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How to print an excel spreadsheet with a background

Supposing you have a sheet with some data, for vivid and interesting look, you want to insert a colorful background behind cells as below screenshot shown, do you know the tricks to handle this job in Excel?

Insert background behind cells with Background function

There is a Background function that can insert image behind cells in active worksheet.

1. Click Page Layout > Background. See screenshot:

2. Then a Insert Pictures dialog pops out, and click the Browse button next to From a file, then select a picture you want to set as background from a folder in the Sheet Background dialog. See screenshot:

3. Click Insert. And the background image has been inserted behind cells.

Tip: To delete background, click Page Layout > Delete Background.

Insert background behind cells with Kutools for Excel

Actual, if you have Kutools for Excel, you can insert a picture as watermark which also is placed behind data cells.

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as below: (Free Download Kutools for Excel Now!)

1. Click Kutools > Insert > Insert Watermark. See screenshot:

2. In the Insert Watermark dialog, you can choose insert picture watermark from folder or text watermark with formatting, see screenshot:

3. Click Apply or Ok, then the background picture has been inserted.

Tip: In default, when you insert picture watermark in Insert Watermark dialog, the Erosion option is checked by default, if you do not check the Erosion option, the watermark will be shown as below:

To remove the watermark, click Kutools > Delete > Delete Watermark. See screenshot:

Color in Excel (Table of Contents)

Introduction to Color in Excel

Colors are generally used to highlight a group of cells in Excel. The excel contains the index of 56 colors. By using conditional formatting, we can put some conditions and apply different colors for different conditions if we want to change the background color of the cell in Excel. We usually select the cells and click the Fill color option; then, the background color will get changed if we want to change the cell’s background colour with the cell automatically.

Excel functions, formula, charts, formatting creating excel dashboard & others

Ways to Change Background Color

There are two ways to change the background color.

1. Change the color of the cell based on the current value

  • Here the background color of the cell changes when the cell value in the Excel changes.
  • For example, we have taken the following dataset. we want the USD Amount greater than 10,000 as blue color and remaining red color.
  • Select the range of the cells which we want to change. Then go to the Home tab, go to the styles and select the conditional formatting.
  • Now click on the new rules.
  • A dialog appears stating the selection of the row. Select the format of the cells based on the cell value.
  • Now give the range of values which are greater than 10,000 and select the color as blue color.
  • Now click on the format option.
  • A color box appears and makes the Pattern Color as Automatic, so Select color as blue and click on OK.
  • We can observe that the sample option is blue because we have selected the blue color.
  • We can observe the selected color in the format option. And click the Ok option.
  • Now we can use the same procedure for selecting the color for less value. A dialog appears stating the selection of the row. Select the format of the cells based on the cell value. A dialog appears stating the selection of the row. Select the format of the cells based on the cell value. Now give the range of values which are less than 10,000 and select the color as red color.
  • The color box appears and makes the pattern as automatic and Select color like blue and click OK.
  • The output will be as follows.

2. Change the background color of special cells

  • This is another way of color the background of the particular cell. First, go to the home tab, then select the conditional formatting.
  • Select the new rules.
  • The formatting dialog box appears to click on the cells which need to format, which is at the end of the dialog box.
  • Click on the arrow option at the right end.
  • Write the new formatting rule using the keyword Is Blank condition. This Is Blank is used to highlighting the background cells which are empty.
  • Click on the Format option. And select the blue color.
  • Click on the Ok button.
  • The output will be as follows.

3. Sort the Excel by it Color

  • Sorting is one of the methods to select a particular color. First, select the cells, right-click on them, select the sort option, and then select the highest value by color.
  • Click the ok button.
  • And Filter the color by its color.
  • And the output will be as follows.

Change the cell color based on the current value.

  • First, go to the home tab, select the Find and select option, and select the Find option.
  • Select the value which we want to select. Click on the Find all option.
  • Click on the values range which we want the cells we want to highlight.
  • Click on the Select by value option. And select the Greater in the list.
  • Click on the range of the cells we want to highlight. Click on the select option.
  • Now select the color as blue for the greater value.
  • And the output will be as follows.

Conditional Formatting in Excel

  • Conditional formatting is generally used to color data bars and icons in the cells.
  • To do the conditional formatting in Excel, first, we take the required data set.
  • Then go to the Home tab and select the conditional formatting option ad put the desired rule which we want to specify, and mention the color which we want to give to the cells of the particular condition.
  • Then a dialog box appears on the screen then simply gives the values we want a particular condition so that the color will be applied successfully.
  • Now select the formatting styles from the drop-down. Here we select the color for the condition. Then click the OK. The conditional formatting will be applied to all the cells at a time. This is one way of adding colors to the cells.

