The trick to add background image to Word table

When it comes to inserting a background image into the Microsoft Word table, it’s possible with a little trickery. It’s not ideal but quite easy.

We’ll show you how to insert a picture background into a Word table. You’ll need to be aware that it can likely go wrong when the document formatting changes, unfortunately Word hasn’t exactly made inserting background images in tables an easy thing.

Word Table with Picture Background

Insert your image into the Word document at Insert | Illustrations | Pictures (choose between your device, stock images or online pictures…)

Next, select your image and select the Layout Options icon on the top right corner and under ‘With Text Wrapping’ to Behind Text.

Now move (drag) the image until its ‘under’ the table and resize the image and table as required. You might need to fix up the text in the table too so that it’s easy to read / see.  In this example the text has all but disappeared!

Changing the table text formatting.  All black or white text, depending on the image.  Larger font size might help or a clearer sans-serif font.

Select the image only

You won’t be able to physically group the image together with the table, and once it’s behind the table it’ll be pretty hard to select.

All you need to do is go to Layout | Arrange | Selection Pane and select the image.  

Once the picture is selected you can change the image, edit it or delete it.

Make the picture less intrusive

Often the picture is too dark or busy obscuring the text over it.  The Office Picture Tools can fix that, in particular Picture | Format | Adjust | Transparency.

Select the image under the table (using the Selection Pane mentioned above). That makes the Picture Format tab appear, try Transparency or some other option to find a text/image balance.

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