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How to insert a printable background image in Excel?

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.

Insert a printable background image in Excel with drawing a shape (8 steps)

Insert a printable background image in Excel with Kutools for Excel (3 steps)

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


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.

doc insert printable image 018

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!


arrow blue right bubble 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:

doc-insert-printable-image1

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.

doc-insert-printable-image1

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

doc-insert-printable-image1

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

doc-insert-printable-image1

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

doc-insert-printable-image1  In Excel 2010:
 (1.) Click Fill option from the left pane;

 (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;

 (5.) Change the Transparency to 75% as you need to
 make the background image like watermark.
doc-insert-printable-image1 In Excel 2013:
(1.) Click Fill & Line button;

(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;

   Change the Transparency to 75% as you need to make
 the background image like watermark.

 

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

doc-insert-printable-image1 In Excel 2010:
(1.) Click Properties option at left bar;

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

(3.) Check the Print Object option.

doc-insert-printable-image1 In Excel 2013:
(1.) Click Size & Properties button;

(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:

doc-insert-printable-image6

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


arrow blue right bubble 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:

Kutools for Excel : with more than 300 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days

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

doc-insert-printable-image15

2. In the Insert Watermark dialog box, select Picture Watermark option, and click Select Picture button, and in the Open dialog box, please specify the image that you want to insert as printable background, see screenshot:

doc-insert-printable-image16

3. Then click Open button to return to the Insert Watermark dialog, and 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:

doc-insert-printable-image17

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.

Download and free trial Kutools for Excel Now !


arrow blue right bubble Demo: Insert a printable background image in Excel 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!


arrow blue right bubble 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.

Kutools for Excel : with more than 300 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days

After installing kutools for Excel, please do as follows:

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

doc-insert-printable-image6

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:

doc-insert-printable-image6

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

doc-insert-printable-image6

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:

doc-insert-printable-image6

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

doc-insert-printable-image6

Download and free trial Kutools for Excel Now !


arrow blue right bubble 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!


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Tareq · 1 years ago
    It was very much helpful. Thanks a lot.
    Kutools sets the image as a header. But If someone wants to add 2 image in the header then what to do? Would you please suggest.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      skyyang · 1 years ago
      Hi, Tareq
      Yes, as you said, Kutools sets the image as a header, and it only can insert one picture each time.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    John · 2 years ago
    If you need the background strictly for printing purposes, I set the image as my background using typical methods. Set cells to no fill as necessary, then highlight everything that I am planning to print. Next I copy and paste in the same position except make sure to paste as an image. Now you can print all of your information with your background. If you need to edit something later, delete the image edit the data than repeat the procedure.
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    Jenna Milane · 3 years ago
    I have inserted my picture and it prints YAY!
    Now I need it to not obscure my text ie send it to the back. Is there a way to do that?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Scott Tarr · 3 years ago
    The downside to this tool is that it doesn't seem to work like the Word watermark function that allows me to scale the image watermark. So I started over and opened the image in Photoshop to manually enlarge the image to scale it into Excel properly.

    That didn't work because Kutools scaled it back what it was prior to me enlarging the image manually.

    Not sure why this is done this way unless I'm missing a step whereby I can set the scale.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Aynaz · 4 years ago
    Many thanks.that was really helpful.I tried and it worked.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Goran from Serbia · 4 years ago
    I have a solution:
    Just keep in excel format * .kls and open it in OpenOffice.
    Go to the Format / Page and select the image.
    After 3 hours of time various forums I found this solution, I'd be glad to someone else this solution help.
    Greetings from Serbia.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Goran from Serbia · 4 years ago
      [quote name="Goran from Serbia"]I have a solution:
      Just keep in excel format [b]*.xls[/b] and open it in OpenOffice.
      Go to the Format / Page and select the image.
      After 3 hours of time various forums I found this solution, I'd be glad to someone else this solution help.
      Greetings from Serbia.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Muhammad Ajaz · 4 years ago
    Thx..a lot you taught me a lot..
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Nikita · 4 years ago
    You just drag and drop any picture in the Excel and fit it as required, when accept transparation!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    BirthdayGirl · 5 years ago
    In step 7. I don't have the 'Properties' option. Can anyone help?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Girma semu · 5 years ago
    [b]now i know how to add a picture in the background but what do i do to insert a text in the background[/b]thanks
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Snorri Sigurdsson · 5 years ago
    Now I have in mind fill out form in Acrobat Reader. Is it possible in Excel 2013 to merge two separate sheets one with the outline and forms and one with the fill in data with for example look up functions? Or merge two sheets during the printout?
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    Ana Paula · 5 years ago
    oiiii segue o backgorund
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    Confused · 5 years ago
    When I do this the text from the excel come out faded. So if i were to increase the transparency of the picture then the text will be darker but the test on the picture will be faded. Anyway to get them both about the same to print out?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    DumdumDarren · 5 years ago
    DO NOT USE THIS TERRIBLE, BASIC SOLUTION!
    Any colouring in the image will tint your text, even at 75% transpareny and so you'll effectively have the colour of your text changing throughout each line.
    What's more important to you and your business? Pretty background pictures or a professional looking document?

