Add a background image or color to a message

Do one of the following:

ShowAdd a background image

  1. With the HTML (HTML: The standard markup language used for documents on the World Wide Web. HTML uses tags to indicate how Web browsers should display page elements such as text and graphics and how to respond to user actions.) message open, click in the message body.
  2. On the Format menu, point to Background, and then click Picture.

By default, the File list includes the stationery that's available in Microsoft Outlook.

  1. In the File box, either type the path to an image on your hard disk, type the URL (Uniform Resource Locator (URL): An address that specifies a protocol (such as HTTP or FTP) and a location of an object, document, World Wide Web page, or other destination on the Internet or an intranet, for example: of an image on the Internet, or click Browse to locate an image.

If the picture isn't large enough to fill the message body, the picture will repeat as many times as necessary to fill the message.


  • This procedure works only for messages in HTML format.
  • If Microsoft Word is your e-mail editor, see Word Help.

ShowAdd a background color

  1. With the message open, click in the message body.
  2. On the Format menu, point to Background, point to Color, and then click the color you want.


ShowSpecify the default stationery pattern for new messages

Setting the default stationery in Microsoft Outlook also sets the default stationery in Microsoft Word. If you want to use a theme as the default, set the default from Word. See Word Help for more information.

ShowSet the default stationery for all new messages you create

  1. From the main Outlook window, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Mail Format tab.
  2. In the Compose in this message format list, click HTML.
  3. In the Use this stationery by default list, click the stationery you want.

ShowSpecify a default stationery for one new message you create

  • On the Actions menu, point to New Mail Message Using, and then click the stationery you want to use.

If the stationery you want is not listed, click More Stationery, and in the Stationery list, click the one you want to use. For additional stationery available from the Web, click Get More Stationery.

 Note   These procedures are available only if you use HTML as your message format.

Applies to:
Outlook 2003