Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Add a Background (or not…)

When some Excel users learn that they can insert a Background Image into their Excel worksheets, they suddenly consider themselves the Picassos of the Excel World and believe that images belong everywhere.  This is, of course, certainly not advisable, and may raise the eyebrows of any executives that may see their handiwork. 

There are instances, however, when Backgrounds are appropriate or even desirable.  Take for instance an important Company Logo.  If inserted in the background in a very light-colored, non-interfering manner, the logo may serve as a tasteful Watermark.  This can be quite effective if you use a special company graphic that adds just a hint of a background without obscuring the readability of the data being presented in the worksheet.
How to Add the Background Image

Adding an image to a worksheet could not be easier (just try to resist doing it to all of your work…).  Simply do the following:
  1. On the Toolbar, click on the Page Layout tab.
  2. Go to the Page Setup group on the ribbon and click Background
  3. Browse to the file in your own network or on the web, and double-click it
  4. Voila!  Your image has been inserted!
 So, What if You Don’t Like the Background?

To remove an image, simply follow the same instructions listed above, but at Step 2 click “Delete Background”.

A Few Added Suggestions:
  • Take Care in Choosing Your Picture:  Adding images can significantly increase the file size of your workbook if you choose a large image, so make sure it is comparatively small.
  • Recommended Image Type:  For best results you should use standard image types such as JPG, PNG, or GIF.
  • Format to Improve Appearance:  Use an image that provides good contrast with your Excel content, and try hiding cell gridlines and applying solid color shading to cells that contain data. It can be very effective.
Adding Backgrounds.  When used with caution, they can add a bit of pizazz to your worksheets.  Try it out the next time you are posting scores for your Company Bowling League.  Cheers!

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