Getting Word background fill effects to print correctly

by on June 25, 2009

Q: I created a Word document using Microsoft Word 2003 that has a background. When I do a print preview everything looks great but when I actually go to print the document it looks completely different. In the print preview it shows wide diagonal stripes but when it prints the background stripes are very thin like candy canes.

A: I would suggest that you try to get the background as an image. You can do this by creating a new Word document. Create your Fill Effect like you were doing originally and save the document. From here click on File -> Web Page Preview. The document will be converted and loaded into your web browser where you should be able to see it.

Once your web browser is open with the document you will want to right click on the fill effect/background and click Save Background As and save the document to a spot you will remember; probably easiest to save it to the desktop.

You can now use this image as a watermark. You’ll need to play around with the scaling to get it the correct size and  the watermarking feature will probably fade the image a little bit. This is about as close as it can get and is the best way to make sure that your background prints the way you want it. The Background features in Word are supposedly not meant for use on printed documents since backgrounds normally make things very difficult to read.

If you’re still not happy with the results you might want to consider making this document in Microsoft Publisher or as a PowerPoint slide if that’s available to you.

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