    Give that the screenshots all show the Ribbon menu, its safe to assume whoever posted this 'solution' is using a new enough version to simply click Page Layout > Background. Done.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Notsodum · 5 years ago
      Wow, you are a dum dum. This works perfectly. The problem with using Page Layout > Background is you can resize or adjust the transparency in Excel. So no, that does not work well for most backgrounds. I have no text color changes at all. For those who still can't figure out how to edit. There is a post above that tells you how.

      [quote name="Rajendran"]You can hide the picture using Selection Pane (in Format Tab under Arrange tools) and work on your data. While printing, the same shall be enabled. Sending back wont be working on this..[/quote]
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    Smithe544 · 5 years ago
    Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this writeup very compelled me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great article. dgbgceadegcdddek
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Rico · 5 years ago
    Thank you! You're a life saver. Very easy and simple, yet effective fix. It's a bit different if you do it on Excel 2010 for OSX; there isn't a shape button in the menu by default so it has to be found through Insert > Shape...
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    aldo · 5 years ago
    Another way that will keep cells editable.
    Take a screen picture of the chart at 100% zoom.
    Open it in Photoshop, select all and copy.
    Open the image you want as background and paste the screen capture.
    Press v and 5, this will make the layer with the screen capture 50% opaque. You'll use this as a guide.
    Select the background image layer, and resize it to better fit the chart.
    Now, press and hold on the crop tool button and select the "slices" tool.
    Slice the image in squares and rectangles to isolate the cell's areas in the chart.
    Export for Web and Devices, Images only.
    In Excel, insert the slices, except the ones on top of the cells.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    aldo · 5 years ago
    Another (and far faster) way could be:
    1- print the image you want as background from Photoshop or whatever program you used to generate it. Just one, or many if you are printing out invoices for example.
    2- Print on the same paper sheet the excel chart.
    If using a laser printer, be aware that the paper will bend after the first printout.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    frustrated1 · 5 years ago
    I couldn't get any of these options to work. :(

    75% or 0%, hiding the picture...none of them will allow me to enter in cells and print the background.
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    eldonjon72 · 5 years ago
    If you need to keep the picture, but allow for Excel data to show through (for example, a form in the background with Excel data in the cells showing through, so you can print a filled-in form):

    Follow the instructions above, except keep the transparency at 0%.
    Using "Picture Tools" in Excel, use the "Remove Background" function
    Remove the background of the picture (for example, the white space on the form), keeping only the form text/design itself

    The form/background picture will now be visible but the Excel data will show through, and will print out a filled in form.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Nasim Khaliqhey · 5 years ago
    can you please interduce the pogrammer module for inserting the background picture & text in PIC 18F4455 I have been using EB006 I can not teransfer the data from my window Vista to my PIC18F4455
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    anon · 6 years ago
    I just discovered the LibreOffice allows one to add an image as a background and print with the background as well...
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    anon · 6 years ago
    Yes, BUT, how to make it so you can click on the cells over the image and edit them without selecting the background image?
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      Rajendran · 5 years ago
      You can hide the picture using Selection Pane (in Format Tab under Arrange tools) and work on your data. While printing, the same shall be enabled. Sending back wont be working on this..
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Mark H. · 6 years ago
    Mike M., the purpose of this is to add a printable background (through methods of a loop hole), 0% transparent image. This was exactly what I needed. Thanks a bunch!
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    Flo · 6 years ago
    The way to make this work and still show data through the image is to save the image as a .emf file!
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    Flo · 6 years ago
    The way to make this work and have the image be transparent is to save the image as an .emf file!
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    skyyang · 6 years ago
    Dear Mike, it can’t insert image as background in Excel by default, using this method, it just make the image look like the watermark.
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    Mike M. · 6 years ago
    Thanks - but the image is not in the background. It is covering the excel data. Was a step missed?
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      JOey · 5 years ago
      Did you insert the picture first?
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      Ailyn V. Mibato · 5 years ago
      :-) Good day!.. please read and follow the steps carefully and for sure you will get it...:)
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Ailyn V. Mibato · 5 years ago
      :-) good day.....uhmmm.. please read and follow the steps carefully and for sure you will get it...:)
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Anonymous · 5 years ago
      insert the image in the header, you are able to work on your data and also print it as the background.
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      HelloKelly · 6 years ago
      Hi,

      In the Step 6, change the Transparency to 75% or lower. If the picture is not transparent, it will cover the excel data completely.

      Hope this help you