How to Change Background Color in Microsoft Word

It should come as no surprise that Microsoft Word has a literal myriad of features to offer to its users, being the most popular and arguably the best word processor out there for computers and all. Microsoft Word users can customize a boat load of different things – from changing text to adding and formatting graphical elements all the way to changing the color of a document’s background. Yes, that’s right – if you’re typing up a document on Microsoft Word, you even gave autonomy over the color of the document’s background. While documents created for professional purposes almost never require custom backgrounds or even custom background colors, customized background colors have tons of different other uses and often come in handy.

Changing the color of a Word document’s background is possible in all versions of Microsoft Word, and also works basically the same (although a tad bit of variation does exist in the process depending on what version of Word you’re using) in all versions of the word processor. In addition, like most other customization features and functionalities Microsoft Word has to offer, changing the background color in Word is a pretty simple procedure.

If you would like to change the background color of a Word document, here’s how you can do so:

  1. Open the document you want to change the background color of.
  2. If you’re using Word 2007 or Word 2010, navigate to the Page Layout tab in Word’s toolbar. On the other hand, if you’re using Word 2013 or an even newer version of Word, navigate to the Design tab in Word’s toolbar. 
  3. Click on Page Color in the Page Background section. 
  4. Locate and click on the color you want the color of the document’s background changed to. You can choose from a specific set of Standard Colors, or a set of Theme Colors that vary from user to user depending on what Theme they are using. You can view and/or change your Theme by clicking on Themes in the Themes section of the same Page Layout or Design tab the Page Color button is located in. Once you click on the color you desire, the background color of the document in question will be changed to it. Note: If none of the colors you see in the palettes meet your preferences or interest you, you can create your own create your own color by clicking on More Colors…. You can use the tools in both the Standard and Custom tabs of the Colors window to come up with a color that perfectly fulfills your requirements. Once you come across such a color, click on OK.

It should be noted that there’s a lot more that you can do to a Word document’s background than just format it with one specific color. You can also add a gradient, texture, pattern or an entire custom image to the background of a Word document. To do so, simply click on Page Color Fill Effects…, navigate to the tab of whatever fill effect you want to use and configure and apply the desired effect. You can reset the background color of a Word document back to default by simply clicking on Page Color No Color.


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