Things to Remember About Color in Excel

  • The colors in excel play a major role in highlighting a particular range of cells.
  • Here we generally use the two approaches like make the background color cells based on the value, and another way is to change the background of special cells.
  • The excel contains the index of 56 colors. By using conditional formatting, we can put some conditions and apply different colors for different conditions.
  • We can also sort the colors based on the colors.
  • We can highlight the empty cells with the colors.
  • Through cells, we can highlight the greater values and the lower value with different colors.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Color in Excel. Here we discuss How to use Color in Excel along with practical examples and a downloadable excel template. You can also go through our other suggested articles –

Ben Stockton is a freelance tech writer from the United Kingdom. In a past life, he was a UK college lecturer, training teens and adults. Since leaving the classroom, he’s been a tech writer, writing how-to articles and tutorials for MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Cloudwards.net. He has a degree in History and a postgraduate qualification in Computing. Read more.

By default, when you print an Excel spreadsheet, it only includes cells that contain data. Extra content is typically excluded, but it is possible to add a background to your Excel printouts—here’s how to do it.

While you can use the “background” option (Page Layout > Background) to add a background image to your spreadsheet, Excel won’t allow you to print backgrounds that are applied this way. You have to use shapes, images, or cell colors as a work-around to achieve the same effect.

These instructions apply to recent versions of Excel, including 2016, 2019, and Microsoft 365.

Insert a Shape

The easiest way to add a quick, printable background to a worksheet in Excel is to insert an object, like a shape, to cover your data or fill the entire page.

You can then alter the transparency of the object so you can see any data beneath it. You can also use the “Picture Fill” formatting option to fill the shape with an image.

To get started, open your Excel spreadsheet and click the “Insert” tab in the ribbon. From there, you can click “Pictures” or “Shapes” in the “Illustrations” section.

When you click “Shapes,” a drop-down menu with various options appears. Select the shape you want, like a rectangle or square.

Use your mouse to drag and drop and create a shape that fills the page or your data. After you create it, you can hold and drag the circular buttons around the shape to resize it.

After you have it sized and positioned the way you want, right-click, and then select “Format Shape” from the pop-up menu.

In the menu that appears, click the arrow next to “Fill” to open the submenu.

You can select a color from the “Color” drop-down menu, and then use the slider to set the transparency to the appropriate level (like 75 percent).

Your changes are applied automatically. When you’re done, you can close the “Format Shape” menu.

Add an Image

Thanks to the “Pattern Fill” option, you can also fill your shape with an image instead of a color. This means you can add an image background to your Excel worksheet.

Add your shape first (Insert > Shapes) and use your mouse to draw it, as we covered above. Make sure it fills enough of your worksheet to cover a suitable printout area. Right-click your shape, and then click “Format Shape.”

Click the arrow next to “Fill” to open the options, and then select the “Picture or Texture Fill” radio button. To add your image, click “Insert.”

To use an image from your computer, click “From a File” in the “Insert Pictures” pop-up menu.

Click “Online Pictures” if you want to search for an image on Bing or click “From Icons” to use one of Excel’s preset images.

After you insert it, the image fills the shape. Use the “Transparency” slider to set a percentage that allows you to see the data underneath the image-filled shape.

Add a Background with the Fill Color Tool

To add a color to all the cells on your Excel worksheet simultaneously, press Ctrl+A or click the vertical arrow in the top-left corner under the cell selection menu.

Click the “Home” tab, and then click the Fill Color icon. Select the color you want the background of your spreadsheet to be—keep in mind it needs to be light enough that the data on your worksheet can be seen when you print it.

Change the Print Area

By default, Excel won’t include empty cells in the print area (the area that appears on a printout). However, you can alter the print area to include the entire page (or multiple pages), regardless of whether the cells are empty.

To change the print area to include empty cells, make sure you’re in the “Page Layout” view. Click the Page Layout icon in the bottom-right corner of Excel. This allows you to see the rows and columns that will fill a single, printed page.

Click the “Page Layout” tab on the ribbon, and then click the Page Setup icon (the diagonal arrow at the bottom-right of the “Page Setup” category).

Click the “Sheet” tab, and then click the up-arrow next to “Print Area.” Use your mouse to select a cell range that fills the area you want to print, including any empty cells.

To make sure the right cells were selected, click File > Print to see a print preview.

If the cell range you chose doesn’t fill the page, repeat the steps above to alter it, so it includes more cells.

If you use the traditional method to add a background image to your spreadsheet; Excel won’t print the image. If you need to print an Excel spreadsheet with a background image. then this tutorial will show you how to do it. You need to add the picture separately in your spreadsheet so that it detects the picture while printing. This tutorial is for Office 365, 2019, and 2016 users only.

By default, you can go to the Page Layout tab and click the Background option to add a picture to the background. However, it works as long as you keep the spreadsheet on your computer only. Whenever you try to print the file, it deletes the background image immediately. Sometimes, you may need to paste an image in the background of the spreadsheet to customize it better or as a watermark.

