The default white background color for Microsoft Word documents provides the best level of contrast for most people. Unfortunately, it also has the tendency to blind you if you’re doing some late-night text editing. In such situations, knowing how to change background color in Word or insert a custom image can be very useful.

If you work in marketing or are creating a brochure, a Word background image can do a lot of the heavy lifting visually. Though they can risk looking tacky, a well thought out, subtle background image texture can bring a document to the next level.

That said, you should bear in mind that when you add a color or background for a Word document it will apply globally. That is, every page will have the same color or design. As a result, you may want to check that it doesn’t clash with the position or colors of any of your text before you proceed. Let’s get started:

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How to Add a Background Color

It’s very simple to add a page background to Word, but there are also some additional customization options you should’ve aware of.

  1. Change the Word background via the “Page Color” button


    In Microsoft Word, switch to the “Design” tab and look to the right-hand side of the ribbon. Click the “Page Color” button, then click on one of the preset swatches for a quick and easy fix.

  2. Try out more Word background colors

    With the “Page Color” menu open, click the “More colors…” button to access additional options.

  3. Set a custom page background color


    Switch to the “Custom” tab to set the precise color of your choice. Click in the gradient window to select a rough color, then refine it by adjusting the Red, Green, and Blue values.

    Once you’re happy, press “OK”.

  4. Choose from one of the standard selections


    Alternatively, you can choose from a larger set of colors or shades in the “Standard” tab. Click the one you like and press “OK”.

How to Add a Word Background Image

  1. Open the ‘Fill Effects…’ menu


    In the “Design” tab again, find the “Page Color” button, click it, and then press “Fill Effects…”.

  2. Select your Word document background image


    In the Fill Effects window, click on the “Picture” tab. Press “Select Picture…” to open File Explorer, and choose an image that makes a fitting Microsoft Word background. Once you’re ready, press “OK”. Your document will update to reflect the new look.

How to Add a Backrgound Image Texture in Word

If an image is too busy for you, you can set a more subtle background image texture to suit your preferences. Once again, this is found in the Fill Effects menu.

  1. Open ‘Fill Effects…’


    In the “Design” tab of your ribbon, click on “Page Color”, then press “Fill Effects…” in the fly-out menu.

  2. Choose your Word texture

    Word will give you a selection of background texture images to choose from, though most of them aren’t particularly subtle. If you’d like to use a custom one, you can instead press the “Other Texture…” button and import one from a file, Bing, or your OneDrive. Once you’re done, press “OK” to apply the changes to your Word document.

If you enjoyed customizing your Microsoft Word, you may want to try our Windows 10 screensaver tutorial. If you don’t own Word, or need to open a .doc file on the go, read our alternatives guide.

 
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