Add or remove a sheet background

In Excel, you can use a picture as a sheet background for display purposes only. A sheet background is not printed and is not retained in an individual worksheet or in an item that you save as a Web page. It is retained only when you publish an entire workbook as a Web page.

 Important   Because a sheet background is not printed, it cannot be used as a watermark. You can, however, mimic a watermark by inserting a graphic in a header or footer.

What do you want to do?

Add a sheet background

Remove a sheet background

Mimic a watermark in Excel

Add a sheet background

  1. Click the worksheet that you want to display with a sheet background. Make sure only one worksheet is selected.
  2. On the Format menu, point to Sheet, and then click Background.
  3. Select the picture that you want to use for the sheet background, and then click Insert.

The selected picture is repeated to fill the sheet.

 Notes 

  • To improve readability, you can hide cell gridlines and apply solid color shading to cells that contain data.
  • A sheet background is saved with the worksheet data when you save the workbook.

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Remove a sheet background

  1. Click the worksheet that is displayed with a sheet background. Make sure only one worksheet is selected.
  2. On the Format menu, point to Sheet, and then click Delete Background.

 Note   If the worksheet that you select does not have a sheet background applied, Delete Background will not be available.

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Mimic a watermark in Excel

Watermark functionality is not available in Excel. If you want to display a graphic on every printed page (for example, to indicate that the information is confidential), you can insert the graphic in a header or footer. This way, the graphic appears behind the text, starting at the top or bottom of every page. You can also resize or scale it to fill the page.

  1. On the View menu, click Header and Footer.
  2. In the Page Setup dialog box, click Custom Header or Custom Footer.
  3. Click in the Left section, Center section, or Right section box.
  4. In the row of buttons in the Header or Footer dialog box, click Insert Picture Button image and then find the graphic you want to insert.
  5. Double-click the graphic to insert it in the header or footer section box.
  6. To resize or scale the graphic, click Format Picture Button image in the row of buttons in the Header or Footer dialog box and then, in the Format Picture dialog box, select the options you want on the Size tab.

Notes

  • Changes to the graphic or graphic format take place immediately and can't be undone.
  • If you want to add blank space above or below a graphic, click before or after &[Picture], and then press ENTER to start a new line.
  • To replace a graphic, select &[Picture], click Insert Picture Button image, and then click Replace.
  • Before printing, make sure the header or footer margin allows enough space for the custom header or footer.
  • To delete a graphic, select &[Picture] and then press DELETE.

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Applies to:
Excel 2003