How to print the Background Image in Excel

To print an Excel spreadsheet with a background image, follow these steps-

  1. Finish editing your spreadsheet in Excel.
  2. Insert a shape covering your data.
  3. Add an image from Picture or texture fill section.
  4. Adjust the transparency.
  5. Print the spreadsheet.

Once you have finished editing your spreadsheet you can insert the background picture; because once the background image is inserted, it might be awkward to edit the spreadsheet. If you are done with the editing, go to the Insert tab and click on the Shapes option.

From here, choose a rectangle shape and use your mouse to cover the whole area that includes your data. If you have data from A1 to Z100, you must cover the entire area with that shape. In other words, the background image will be inserted according to this selected area. After that, right-click on the shape, and select the Format Shape option.

It will open a pane on your right side. Expand the Fill menu and select Picture or texture fill option from the list. As the name defines, it helps you add a picture or a texture as the background. To replace the default texture, click the Insert button under the Picture source option.

Now you need to choose an image. If you already have the picture in your PC, click on the From a File option. If you want to fetch the image from a website, you should click the Online Picture button, and follow the screen instructions.

After inserting the image, change the transparency level so that it acts as a watermark. For that, use the Transparency menu to adjust it according to your requirements.

Now, you can print the spreadsheet, and it won’t remove the image from the background.

When we insert a background with clicking Background button under Page Layout tab in Excel, the background is not printable, and you cannot view the background in print preview. Is it possible to print a background image in Excel? Yes, there is a special method to insert a printable background image in Excel.

With Kutools for Excel’s Insert Watermark utility, you can quickly insert the backgroud image or text into the active worksheet, and the background can be printed as well as you need.

Kutools for Excel: with more than 200 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days. Download and free trial Now!

Insert a printable background image in Excel with drawing a shape

To finish this job, please do with the following steps one by one:

1. Click the Insert > Shapes, and select a rectangles shape, see the following screenshot:

2. Draw a shape as large as you need in active worksheet.

3. The Drawing Tools is active now, please click the Shape Fill button and fill the shape with white.

4. Click the Shape Outline button, and replace the outline color with white as well as following screenshot shown.

5. Then right click the shape, and select the Format Shape item from the context menu.

6. In the Format Picture dialog box in Excel 2010 or Format Picture pane in Excel 2013, please do the following operations:

(2.) Select the Picture or texture fill option;

(3.) Click the File button to specify a image to fill this shape;

(4.) Check the Tile picture as texture option;

(2.) Under the Fill section:

Select the Picture or texture fill option;

Click the File button to specify a image to fill this shape;

Check the Tile picture as texture option;

7. In the same dialog, then do the following operations:

(2.) Select the Move and size with cells option in Object
positioning section;

(3.) Check the Print Object option.

(2.) Under the Properties section:

Select the Move and size with cells option;

Check the Print Object option.

8. Click Close button. Then the shape filled with pictures looks like a background image. What’s more, it can be printed out when you print the active worksheet. See the following screenshot:

Note: After inserting this background picture, you will not be allowed enter any text within the picture range.

Insert a printable background image in Excel with Kutools for Excel

The above method has its own limit that you can’t enter any text after inserting the background image, but, if you have Kutools for Excel, with its Insert Watermark feature, you can quickly insert the image or text watermark which can be printable as well as you need.

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as follows:

1. Go to the worksheet which you want to insert the printable background image, and click Kutools > Insert > Insert Watermark, see screenshot:

2. In the Insert Watermark dialog box, select Picture Watermark option, and click Select Picture button to select a picture that you want to insert as printable background, and then, specify the image scale or formatting as you need, see screenshot:

3. Then click Apply or Ok, and the selected image has been inserted into the worksheet background, when you print it, the background image will be printed as well. See screenshot:

Notes:

1. After inserting the watermark background, you can also type the text into the worksheet.

2. With this feature, you can also insert the text watermark as you need.

Demo: Insert a printable background image in Excel with Kutools for Excel

Insert multiple images into cells and fit to the cell size with Kutools for Excel

Sometimes, you may need to insert multiple pictures into worksheet, normally, you just can insert only one picture into the worksheet once time, this may be time-consuming if there are lots of pictures need to be inserted. But, with the Import Pictures utility of Kutools for Excel, you can deal with this task quickly and easily.

After installing kutools for Excel, please do as follows:

1. Click Enterprise > Import / Export > Import Pictures, see screenshot:

2. In the Import Pictures dialog box, click Add button to select from File or Folder to add the images into the list box, see screenshot:

3. Then click Import size to go to the Import Picture Size dialog to set the size for the imported pictures, see screenshot:

4. And then click Ok > Import, and select a cell where you want to insert the pictures in the popped out prompt box, see screenshot:

5. Then click OK button, and the selected images have been inserted into the cells, see screenshot:

Demo: Insert multiple images and fit to the cell size with Kutools for Excel

Kutools for Excel: with more than 200 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days. Download and free trial Now!

