How do I get a Background image (watermark) in MS Word 2003 to actually print as B&W (not GREEN)?
November 30, 2006 7:48 AM   Subscribe

How do I get a Background image (watermark) in MS Word 2003 to actually print as B&W (not GREEN)?

I have been going crazy trying to get grayscale image to actually print out as such when set as a Background image in MS Word 2003.

I am trying to produce a template for the employees here to use for when they print to PDF and email a document instead of printing it out directly to letterhead. They want it to look identical to the printed letterhead.

I replicated the dimensions and content of the header and footer without any issues. I even took our logo to the proper dimensions for use as a background.

I did a lot of testing and through adjusting the brightness levels in Photoshop, I got the logo to print (from Photoshop) to match that of the printed letterhead.

I then go into MS Word 2003, select Format -> Background -> Printed Watermark. I click Select Picture, select the image, hit OK, leave the scale at 100% and leave Washout unchecked (I tried with it checked and it does not fix the color issue nor does it take a non-faded logo to a soft enough fade.

When I print it to a color laser printer (the same one I printed to from Photoshop), the background image is a light green, not a faded B&W.

I then realized that even though I took it down to grayscale in Photoshop, when I reopened the .BMP bitmap file, it reverted to Indexed instead of grayscale. I then saved to TIF and JPG. The JPEG holds the grayscale when I reopen it in any other program, including Photoshop, so I selected it in Word as the background. Not surprisingly, when I printed it again from Word, it was green.

So, how can I force Word to maintain the colors of the background image (watermark) instead of taking it to an indexed or RGB color format that results in the green printing?
posted by criticman to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Response by poster: Oh, just remembered I wanted to add this before someone suggested it.

I cannot print it (the Word doc) to B&W as the top image in the header is in full color.

And it appears that unlike normal images (in header, footer, or body), you cannot select the image to change the color/brightness/contrast options using the Picture toolbar.
posted by criticman at 8:22 AM on November 30, 2006

Response by poster: Also...

I found out that you CAN pull up the Picture Toolbar for the background image. You view Header/Footer, then click in the center of the body where the image is. You can then adjust the image properties there.

Unfortunately, when set to Grayscale it still prints green and when set to B&W it prints white.
posted by criticman at 8:43 AM on November 30, 2006

What printer are you using? What printer driver?

It sounds to me like some kind of color management or color correction is coming in to play here.

If you print to PDF, does the watermark appear gray on screen? Does it appear gray when printed from Reader?
posted by bcwinters at 9:32 AM on November 30, 2006

Try dropping the image in as a .png? And definitely try a different printer. I haven't seen this kind of thing before but I do often thrown in background images; typically use .png because I personally like that format.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:14 AM on November 30, 2006

Response by poster: bcwinters: As soon as it gets dropped into Word, it appears green. I will try printing to a completely different printer tomorrow.

caution_live_frogs: I'll try a PNG as well to see if that helps.
posted by criticman at 5:24 PM on November 30, 2006

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