Google Docs

Google Docs, a part of Google Drive, is the most popular and arguably the best free online word processor available. It’s easy to create, upload, save, share, and collaborate on documents at Google Docs with various formatting options. It has great sharing and workgroup capabilities that make it a natural fit for collaborative work with documents. However, some features such as adding background images to your Docs documents are not supported directly which is sometimes a main requirement of the users. But there are a couple of workarounds that will let you add a background image to your Docs document which is discussed below.


The best two ways of adding a background image to your Google Docs file are discussed. The first method involves using Microsoft Word to add the background image, then adjusting the image transparency when you import the file into Docs. The second method that is much simpler bypasses Docs entirely and uses Google Slides to add the image.


This method requires access to Word or a subscription to Office Online.

  1. First create your Google Docs document with everything that you want for your final document- the text, non-background images etc.
  2. Create a new Word document using either Office Online or Word.
  3. Then copy the contents of your Docs document into the Word document.
  4. If the Docs document contains complex multimedia, formatting, or graphics then save your Docs document as a .docx file. For saving a document as a .docx just select “File->Download as->Microsoft Word (.docx)”.
  5. Now open the .docx file in Word and select Insert->Picture from the main ribbon.
  6. Choose your picture from the file dialog and select Insert. Your picture will now appear in the Word document.
  7. Right-click on the picture and select Wrap Text->In Front of Text. We choose this option because we are going to re-import this file into Google Docs, and Docs doesn’t support the “Behind Text” option.
  8. Save the Word file and close Word.
  9. Now go back into Google Docs, and select File->Open. Select the “Upload” option and choose the Word file that you just saved.
  10. Right-click on the image and select “Image Options”. The Image Options pane will open.
  11. Adjust the transparency to suit your needs, and save your document and you are done.

This option works well in situations where you don’t have a lot of text.

  1. Create a new blank presentation in Google Slides.
  2. From your blank slide document, click on “File” and then select “Page Setup”.
  3. Then click on “Custom”. Set the height to 11” and width to 8.5”; this sets your presentation to look like a page in a Google Docs document.
  4. Click on the “Slide” tab and choose the “Change Background” option.
  5. The “Background” dialog box will appear and click on the “Choose” button. Browse your computer for the image you want to add and click on “Open”.
  6. Once the image is uploaded, click on “Done”.
  7. After adding your image(s), you can add text boxes and edit the text as you want.

After editing text, you can download your newly created presentation as a PDF and also use it with PowerPoint.

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