In this tutorial, you will learn how to print a background image in Excel.

Insert a Background Image as a Shape

If you want to insert a printable background picture in Excel, you should use shapes and insert a background image in a shape. In order to this, we need to follow these steps:

1. In the Ribbon, go to Insert > Shapes > Rectangle.

2. Now we can draw a shape and position it over our data table. We get the rectangle shape filled in blue by default.

3. Now we need to insert a picture to replace the blue color fill. To do this, select the shape. Then in the Format Picture window, choose Picture or texture fill and click Insert.

Note that, if the Format Picture window does not open automatically, it can be opened by right-clicking on the shape and selecting Format Shape…

4. In the pop-up window, choose From a File to insert a picture from our computer.

5. In the browse window, select a picture and click Insert.

6. The selected picture is now shown in the shape. In the Format Picture window, set Transparency to 75%, so we can see our data in the picture. Increase or decrease the transparency to get the desired look.

Background Image Size

To resize the image so it prints on the whole page, go to Size in the Format Picture window, and adjust the Height and Width.

Now the background image is spread across the whole page, and if we go to File > Print (or use the shortcut CTRL+P), we will see in Print Preview that the entire page has the background picture we inserted.

I added background image to Excel using Page Layout->background . But it is not printable. How I can add printable background image to Excel sheet?

1 Answer 1

There are quite a few articles online saying that “printable background images” are not possible in Excel. But they are, with this workaround.

Put the image in the header, and if it’s larger than the size allowed for the header, it will spill into the main part of the page.

Here is a screenshot of a PDF showing a spreadsheet with a very simple EMF (vector) graphic — a pink, 8″x10″ (200x250mm) box.

The graphic can even have text in it. Here is a screenshot of a PDF showing a spreadsheet with a blue, 8″x10″ EMF graphic that contains text.

If you do an EMF/vector image (not a PNG/bitmap image), the quality of any text you put in the background will be excellent:

Here are the detailed steps.

To create an EMF graphic

Creating an EMF is easy if you have Inkscape (FLOSS) or PowerPoint:

  1. create a new PowerPoint document,
  2. draw a box, resize it to 8×10 or similar size,
  3. fill it with the desired color and text (if any),
  4. right click ⟶ Save as Picture ⟶ select Enhanced Metafile (EMF) format.

Note: “Save as Picture. ” doesn’t appear if you are currently editing text in a textbox. You need to click the border of the box, to select the box itself and exit ‘edit text’ mode.

To add the image to your Excel spreadsheet as a background image

Page Layout ⟶ Page Setup ⟶ hit the “arrow button” for the Page Setup Dialog

Header/Footer Tab ⟶ “Custom Header. “

Left Section ⟶ press the Insert Picture. toolbar button

Uploaded time: November 22, 2021 Difficulty: Beginner

How to insert a background image and print it out in WPS Spreadsheet

Tips: you can turn on the volume by clicking

How to insert a background image and print it out in WPS Spreadsheet

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WPS Spreadsheet could be an alternative to Microsoft Office Excel. It i ncludes 100’s of built-in formulas, pivot tables, and more. Sometimes, background images are nice-to-have if we are to beautify the table. Today, we will learn how to add a background picture and print it out.

First, head to the Page Layout tab, click the Background button and select the desired images. Note : The inserted image, either too big or too small, is inappropriate.

Here is a smart way for adjusting those undesired pictures, where the Screenshot function is needed. Hold down the shortcut key Ctrl+Alt+X , and select the area that contains the table. The screenshot size will be displayed in the upper left corner, providing a reference for the picture to be inserted. All you need to do is to adjust the background image to the size of the screenshot.

Once inserting the adjusted image, we can click the Print Preview button, but the background image fails to display. That’s where the Camera can help, an old friend in our previous tutorial, remember? Select the cell area to be printed, click the Insert tab, click the Camera button. Then, come to Sheet2, and use the Camera to drag out the wanted area.

Double-click the image to return to the original data in Sheet1, any modified content will reflect in Sheet2. Finally, click the Print Preview button, and you can see the background picture displayed in the print preview.

Posted by Altug Bayram on November 01, 2001 6:24 AM

How do I put a “DRAFT” word at the background as a watermark that I can print ?
Thanks

Posted by Joe Garza on November 01, 2001 6:45 AM

Re: How to put a printable

I use the following:
Click on Insert, then Picture, then WordArt. It will creat a box on the spreadshee. You can type what ever you want and position it where you want then change the color to a gray.

Posted by Jonathan on November 01, 2001 7:01 AM

Re: How to put a printable

Right. Or change the color to “No Fill” and you get an nice outlined “DRAFT”.

