Troubleshoot backgrounds and watermarks

ShowThe Printed Watermark command is grayed out.

The command for creating a watermark is available only in normal, print layout, and outline views. To change the view, make a new selection on the View menu.

ShowMy document background doesn't print.

By default, Microsoft Word does not print document backgrounds that you create by using the Background command on the Format menu. If you want to print document backgrounds, you can change this setting. To do so, click Options on the Tools menu. On the Print tab, select the Background colors and images check box.

ShowMy document background is not displayed.

Microsoft Word does not display document backgrounds in normal view or outline view. To display a document background, switch to a different view, such as Web layout view or print layout view, by clicking the name of the view on the View menu. If you want Word to display your document in that view the next time the document is opened, save your document in that view before you close the document.

ShowMy watermark is not displayed.

ShowI created a watermark that overshadows the main document text.

If the watermark (watermark: Any graphic or text, such as "Confidential," that when printed appears either on top of or behind existing document text.) interferes with the legibility of the text on the page, you can lighten the object you used to create the watermark.

  • If you are using a picture, make sure that the Washout check box is selected in the Printed Watermark dialog box (point to Background on the Format menu, and then click Printed Watermark).
  • If you are using text, select the Semitransparent check box in the Printed Watermark dialog box, or select a lighter color, such as light gray, in the Color box.

ShowWatermarks don't appear on every page of my printed document.

Watermarks (watermark: Any graphic or text, such as "Confidential," that when printed appears either on top of or behind existing document text.) won't appear on every page if you change your header or footer (header and footer: A header, which can consist of text or graphics, appears at the top of every page in a section. A footer appears at the bottom of every page. Headers and footers often contain page numbers, chapter titles, dates, and author names.) for part of the document. For example, the first page may have a unique header or footer, or none at all.

Or the document may contain different headers and footers on odd and even pages or in particular sections (section: A portion of a document in which you set certain page formatting options. You create a new section when you want to change such properties as line numbering, number of columns, or headers and footers.). You can check whether the document contains sections by reading the status bar at the bottom of your screen.

If you reinsert the watermark again, it should appear on every page of your document.

Applies to:
Word 2003