How to Add a Background Image in Google Docs

Google Docs logo on a white background

The easiest way to add a background image is via the watermark feature. Select Insert > Watermark and pick the image you want to use in the background. To add a background image only to a single page, use the Insert > Image option instead. Set the image to “Behind text.”

You may be working on a document that could benefit from a background image. You can easily add images to your documents inside Google Docs. We’ll show you how.

Unlike Word, which allows you to use an image as your document background, Google Docs only lets you change the page color. However, there are a few workarounds you can try.

Add and Adjust a Watermark Image Background

The simplest way to add an image background in Google Docs is using the Watermark feature. With it, you can cover each page of your document and adjust the image transparency.

RELATED: How to Insert an Image Watermark in Google Docs

Open your document, select the Insert menu, and pick “Watermark.”

Watermark on the Insert menu in Google Docs

When the Watermark sidebar opens, confirm you’re on the Image tab. Then, click “Select Image.”

Select Image in the Watermark sidebar

Locate, select, and insert your image. You can upload a picture, use your camera to capture one, enter a URL, or choose a photo from Google Drive, Photos, or Images.

Image location options in Google Docs

You’ll then see the image appear as a watermark in your document. It will also display in the Watermark sidebar.

Image watermark in Google Docs

In the sidebar, you can use the Scale drop-down box to make the image larger or smaller. To remove the transparency, uncheck the box for Faded.

To make other adjustments like brightness, contrast, size, or rotation, select “More Image Options.”

Watermark formatting options in the sidebar

When you finish making adjustments, select “Done” to save the image background.

Because the image becomes part of the document background, you can add text, insert tables, and continue creating your document as normal. The background will not be disturbed.

Image watermark in Google Docs with text on the page

If you want to edit the picture later, double-click the background and pick “Edit Watermark” which displays at the bottom of the page. This reopens the sidebar for you to make your changes or remove the watermark.

Insert, Resize, and Lock an Image Background

The watermark feature’s downfall is that it applies to all pages in your document. If you want your image background to apply to only one page, you can use the Insert option instead.

Go to Insert > Image and choose the location of the picture from the pop-out menu. Navigate to the image, select it, and pick “Insert.”

Image location options in Google Docs

Resize the Image

When the image appears in your document, you may need to resize it to fit the entire page, depending on its size. You can drag a corner of the image to resize it while maintaining the aspect ratio or drag an edge if the ratio isn’t crucial.

Image inserted in Google Docs

Alternatively, choose “Image Options” in the toolbar, expand the Size & Rotation section, and enter the measurements in the Size area.

Size section of the Image Options sidebar

Place the Image Behind the Text

Next, you’ll want to place the picture behind your document text. Select the image and choose the Behind Text icon in the floating toolbar beneath it.

Behind Text in the floating toolbar for the image

Or, click “Image Options” in the top toolbar to open the sidebar. Expand the Text Wrapping section and pick “Behind Text.”

Behind Text in the Text Wrapping section of the sidebar

Lock the Image’s Position

Finally, you should lock the image’s position on the page so it doesn’t move when you add text or other items. Select the image and pick “Fix Position on Page” in the floating toolbar’s drop-down box.

Fix Position on Page in the image toolbar

Note: You won’t see this drop-down box in the toolbar until you select the Behind Text icon, as described above.

Alternatively, click “Image Options” in the top toolbar, expand the Position section, and mark the “Fix Position on Page” option.

Fix Position on Page in the Image Options sidebar

Additional Adjustments

Depending on how you want your image to appear, you may want to adjust it. You can make it more transparent, change the brightness, or recolor it.

RELATED: How to Crop, Rotate, and Adjust Images in Google Docs

Select the picture and pick “Image Options” in the top toolbar. You can use the Recolor and Adjustments sections in the sidebar for your changes.

Recolor and Adjustments in the Image Options sidebar

If you decide to remove the image background later, select the picture and press your Delete key or right-click it and pick “Delete.”

Delete in the image shortcut menu

And that’s it! While you’re here, why not learn how to move images in Google Docs?

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