Posted by OK but how to repeat it for each page ? on November 01, 2001 7:33 AM

Re: How to put a printable

I use the following: Click on Insert, then Picture, then WordArt. It will creat a box on the spreadshee. You can type what ever you want and position it where you want then change the color to a gray.

OK guys,thank for the info, however to make sure that
this repeats for each page ? when you go by your
method, it only prints “DRAFT” once in mid-page (for
multiple pages). Any ideas ? Thanks so much

Posted by Joe Garza on November 01, 2001 9:57 AM

Re: How to put a printable

You got me there.

The only thing I can think of is to preprint the sheets with the word art the run them through the printer again to print the spreadsheet.

Posted by Altug Bayram on November 01, 2001 1:34 PM

Re: How to put a printable

The only thing I can think of is to preprint the sheets with the word art the run them through the printer again to print the spreadsheet. he he he

Yap that would surely work, isn’t that amazing
excel doesn’t have a very easy answer for this.
Thanks for your help.

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How to Add Watermark in Excel? (13 Easy Steps)

Watermark is an image on the background of a data, in general there is no inbuilt function or button in excel by default to insert a watermark in a excel worksheet, we have to do this manually from the header and footers section in the insert tab and then we will find an option for image or picture from where we can insert the picture for watermark and format it.

Follow the steps to add watermark in Excel –

  1. Open the blank workbook to add and create the watermark.

Go to insert view, choose the word art option from the text column. Always select decent colors only.

Click on insert word, you will see so many colorful alphabets in the box. Choose as per your choice.

Click on any of the color words which you want. It will draw the one text box with the same which you choose.

Type the text that you want to use for creating the watermark in a sheet.

Now, your watermark image is ready, have to need to resize and rotate it to make it look good and presentable.

Click the right button and copy the image which you have written.

Paste the image on the word as the picture, and you can easily resize the image in word also.

Right-click on the image and save it as the picture on your computer.

Now your bookmark is ready to add it in the excel workbook.

Go to insert and select the option to add header and footer option in excel.

Once you click on header and footer, it enables the excel sheet in another format:

Click on the picture to add the image to your excel sheet:

Insert the image, now will be able to see the image as watermark in excel:

Table of contents
  • How to Add Watermark in Excel? (13 Easy Steps)
    • Benefits
    • How to Format and Resize Your Watermark?
      • Format
      • Resize
    • Tips to Remember While inserting Watermark in Excel
    • Recommended Articles

Benefits

  1. The images showed transparently on the web by means of data sharing sites or photography could be at risk of theft and unhindered use. An individual may utilize your image without your assent and mutilate the data or utilize the image for a specific reason that it was not expected for. Watermarking encourages you to secure your data. You can add an unmistakable watermark to your advanced images and photographs to ensure licensed innovation.
  2. Watermarking will keep the uniqueness of your item on the site, and it additionally distinguishes the proprietor of the data. The watermark can be your copyright, which is imperative as this could speak to your marking, for instance, the organization logo.
  3. The watermark image ought to dependably be littler in size than the primary item image. The watermarking module will downsize consequently to the extent of the image you transfer, with no loss of image quality.
  4. The base Image watermark module will likewise keep the first item image. You can download the image whenever in a single click.

How to Format and Resize Your Watermark?

Format

  1. Once you add your watermark image to your workbook, if you want to be to resize or reposition the bookmark, you can do it. You can also remove it if you don’t require it further.
  2. Relocate a watermark

It is a very common thing that the added bookmark will be moved to the top of the worksheet. It is very easy to shift the watermark.

  1. Go to the header section box in the excel ribbonExcel RibbonThe ribbon is an element of the UI (User Interface) which is seen as a strip that consists of buttons or tabs; it is available at the top of the excel sheet. This option was first introduced in the Microsoft Excel 2007.read more toolbar.
  2. Place your pointer in front of &[Picture] as shown below and press the enter as many as time you get the watermark in the place where you want.

Resize

  1. Go to INSERT and choose Header & Footer option again.
  2. Select the Format Picture option in the Header & Footer Elements group on the right-hand side.
  3. Now you can easily resize your watermark as required.

Tips to Remember While inserting Watermark in Excel

  1. Watermarks can be viewed in print previewPrint PreviewPrint preview in Excel is a tool used to represent the print output of the current page in the excel to see if any adjustments need to be made in the final production. Print preview only displays the document on the screen, and it does not print.read more , Page Layout view, and on the printed worksheet when you took the printout of the sheet. You can’t see watermarks in the Normal view, which the vast majority use when they work in Excel 2010, 2013, and 2016.
  2. You won’t be able to add more than one watermark in one section.
  3. A most important tip is that make sure to add the watermark in your worksheet. As such, it won’t affect your data. Sometimes adding a watermark leads to the invisibility of your data.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Watermark in Excel. Here we discuss how to add a Watermark in Excel and how to format and resize the watermark along with examples and an excel template that can be downloaded. You may also look at these useful functions in excel –

Microsoft Excel offers a vast range of different tools to help users with financing, data assessments, creating records for databases, and much more. Complex formulas help to create dynamic cells which calculate and deliver accurate results directly within a gridded sheet. However, while this may be good, sheets are very large with over 1 million rows and 16 thousand columns to work with. There is a good chance you don’t need all that space and only require a small fraction of that space — maybe a couple of columns and a few rows. So how do you go about removing unused rows in Excel?

