How to Print a Background Image, Footer and Header in Microsoft Word 2003

Want to print a nice header and footer…with a background image…in letter size…in Word 2003? Here’s how you get a background to show up and PRINT in Word as one full background (and not a bunch of tiles and not stretched or nasty-looking) with overlaying Header and Footer text.

  1. Open Powerpoint 2003. Yes. Powerpoint.
  2. If you have Photoshop, Open it and create the background in 8.5 x 11, 300 dpi, letter size and save it as a jpg or gif.
  3. If you don’t have Photoshop, continue in Powerpoint. Go to File > Page Setup and choose Letter Paper and change the width and height to 8.5 x 11 (it’ll say 7.5 x 10 by default). Then select “portrait” for both on the right side.
  4. Go ahead and create a background in Powerpoint (exact same way and choices as in Word).
  5. Save it. But, save it as a .tif. When it asks you, tell it to only extract the current slide. Don’t worry about saving the actual presentation.
  6. Go back to your Word doc. Format > Background > Printer Watermark. Choose the “Select Picture” tab. Navigate to the .tif you created in powerpoint. Change Scale to 100%, Uncheck Washout. Hit “OK”.
  7. Now you can add Header text and Footer text OVER your background image and everything will print out in true color.
  8. Important Note: You’re still constrained by your printer’s ability. If it doesn’t print edge-to-edge (which most printers don’t) you’ll be stuck with a white border around your printout. This is your printer’s fault. Or your “Page Setup” setting’s fault. Good luck.