Use an Image as a Background in Excel

Generally most of us have seen Excel as plain and monotonous piece of software.

But have you ever thought how you can use your creativity to create amazing and attractive spreadsheets?

In this post, I am going to share one such technique, here we are going to learn how to add background images in your Excel worksheets.

So grab a cup of coffee, get relaxed and read on:

Option 1: Adding a Background Image to your worksheet:

For Excel 2003:

  1. First of all open the worksheet where you wish to add the background.

Background-option in Excel 2003

  1. After this navigate to ‘Format’ > ‘Sheet’ > ‘Background’.
  2. Now, browse through all the available images, select the image that you wish to add and click the insert button as shown in the below image.

Adding Background in Excel 2003

  1. This will add the picture that you just selected as the sheet background.

For Excel 2007, 2010 and 2013:

  1. First open the worksheet where you have to add the background.
  2. Next, navigate to ‘Page Layout’ Tab in the ribbon and click the ‘Background’ option.

Background-option in Excel 2007

  1. This will open a sheet background window, select the image that you wish to use as a background and then click the insert button.

Background-option in Excel 2007

  1. Now the image that you just selected will be used in the background your worksheet.

A_spreadsheet_with_background

  1. The resultant will look somewhat like the above image.

Few Important tips about spreadsheet backgrounds:

  • Try to use contrast colours to make you spreadsheets more readable. For example- if you use a dark colour font on a light colour background image, it will be easier to read.
  • You can also use the shortcut Alt + P G to add an image background to your worksheets.
  • The image in your spreadsheet background can increase the overall size of the spreadsheet. So, only select those images that have small sizes.
  • You cannot add a background image to multiple worksheets at once. You can only add the background to one worksheet at a time.
  • Remove gridlines on your spreadsheets when you are using a background image, this makes them look smooth.
  • It should be noted that when you add an image background to your spreadsheet using the above method then it won’t show up when you print the sheet. To add printable backgrounds to your spreadsheet use the second option.

How to Remove the Background Image in Excel:

To remove the background in image follow the below steps:

For Excel 2003:

  1. First open the spreadsheet, where you have already added an image as background.
  2. Next, navigate to ‘Format’ > ‘Sheet’ > ‘Delete Background’.

Delete-background-Excel-2003

  1. This will delete the image from the background.

For Excel 2007, 2010 and 2013:

  1. First of all open the spreadsheet, where you have already added an image as background.
  2. After this, navigate to the ‘Page Layout’ tab in the ribbon and click the ‘Delete Background’ option.

Delete-background-Excel-2013

  1. Now, the image in the background of your worksheet will be deleted.

Option 2: Adding a Printable image to your worksheet:

In this method we will are not going to add the image as a background but instead we will add the image on top of another object. And then we will adjust the object so that it fits in the whole printable area. To use the method follow the below steps:

  1. Open the worksheet where you wish to add your image background. Before proceeding further make sure that you have filled the required data to your spreadsheet.

Add Rectangular Shape to your Spreadsheet

  1. Next, navigate to ‘Insert’ Tab > ‘Shapes’ > ‘Rectangle’, and draw a rectangle on your sheet.

Format Shape Option

  1. After this, right click on the rectangle and select the option ‘Format Shape’ as shown in image.

Format Shape Option Part 2

  1. This will open the ‘Format Shape’ options, click the ‘Fill’ option, in the ‘Fill’ type select the ‘Gradient or Texture’ radio button. Then using the ‘File’ button select the picture of your choice as the background and set its transparency according to your needs.

print_preview_using_background

  1. Now adjust the image such that it shows in the printable area and then print the sheet.

So, this was all from my side. Hope you would have liked this post. :)

About Ankit Kaul

Ankit is the founder of Excel Trick. He is tech Geek who loves to sit in front of his square headed girlfriend (his PC) all day long. :D. Ankit has a strong passion for learning Microsoft Excel. His only aim is to turn you guys into 'Excel Geeks'.

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