Read along with our blog post for a step-by-step walkthrough (with screenshots) on how you can grey out unused areas of a worksheet.

Step by step process – How to grey out unused areas of a worksheet: Excel

  1. Firstly, open your Excel document.
  2. After that, select the row header under the last row that contains a record of information on your sheet.
  3. Press (Control/Command + Shift + Down arrow).
  4. Click the “fill color” button.
  5. Select any shade of grey.
  6. Now do the same for the columns; select the column header after the last piece of information, and press (Control/Command + Shift + Down arrow).
  7. Now click the top left corner cell on the working area.
  8. After that press (Control/Command + Shift + Down arrow).
  9. Now press (Control/Command + Shift + Right arrow).
  10. Now right click > “Format cells” (or Command/Control 1).
  11. Move over to the “Protection” tab.
  12. Uncheck the option marked “Locked”.
  13. After that click on “OK”.
  14. Now click on “Review”.
  15. After that click on “Protect Sheet”.
  16. Under “Allow users of this sheet to”, ensure the option for “Select locked cells” is unchecked (by default it’s checked).
  17. Finally, click on “OK”.

By default, all cells are locked however if you are unsure, or may have the formatting of the cell edited, it might be worth selecting all the cells on the sheet and locking them before unlocking the ones you are using. Once this is complete, however, you will have successfully locked the cells you are not using. You may want a distinguishing factor, therefore the grey is applied.

Why not use the simple method to grey out unused areas of a worksheet in Excel?

There is a simpler method — I have seen plenty of blogs and forums talk about this method, and chances are they didn’t help, because of one inconvenient factor; that’s the page number watermark. I’ll quickly run over the steps before talking about the negatives, follow through for more information.

Step by step process – How to grey out unused areas of a worksheet using the page break method

  • Firstly, on your Excel document click on “View”.
  • After that click on “Page Break Preview”.
  • See the final results

That watermark I stated earlier is not removable — I’ve tried everything, as it’s an overlay, fills and image changes to the background will not help to remove the watermark. That being said, you can edit the workspace normally. However, you will again have to deal with that hideous watermark impeding the visual aesthetics of the sheet.

You may think, “well, at least the shaded area is locking — you can’t edit”. Well, you’d be wrong — the shaded area is not a locked area — it’s just the excluded zone from the page break. The blue borders on the edges indicate a break; any areas you click will add a new page break.

As you can see here, the page break has been added and makes it look quite out of place. In our method you don’t have to deal with accidentally editing unused cells as they are completely locked. You, again, can unlock them at will.

As mentioned earlier, you can’t remove the page number watermarks from an Excel spreadsheet, as well as the page breaks, which is a common challenge for Excel newcomers. Working with this view can be distracting, and passing on an Excel workbook containing this information appears unprofessional. This is another reason why the method we stated at the beginning should be used to help grey out unused areas of a worksheet.

Hide cells to mask out the unused ones in Excel

You may find that there is information on your worksheet that you no longer require. You may also choose to print only columns A–F and columns H–J, bypassing column G, when printing your worksheet. You can just conceal the information rather than rearranging your worksheet for either of these scenarios. In addition, you can hide information in individual cells. This will unfortunately now grey out the cells like with our example but it is a simpler way to make out the cells you don’t use on your sheet. These cells are hidden and therefore cannot be edited on the sheet, follow through for more information on how you can do this.

  • To hide a cell, choose it from the column(s) to be concealed.
  • Click Format in the Cells group on the Home command tab.
  • Select Hide & Unhide > Hide Columns from the Format menu’s Visibility section.
  • The column isn’t visible.

In-depth – Step by step process – How to grey out unused areas of a worksheet: Excel

Step by step breakdown;

  • Firstly, open your Excel document.
  • After that select the row header under the last row that contains a record of information on your sheet.
  • Press (Control/Command + Shift + Down arrow).
  • Click the “fill color” button.
  • Select any shade of grey.
  • Now do the same for the columns, select the column header after the last piece of information, and press (Control/Command + Shift + Down arrow).

Everything other than your area of work is now shaded grey, that’s part one accomplished, you can now move over to part two which is adding a lock to the unused cells.

  • Now click the top left corner cell on the working area.
  • After that press (Control/Command + Shift + Down arrow).
  • Now press (Control/Command + Shift + Right arrow).

Rather than manually selecting the cells, use this method its quicker and it gets all the cells in your working area.

