How come when I print a word document with a background it does not look right?

by on June 23, 2009

Q: I created a word document (word 2003). It has a background. When I “Print Preview” it looks fine. When I print the background is all wrong.

Read Answer Here

8 Responses to “How come when I print a word document with a background it does not look right?”

    Can you describe “all wrong”?

    Make sure you turn on the Background colors and images option. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Print tab.
    2. Click to select the Background colors and images check box, and then click OK.


    I did this. The background is printing, but not the same as on the print preview. I have the “fill effects” thing, with 2 colors. Diagonal from top. In the print preview, it is like 4 really wide stripes, diagonal from top. Then when it actually prints out, it’s hundreds of tiny little stripes, like on a candy cane. Help?


    Does this problem only happen with the background of word documents?

    If you print a photo are their lines through that?


    Nope. I just printed a picture and it comes out just fine.
    When I do “print preview” everything looks as it should. Then when I print on paper it is not the same. But if I do “send as attachment”, it is sent and received looking the way it should.
    Do you want me to email you pictures of what is happening? I’m not very good at describing it.


    The best workaround I’ve found for this is to save the fill effect you want as an image, and then insert it via:

    Format > Background > Printed Watermark…


    Can you tell me how to save it as an image?
    Thanks for your help!

    Picked as best answer

    Create a new word document
    Create your Fill Effect like you were doing originally
    Click File>WebPage Preview
    The document will be converted and loaded into internet explorer
    Right click on the fill effect and click ‘Save Background As’
    Save the image to your desktop

    You can now use this image as a watermark. You’ll need to play around with the scaling, and the watermarking feature will probably fade things. However, this is about as close as it can get. 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.

    Hope this helps a little bit!


      That did the trick. Thank you so much!