This post is to address an every day issue that you face when working with spread sheets (MS Excel – OpenOffice Spreadsheets etc). We normally cannot print spreadsheets with a background. I mean when you print the document it does not show the background graphic.

When confronted with this problem I googled it up. (Sorry can’t help. it’s a habit) Now Microsoft, as we all know, are charming people who love it when you have trouble using their product. They said “This issue occurs because background graphics cannot be printed in Excel.” How smart and what a useful answer. Guess what they even ask “Did this information solve your problem?” I felt like kicking that bloke who wrote this in the ‘you know which’ place.

Ok enough.. Now here is the solution.

Setting a background for your Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet


I hope the screen-shot would suffice. All you need to do is go to the main menu. Then Choose Format >> Sheet >> Background.

Browse the image file and select it.

The back ground will get tiled all over the work area. There is no overriding this I guess. So choose a proper sized graphic to fit your printable area.
Tip: Use white space around the image (photoshop or other graphic tool) to fit it wherever you want on the printable area. See this example.

Seriously I do

Seriously I do

Now if you want to print the same you would never get the background. Try and check the print preview.

So How to Print the Spreadsheet along with the Background?

Save the file as webpage. (.html or .htm)

Then open the file in your browser and print as you like. Remember to do the print set up properly. On my Firefox I do this.


Hope that helped.

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5 Responses so far.

  1. Doug Hodges says:

    The background image does not show up in the .htm file.

  2. Felix says:

    you’re awesome,dude. it did work.

  3. Vincent says:

    God Bless you! This worked.
    Thanks for the help

  4. Sunil says:

    It works. Thanks.

  5. FL says:

    it works to print the excel file with the background image, however the resolution is so low can’t really read the information anymore. any other methods?

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