How to Put a Picture in the Background on an Excel Spreadsheet

Written by leonardo r. grabkowski
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Microsoft Excel allows users to import a background image into a spreadsheet file. The process does not eliminate the cell grid lines and does not affect functionality. Adding a background image to informal spreadsheets may help make them more attractive. Most picture file formats, including BMP, JPEG and TIFF, are supported by Excel. The process of adding a picture in the background of an Excel spreadsheet is slightly different between Microsoft Excel 2003 and 2007.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    Microsoft Excel 2003

  1. 1

    Open your spreadsheet. Click on the tab labelled "Format."

  2. 2

    Scroll over "Sheet," and then select "Background."

  3. 3

    Browse through your pictures to find the one you want to add. Click on the file name, then click "Insert."

    Microsoft Excel 2007

  1. 1

    Open your spreadsheet. Click on "Layout" in the top menu bar.

  2. 2

    Click "Background," and then browse through your pictures.

  3. 3

    Select the picture you want to set as the background and click "Insert."

Tips and warnings

  • Choose a light-coloured picture to increase legibility. If you have trouble viewing the data within your cells, consider changing the text colour to stand out.

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