How can you set a background color in Word that can be viewed on screen and printed
July 8, 2008 11:03 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me view and print background colors in Word? I'm trying to reproduce a form that has a purple background. This form will be completed on screen, but may also be printed. For reasons that we won't go into, it has to be in Word. I'm having trouble getting a purple background that shows up when viewing it on the screen and also when printing. Is there a way to get both?

Setting the background to purple allows me to view it on screen, but it doesn't print. Putting a purple box in the header allows me to print it, but it appears to be a much lighter purple when viewed on screen. Putting a purple box in the main page sent to back covers up any text in the header or footer. Is there some other option that would make it show up when viewed on screen and also when printed?
posted by willnot to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I'm sorry I'm not a Word guru, but in case your problem doesn't get solved, have you thought about printing it on purple paper?
posted by GardenGal at 11:19 AM on July 8, 2008

I have created for myself a lovely windows "theme" using various shades of gray. The gray that I selected for one item, I think it was pull-down-menu-backgrounds ends up being the background color in Word, and also appears in some web pages where white would be expected.

I couldn't find any way to change the word background without also changing this color in my theme. Damn lazy programmers.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:23 AM on July 8, 2008

Which version of Word? For 2003 this should work:

Go to Tools>Options
Under Options, click the "Print" tab
Under the "Include with document" heading, check the "Background colors and images" box

As far as getting the colors to match, that's pretty much hopeless. In addition to having to tweak the monitor's color settings and the printer's color calibration, your monitor is rendering colors in RGB mode, the printer is outputting CMYK.
posted by camcgee at 11:26 AM on July 8, 2008

Under Print, Options, there's a checkbox that says "Print background colors and images." Is this checked?
posted by pinksoftsoap at 11:27 AM on July 8, 2008

Have you tried using a solid watermark background?
posted by theredpen at 11:34 AM on July 8, 2008

In Office 2007 (Vista) here's what you do:
- Go to "Page layout" section of the toolbar, click "page color", select the color you want
- Go to "Print" click "options" turn on "print background colors and images"

...and that's it.
posted by CruiseSavvy at 11:41 AM on July 8, 2008

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