Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Adding a Background to Your Document.

Adding a Background to Your Document

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 5, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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. Choose Background from the Format menu. Word displays a small palette that shows colors and has a couple other choices.
  2. Choose the color you want to use for the background of your documents.

Word automatically switches to Online Layout view (Word 97) or Web Layout view (Word 2000, Word 2002, and Word 2003). Note that the color you selected is visible as a background for the document. You should note that the background colors are not visible in any other view. 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 second step, choose "No Fill" or "No Color" from the color palette.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (621) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) 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. ...

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