  • Now right click > “Format cells” (or Command/Control 1).
  • Move over to the “Protection” tab.
  • Uncheck the option marked “Locked”.
  • After that click on “OK”.
  • Now click on “Review”.
  • After that click on “Protect Sheet”.
  • Under “Allow users of this sheet to”, ensure the option for “Select locked cells” is unchecked (by default it’s checked).
  • Finally, click on “OK”.

That’s it for this Blog thank you for taking time out to read our content, please feel free to email our team about how it went if you followed the steps or if you need more help with the questions we answered in this Blog.

Excel Watermark (Table of Contents)

Introduction to Watermark in Excel

Watermarks are nothing but the light heading kind of text or image we usually see in word documents. You must be familiar with watermarks in Microsoft documents. In excel, too, we can add watermarks to our spreadsheets. The reason could be, you want to show your name in freelance work, you want to add your company logo or your identity to the document, or you just want to have fun with your document.

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We can add text value as a watermark; we can also add an image as a watermark. For example, some of the common watermarks are Confidential, Sample, Draft, etc.…

In this article, we will demonstrate how to insert watermarks in excel, reposition them, alter the size of the watermark in excel, and add a company logo to your header and footer document; delete them those watermarks.

Insert Watermark in Excel

You know that we don’t have any built-in tool to insert watermark in excel. I know you already thinking then how do we add a watermark in excel. Nothing to worry we can create our watermark and make it visible in the print preview. Follow the below steps to add a watermark to your excel sheet.

Step 1: Open a new excel workbook on your computer or laptop. I have opened and created some dummy data.

Step 2: Go to the VIEW tab > and click on Page Layout.

Step 3: Now, you will see a worksheet like this.

Step 4: Now go to INSERT tab > Under Text section select Insert Word Art.

Step 5: Select the style you wish to have.

Step 6: Now, we have word art style appearing in the worksheet.

Step 7: Type the water text you wish to show.

Step 8: Make the font color to grey and remove the outline as no outline.

Step 9: Change the angle of the shape as shown in the below image.

You have inserted your watermark to the worksheet. You can print this document along with the watermark in your worksheet.

Insert Watermark to the Header of the Sheet

We have learned how to insert our own prepared watermark to the worksheet in excel. Now we will see how to insert a watermark image to the header of the document. For example, we usually see the company logo in the header of the document. Similarly, we can insert our own logo to the document by following the below steps.

Step 1: Go to the INSERT tab and select Header & Footer under the TEXT section.

Step 2: Now, we see the Page Layout view with the Header & Footer design section.

Step 3: Now, under HEADER & Design Tools, select the option Picture.

Step 4: Excel asks you to find the picture on your computer and choose the picture online. I have taken the picture from my laptop. It will not display the image you have chosen; it will just show the word “& [Picture]”.

Step 5: Click on any cell of the worksheet to see the image.

Right now, the image has not fit properly; we need to format the image by repositioning the watermark.

Repositioning of Watermark

We need to adjust the image properly to make it appear accurately.

Step 1: Select the image you have inserted.

Step 2: Go to Design and select Format Picture.

Step 3: Make the adjustment of the height & width of the image.

Step 4: Now, we have the header formatted properly.

Move down the Image to make it a Watermark.

We can move down the watermark to the document’s centre to make it an actual watermark for your document.

Step 1: Select the image.

Step 2: Keep pressing down to mark.

Step 3: Select any of the cells in the worksheet to see the changes.

Change the Existing Image

You can change the already inserted image at any point in time. Select the Watermark and double click on the Picture under the Design tab.

After double-clicking on the image, you will see this dialogue box and click on Replace.

Things to Remember About Watermark in Excel

  • If you want to design your own watermark, create word art and paste the word art to paint and save it as a JPEG file.
  • You can adjust the height & width of the image under Format Picture.
  • If you want to change the existing image, you need to double click on the Picture and select Replace option.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Excel Watermark. Here we discuss how to insert watermark in excel along with examples and downloadable excel template. You can also go through our other suggested articles –

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In Excel, we always format the cell data with some colors to make the important information stand out. When you print the worksheet, the filling color behind the value or the font color of the data will be printed as well (see following screenshot). To consider for saving ink, sometimes, you need to print the worksheet without fill color, that is to say, to print with black and white. Is there an option to print these cells black and white only in Excel?

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Print worksheet without fill color in Excel

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To print the worksheet with black and white, you just need to change the setting as following steps:

1. Activate your worksheet that you want to print.

2. Then click Page Layout tab in the ribbon, and click Page Setup button at the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup section. See screenshot:

3. In the Page Setup dialog, click Sheet tab, and then check Black and white option under Print section, see screenshot:

4. Then click Print Preview button in the Page Setup dialog to view the worksheet, and your current sheet is displayed as black and white as following screenshot:

5. And then you can go to print your worksheet normally, and all of the color will be removed from the file except white and black.

