Pages Backgrounds

A new feature in Pages allows you to create color, gradient or image backgrounds in Page Layout documents. You can stretch or tile images across the page. You can also tint the image to fit your needs.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Pages Backgrounds.

The latest version of Pages, version 7.1, has a new feature that allows you to add a background in page layout documents. Let's take a look.

I'm going to choose a basic template here and I'm going to convert that to a page layout document. As a standard word processing document this feature isn't available. That's when you have text flowing from one page to the next. But page layout documents are used to create things like signs and brochures, that's where this feature is. Now you want to make sure Format is selected here in the right sidebar. You can see here that there's a section for background. If it's closed you want to open it by clicking here.

So let's zoom out, actually, so we can see the whole page here. Now we can fill it with a color. So I can change to Color Fill and you can see it does a solid color here. I can choose from one of these chips here. I can choose from here or click here to bring up the color selector and choose any color I want. So color fill is pretty basic.

Gradient fill gets a little more complex. It's going from one color to another. So you can see I can have it go left to right or up and down. Change the angle manually here. I can change what color it goes from and what color it goes to. For more complex settings go to Advances Gradient Fill. Now I can actually, you know, have more one color than another. I can change the mid point between colors. Add another color in there so I can have multiple colors. So I can create pretty advanced things. I can also go to a Radial Fill here. You can reverse it. You can change the angle. Lots of things that you can do in Advanced Gradient Fill.

Image Fill is where you take some image. It can be a photograph, it could be a texture, whatever. It's got this here by default. You can choose to have it displayed either tiled, scale the whole thing to fill, scale to fit. If tiled you can change the size. So you can zoom in or out.

Let's say we want to use our own. You can just drag and drop. I'm going to drag an image file from the Finder. Drag it into here. You can see it put it there. Now I can scale to fill it and that's what it looks like. To fit you can now see the entire thing. If I tile it, you can see there it is tiled. You can zoom in and out. So that's really useful to be able to do it like that. You can do Advanced Image Fill. The interesting thing about Advanced Image Fill is using the same image but now you can actually colorize it. So I can change the color, the tint, of what I'm using which in this case works out really well. So here's another one I've got. Another image. It's like a water image there. I can, you know, change it to a different color to do something different with it.

So these are really useful. Obviously these are probably not going to be used for things that you print out. Can you image the amount of ink you're going to use when you're printing these out even on a good, efficient laser printer or something. But now that we create things like PDF's and all with Pages mostly you can use this to make some interesting backgrounds. Of course if you're just doing a one off sign like that and you have a good color printer then using a background could be an interesting way to make it stand out.

Comments: 11 Responses to “Pages Backgrounds”

    Terry Haddow
    10 months ago

    Thanks Gary. I have been trying to find this feature in the update but couldn’t. Thanks for showing me. Is this feature in the IOS version ( I can’t find it ) ?

    10 months ago

    Terry: It is kinda mentioned as a new feature in iOS too, but I can’t find it either. You can add images to the background in Document Setup, but you could do that before too.

    Carlo Bosmans
    10 months ago

    Okay, Gary, but how do you about typing text over the background?

    10 months ago

    Carlo: Just add a text box.

    Donna Vitarelli
    10 months ago

    How do I change the document rulers in Pages to inches? I work mostly on my iPad but also have an iMac.

    10 months ago

    Donna: On Mac, it is under Pages, Preferences, Rulers. But on iOS, there is no setting. I think it is just automatic from Settings, General, Language & Region, Region.

    10 months ago

    This is easier than “watermarking” a document. However I’ve found that in trying to put background in an existing document, nothing can be selected in the document and it will only background one page at a time in a multipage document. Excellent tutorial, easy to follow, thanks!

    10 months ago

    hi Gary I can’t seem to find a way to change the opacity of an image background. Is there a way? Frustrating since Word has had this feature for as long as I can remember….

    10 months ago

    Nick: What are you trying to do, exactly? Logically, there shouldn’t be any opacity setting for a “background” — it is the background. There is nothing behind it.

    10 months ago

    Gary: by adjusting the opacity I was thinking you can set how dark or light the background will print. For example, I may want to have a very faded background image in some cases and a more prominent one in others. Hope that makes sense

    10 months ago

    nick: Opacity refers to how opaque (100%) or transparent (0%) the image is, so you can see what is behind it. That doesn’t make sense when you refer to a background because by definition the background is the bottommost thing. There is nothing behind it. If you want to have a lighter background image, adjust the brightness of the image (in Photos, PhotoShop, etc) and export a new version before selecting it as a background.

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