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Alice Keeler

How to Add a Background on Google Docs

The age old question, how to add a background in google docs. For a long time this was not possible without hacks. Now you can easily add a background image to Google Docs and print it!
How to Add a Background on Google Docs

Adding a background on Google Docs can be a great way to make your documents more visually appealing and engaging for your students. Whether you’re creating study guides, lesson plans, or educational handouts, a customized background can make your documents stand out. In this post, we’ll guide you through the process of how to add a background in Google Docs, a feature that, while not immediately apparent, is easily achievable with a few creative steps.

How to Add a Background on Google Docs: Some Choices

There are multiple ways for how to add a background on Google Docs. Here are a few choices to achieve the effect you are looking for. 

Try Canva for Education

One alternative method is to use Canva for Education. It is free. While this does not answer the question since you were looking for Google Docs, it is possible you did not know that Canva has a document editor with some pretty great features. 

If my specific aim is to have attractive graphic design then Canva is my go-to. Check out Canva Docs.

Solid Background in Google Docs

In today’s day and age we are often using Google Docs digitally without an intention to print. If you want to add a solid color background it is easy to add a background on Google Docs. 

Simply use the File menu and select “Page setup.” A pop up will give you the option to change the page color. 

screenshot of page setup in Google Docs with an arrow pointing to page color

Note that the solid color background will not print. The page color is for digital viewing only. 

Adding a Watermark to Google Docs

A relatively new feature to Google Docs is the ability to add a watermark. Usually when I think of watermark I think of the word DRAFT stamped over top of the text. However, Google Docs watermark is much more robust than that. 

Use the Insert Menu

To add a watermark to a Google Doc, use the Insert menu to select “Watermark.” This will open up a sidebar that allows you to select an image from your computer. 

Screenshot of the sidebar of a Google Doc when watermark was chosen from the insert menu. This is how to add a background in google docs

Disable Faded

Assuming your goal was not to create a watermark in Google Docs but rather to have a background image, be sure to uncheck the option for “Faded.” 

This will add your image, in full color, to the background of your Google Doc. 

Adjust Placement of Background Image

You can resize the image on the Google Doc background. Additionally, drag the image around on the Google Doc to ensure it is placed correctly on the background.

Text Goes Over the Background Image

Using the watermark as a background image works perfectly as the text you type will be on top of the background. Unlike adding images to your Google Doc, you do not have to choose how to wrap the text around the image. The image is simply in the background. 

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