How to Change Background Color in Microsoft Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the background color in Microsoft Word is a simple process that can dramatically change the look of your document. To do this, you’ll need to access the “Design” tab, select “Page Color,” and then choose the desired shade. After doing this, not only will the background color of your document change, but it will also give it a personalized touch, setting it apart from standard white documents.

After changing the background color in Microsoft Word, you’ll immediately see the new color applied to every page in your document. This can help to make your document stand out, particularly if you’re creating a flyer, invitation, or any other material where visual appeal is important.


When it comes to personalizing your documents, changing the background color in Microsoft Word is a simple yet effective way to make a statement. Whether you’re looking to add a splash of color to a party invitation or want to make a business report more visually engaging, changing the background color can make all the difference.

This task is particularly relevant for students who want to add a creative touch to their assignments, businesses aiming to enhance their branding in official documents, or anyone who is simply tired of the default white background. It’s an easy way to customize your work and make it stand out. Moreover, with the prevalence of digital documents, adding color can help to reduce eye strain from staring at a bright white screen for extended periods.

So, whether you’re a seasoned Microsoft Word user or just getting started, read on to learn how to give your documents a colorful makeover!

Related: How to Delete Microsoft Word Documents: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing Background Color in Microsoft Word

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of changing your document’s background color, it’s important to understand that this will not affect the printout unless you specifically adjust your printer settings. This change is mostly for on-screen viewing or PDF exports. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open the “Design” Tab

Go to the “Design” tab at the top of your Microsoft Word window.

The “Design” tab is where you can access a variety of formatting options for your document, including themes, watermarks, and, of course, page color.

Step 2: Click on “Page Color”

Select the “Page Color” option within the “Design” tab.

This will open up a palette of colors to choose from. If you don’t see the color you want, you can create a custom color.

Step 3: Choose Your Desired Color

Pick the color you want to use from the selection, or create a custom color if needed.

Keep in mind that dark text on a light background is generally the most readable. However, choosing a color that fits the context and purpose of your document is key.


Enhanced Visual AppealA colored background can make your document more visually appealing and engaging, which is especially useful for marketing materials and presentations.
Reduced Eye StrainA softer color background, as opposed to the default bright white, can reduce eye strain for both the creator and the viewer, especially when reading on-screen.
Increased AttentionUsing a background color can help important documents stand out and grab the reader’s attention, ensuring that your message doesn’t get lost in a sea of white papers.


Printing IssuesIf you plan to print your document, be aware that a background color may not print as expected unless you adjust your printer settings accordingly.
Readability ConcernsDepending on the color chosen, it can impact the readability of the text. Make sure there’s enough contrast between the text and background color.
Distraction PossibilityWhile a splash of color can be engaging, it can also be distracting if not used appropriately or if it clashes with other design elements in the document.

Additional Information

When changing the background color in Microsoft Word, it’s essential to consider the context of the document and the potential impact on readability. Light colors such as pale yellow or blue can provide a subtle, visually pleasing effect without overwhelming the text. On the other hand, vibrant colors might be suitable for documents meant to catch the eye, like flyers or posters.

Another tip is to consider the color psychology. Different colors can evoke different emotions and may be more suitable for certain types of documents. For example, blue is often associated with professionalism and trustworthiness, making it an excellent choice for business documents.

Lastly, remember that the color you see on your screen may not exactly match what others see due to variations in display settings and devices. Always check your document on different screens, and consider how it will look when printed if that’s your intention.


  1. Open the “Design” tab.
  2. Click on “Page Color.”
  3. Choose your desired color.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I print the background color?

Yes, but you may need to adjust your printer settings to ensure the background color prints as expected.

Will changing the background color affect the entire document?

Yes, the background color change will apply to every page in your document.

Can I remove the background color if I change my mind?

Absolutely. Just go back to “Page Color” and select “No Color” to revert to the default white background.

Does changing the background color affect the text color?

No, it does not. You will need to change the text color separately if needed.

Can I use a picture as the background instead of a solid color?

Yes, you can insert a picture as a background by selecting “Watermark” in the “Design” tab and then “Picture.”


Changing the background color in Microsoft Word is a simple yet powerful way to customize your documents and make them stand out. Whether it’s to align with your brand, make a statement, or just to add a bit of personality to your work, it’s a feature worth exploring.

Just remember to consider readability, the context of your document, and the potential impact of color on your audience. Experiment with different hues, embrace the creative possibilities, and watch your documents come to life with color.