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Excel Change the Background

This page is an advertiser-supported excerpt of the book, Learn Excel 2007-2010 from MrExcel - 512 Excel Mysteries Solved. If you like this topic, please consider buying the entire e-book.

Change the Background
of a Worksheet

Problem: Excel looks boring. It generally has black text on a white background, with gray lines. Can I change the background of a worksheet to liven it up?

Strategy: If you have an opening menu worksheet in your workbook, you can change the background to any picture. You start by selecting Page Layout, Background. Excel will let you browse for any image on your computer. The image will be tiled to form the background.


Figure 1229 Excel will use the picture you select as a background.

To present a cleaner view, you can turn off the gridlines for the worksheet. The Show/Hide group on the View tab allows you to turn off the gridlines, the formula bar, and the row/column headings.


Figure 1230 Turn off gridlines and other elements on the View tab.

You can control other worksheet elements in the Excel Options dialog. Choose File, Options, Advanced. Scroll down to Display.Options for This Workbook. You can turn off the display of sheet tabs and the scrollbars.


Figure 1231 Turn off scrollbars in the Excel Options dialog.

Your worksheet will now look cleaner.


Figure 1232 Less intimidating for people new to Excel.

Gotcha: Turning off all the scrollbar and sheet tab options will affect the entire workbook. Because someone will have to enter data on the other worksheets, this might make it difficult to actually use Excel when an Excel rookie moves on to the other worksheets in the workbook.

Gotcha: The background will never print. See the next topic for a workaround.

Gotcha: If you zoom in or out, the cell sizes will change, but the picture will stay the same size. You might get a picture that perfectly fills A1:J15, but after zooming out, the picture will cover A1:M20.

Additional Details: In order to change the background image on a worksheet, you must first remove the first image by selecting Page Layout, Delete Picture.

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