Background image is also known as Watermark. Microsoft Excel allows you to add Background image, logo, and background colors in your document to make the document more attractive, beautiful, and eye-catching.

Note: In a Microsoft Excel document, you can not add a background image to multiple Microsoft Excel documents at once.

Methods to set a Background image

Follow the below methods to set background in Excel –

Method 1: Add background in Excel using Page Layout tab

Steps to Add background in Excel

There are the following steps to Add background in Excel –

Note: Using the below steps, you can set background images in Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2019.

Step 1: Open a new Microsoft Excel document (File -> New -> Blank document -> Create) or an existing Microsoft Excel document (File -> Open -> Browse document location -> Open button) in which you wish to add the background.

Step 2: Click on the Page Layout tab on the ribbon. Click on the Background next to the Breaks option in the Page Setup section. See the screenshot given below.

Note: In Microsoft 2003, click on the Format -> Sheet -> Background.

Step 3: A small Sheet Background dialog box will appear on the spreadsheet. Browse the Background image that you want to set and click on the Insert button at the bottom of the dialog box, as shown in the below screenshot.

Now, the screenshot below shows that your desired background image will appear in the Microsoft Excel document.

Method 2: Add a background image in Microsoft Excel using the keyboard shortcut keys

Microsoft Excel also allows us to Add or set a background image quickly and easily using the keyboard shortcut keys.

Steps to set background

A list of below mentions steps shows that how to set a background image in a Microsoft Excel document –

Step 1: Double-click on the Microsoft Excel icon to open a Microsoft Excel document.

Step 2: Open a new or an existing Microsoft Excel document.

  1. Click on the File -> New -> Blank document -> Creat to Open a new blank Microsoft Excel document.
  2. Click on the File -> Open -> Browse document location -> Open button to open an existing Microsoft Excel document.

Note: In our case, we are going to open an existing Microsoft Excel document.

Step 3: Press the Alt + P + G keys together from the keyboard to open the Sheet Background dialog box. Browse the background that you want to be set on the Excel document and click on the Insert button at the bottom of the Sheet Background dialog box.

Step 4: Now, you can see that your preferred background is added to the Microsoft Excel document.

Step 5: Go to the Page Layout tab on the ribbon and untick the checkbox associated with the View in the Sheet Options group to remove gridlines from the background and makes background more attractive. See the screenshot given below.

Method 3: Add a background with the Fill color tool

Microsoft Excel also allows you to add a background with a fill color tool. In this method, a Fill color picker is used to add the backgroud color.

Steps to add a background in Microsoft Excel document

A list of steps to add a background in Microsoft Excel document given below –

Step 1: Open a new or an existing Microsoft Excel document in which you want to add a background with the fill color tool.

Step 2: Press the Ctrl+A keys from the keyboard to select the whole Microsoft Excel document.

Step 3: At the top left corner of the Microsoft Excel document, click on the vertical arrow under the cell selection menu as shown below given screenshot.

Step 4: Now, click on the Home tab and click on the Fill color drop-down icon under the Font group. A color picker will appear on the document. Select the color that you want to apply as a background on your Excel document.

The screenshot below shows that your selected background color is applied to the Microsoft Excel document.

Method 4: Add printable background in Excel

Microsoft Excel helps you to add the printable background images in the Microsoft Excel document with its Insert Watermark feature. This is quickest the method to insert the background image or text Watermark in the spreadsheet based on your requirement.

Steps to add a printable background in Excel

A list of steps to add a printable background in Excel is discussed below –

Step 1: Open a new or an existing Microsoft Excel spreadsheet in which you want to add a printable background.

Step 2: Click on the Insert tab next to the Home tab and then click on the Shapes drop-down icon in the illustrations group. A list of shapes will appear on the document, select a rectangle shape, see the below screenshot.

Step 3: Draw a shape in your spreadsheet as large as you required.

Step 4: The Drawing Tools is active and appears at the top of the spreadsheet. Click on the Shape Fill button, and select the color that you want to fill in the shape.

Note: In our case, we fill the shape with the white color.

Step 5: Now, click on the Shape Outline option. A color picker will appear on the screen in which select your desired outline color that you want to apply to the shape.

Step 6: Right-click on the shape, a small dialog box pops up with the list of options. Click on the Format Shape option.

Step 7: A Format Picture dialog box will appear on the screen in which do the following –

  1. Click on the Fill option from the left pane.
  2. Click on the Picture or texture fill radio button.
  3. Click on the File button in the Insert from: section to browse the image that you want to use as a background image.
  4. Tick on the Tile picture as texture checkbox.
  5. Add Transparency based on your requirement.
  6. Now, click on the close button at the bottom of the Format Picture dialog box.

The screenshot below shows that your desired background is set to the Microsoft Excel document.