Decorating Pages in Microsoft Word 2010

February 6, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Users of Microsoft Word 2010 will usually be pretty happy to get to the end of the document they’re writing with the correct spelling and grammar, useful and informative titles and headings, page numbers and a little bold and italic formatting in certain places.

However there is far much more to formatting a document in Word 2010 than the look and organization of the text – you also need to take into account the page itself.

Thanks to a group of very successful tools, you can change the colour of the page, add borders and even insert a background watermark – in order to make clear that the document is a draft, for instance.

Microsoft Word backgrounds and watermarks

Setting Page Colour

This is one of the easiest things you can do with a Word document and can give impressive results almost straightaway. To set a colour for your page, go to Page Layout > Page Background > Page Color and select a suitable colour of your choice based on either the colours of the theme you care currently using or the Word 2010 Standard Colours.

In addition to changing the colour of the document page from white to whatever, you can also apply a background Fill Effect, using a texture or gradient.

This can be setup via Page Color > Fill Effects – you will see the tabs for Texture, Gradient, Pattern and Picture, each of which can be used to bring a new and interesting look to any Word document.

Add Page Borders in Word 2010

In addition to setting a background colour or texture, Microsoft Word 2010 (like its predecessors) provides an option to add a page border, useful for framing notices and other single page documents.

To use this feature, go to Page Layout > Page Background > Page Borders and select a Style, Color, Width or any Art that you deem appropriate for your purposes and click OK.

Use the Settings section to choose between a Box, Shadow or 3D border, and toggle the top, right, bottom and left borders on and off in the Preview section. Additionally you can choose to apply a border either to the Whole Document or a current section, and the Options button will take you to the Border and Shading Options screen where you can specify the borders distance from the edge of the page.

Setting Watermarks in Word 2010

Finally, the watermark option can be used in Word 2010 to good effect. You might opt to set a watermark to notify readers that the document is a draft, or that is should not be copied, and these are both preset in Microsoft Word 2010.

Go to Page Layout > Page Background > Watermark to take advantage of the included watermark options (which you can discard later on if you change your mind with the Remove Watermark button) or use Watermark > Custom Watermark to select a phrase or image to appear as an opaque document background.

Both options are configurable and can easily be disabled with the No Watermark radio button.

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