This tutorial shows how to change the page background color in Microsoft Word. In addition, we will look at how to print Word documents with their background color.
Plus, the Pro Tip at the end shows a workaround to change the background color on specific pages in your Word document.
- How to Change the Page Background Color
- How to Print Documents with a Page Background Color
- Pro Tip: Workaround to Change the Page Background Color on Specific Pages
This tutorial is available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 150 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
Are you on a Mac? Please see “How to Change the Page Background Color in Word for Mac.”
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. These steps also apply to Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013.
How to Change the Page Background Color
These steps will change the page background color for your entire document. If you want to change the page background color for a specific page, please see the Pro Tip below.
- Select the Design tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Page Color button in the Page Background group.
- Choose a color from the drop-down menu.
3.a. (Alternative) Select More Colors in the Page Color menu, and then choose advanced color options from the Colors dialog box.
3.b. (Alternative) Select Fill Effects in the Page Color menu, and then choose advanced gradient, texture, pattern, or picture options from the Fill Effects dialog box.
After making your choice, your page background color should change immediately.
If you want to remove the page background color, reselect the Page Color button (see figure 2), and then select No Color from the drop-down menu (see figure 3).
How to Print Documents with a Page Background Color
By default, your Word options are usually set to print documents without page background colors because they require a lot of printer ink. However, you can print the page background colors if you want to.
You can also use these steps if you want to prevent your Word document from printing page background colors.
- Select the File tab in the ribbon.
- Select Options in the Backstage view.
- Select the Display tab in the Word Options dialog box.
- Select Print background colors and images. Alternatively, uncheck this option if you do not want background colors to print.
The “images” mentioned in the option refer to images used as page backgrounds, not images inserted into your text.
- Select the OK button.
Continue to print your document as you normally would.
Pro Tip: Workaround to Change the Page Background Color on Specific Pages
Word doesn’t currently provide an official way to change the page background color on specific pages. However, we can use the rectangle shape as a quick workaround.
- Reduce the zoom on your screen so that you can see the whole page on your screen.
- Select the Insert tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Shapes button in the Illustrations group.
- Select the rectangle shape from the drop-down menu.
- Drag a rectangle over the entire page. (The rectangle will appear translucent blue when dragged.)
- Select the Shape Fill menu arrow in the Shape Styles group.
- Select a color from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, select More Fill Colors, Picture, Gradient, or Texture for additional options. (I selected Blue, Accent 1.)
- Right-click the rectangle, and then select the Send to Back menu arrow.
- Select Send Behind Text from the submenu.
- Return the zoom to a normal level (see figure 11).
If you want to delete the rectangle background color, select it by clicking in the margin area, and then press the Delete key on your keyboard.