be easier on her eyes. There are a couple of options to change the background color in Word 2007 and later versions. The first option allows you to change the background color to whatever you would like. Keep in mind that the color you choose is a part of the document and is visible when sharing the file. It does not show up when printed, however.

  1. Make sure the Page Layout tab (Word 2007 and Word 2010); or Design tab (Word 2013 and Word 2016) of the ribbon is displayed.
  2. Click the Page Color tool within the Page Background group. Word displays a palette of colors from which you can choose.
  3. Choose the color you would like to use for your background.

The color you selected is now the background color for your document. The color applies only to the current document. If you want to have a different background color for all of your documents (well, at least from this point going forward), you can change the color in your Normal template. For existing documents you'll need to change the background color in each of them individually.

Another option is to change the display appearance for all the windows on your computer. The way you do this depends on the version of Windows you are using. Here are steps that work if you are using Windows 7:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click Change Desktop Background located in the Appearance and Personalization group.
  3. Choose the desired color on the Choose your desktop background task pane or create a custom color by clicking More at the bottom of the task pane.

Here are the steps if you are using Windows 8 and Windows 10:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click Change the Theme located in the Appearance and Personalization group.
  3. Click Desktop Background found at the bottom of the dialog box.
  4. Choose the desired color.

Windows changes the background color in all windows to the color you specified. This change applies to every window on your computer. Because it is a system change, it will not affect the document if it is opened on another computer.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8021) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting the Proper Type of Ellipses

Type three periods in a row, and the AutoCorrect feature in Word kicks in to exchange that sequence for a special ellipses ...

Discover More

Using Chapter Numbers with Page Numbers

Do you need to add page numbers that include, as well, a chapter number? It's relatively easy to do, as described in this ...

Discover More

Renaming a Macro

Got a macro that doesn't have quite the right name? You can rename the macro by following these simple steps.

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Automatically Opening a Document at a Specific Zoom Setting

Do you prefer to have your documents open at a specific zoom magnification? You can get whatever magnification you desire by ...

Discover More

Shortcut for Show/Hide

Hate to take your hands off the keyboard? Here's a handy keyboard shortcut you can use to display (or not display) the ...

Discover More

Resetting Ribbons

Word allows you to customize the program's ribbon tabs so they more closely match the way you want to work. At some point, ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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 seven less than 7?

2017-12-14 16:05:49

Don

To change it for all windows you need to go to control panel/personalization, then click on Window Color then select Advanced Appearance Settings then select Window from the Item drop down menu then choose the color you want from the dropdown on the right. This will change the color for non-aero windows such as Word, MATLAB, etc as well as explorer windows if Aero is disabled, for example if you are using the "Windows Classic" theme. Hope this helps.


2017-10-20 09:16:44

Jonathon

I have a custom sized document and a background color of yellow. Looks great. But if I try and save it as a PDF only a portion of the document maintains the yellow appearance. Custom is 17.75 x 19.5. If I switch to a standard size, (12 x 18) in word, and convert to PDF then it stays all yellow background. Why is the custom setting not allowing me to keep the yellow background?


2017-08-31 05:01:44

backgroundcoloursearch

You are right on the first part - changing it for the current document.

You are not on the second, changing it for all documents. What you describe changes only the desktop background, not the background for any of the Office programmes.

I found something that will do that for Windows 10 - https://superuser.com/questions/1002847/how-to-change-default-window-background-color-in-windows-10 but not for the creators update.


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
Subscribe

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.