How to Put an Image Behind Text in Google Docs

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
@matthewwilhelmkapell
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Google Docs is the cloud-based word processing system offered by Google. Despite its many virtues, Docs has one drawback: it has a relatively limited feature set. Unlike Microsoft Word, which has a giant list of features, Google Docs focuses on a few basic things and the good ones. For 99% of users 99% of the time, that's more than enough. However, sometimes you need Google Docs to have functionality, and in those times it can let you down.



One feature that many users want Google Docs to provide is the ability to add backgrounds. Sadly, Docs does not directly support background images in your documents. However, there are a few workarounds that will allow you to add a background image to Docs, and in this article, I will show you how.

Top XNUMX Google Docs Workarounds for Adding Images Behind Text

There are at least three ways to add a background image to your Google Docs file. If you have any other suggestions or approaches, then by all means, share them with us in the comments section at the end of this article!

Three workarounds for adding an image behind text in Google Docs include:

  • Use Microsoft Word to add the background image, then adjust the transparency of the image when you import the file into Docs.
  • Use Google Slides to add the image.
  • Use Google Docs using the Drawings feature.

Let's break down these three options.

Option 1: Use Microsoft Word to add Google Docs background

The MS Word method requires that you have a licensed copy of Microsoft Word through the Retail package, Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), or the free Office Online software.



  1. Create your document in Google Docs with the text (but without background images) and other elements you want for your final document.
  2. Copy the contents of your Docs document and paste it into a Word document or save the file as a .docx file (most accurate) choosing “File -> Download As -> Microsoft Word (.docx). »
  3. Open the .docx file in Word and select "Insert > Picture" of the main ribbon.
  4. Choose your image from the pop-up file explorer window and select “Insert. » Your image now appears in the Word document.
  5. Right click on the image and select “Wrap text -> In front of text” because Google Docs does not support the "Behind Text" option.
  6. Save the Word file and close Word.
  7. Return to Google Docs and select “File -> Open. » To choose " Download " and select the Word file you just saved. The image is inserted into Google Docs.
  8. Right click on the image and select « Options d’image ». Adjust the transparency slider to your needs, then save your document. You now have (sort of) a background image in your Docs document.

Option 2: Use Google Slides to add Google Docs background

Another option to create a simple document with a background image using only Google tools is to use Google Slides. This option works well when you don't need a lot of text and don't need editable text unless you include some around the image.



  1. Create a new blank presentation in Google Slides.
  2. From your blank slide handout, click "File -> Page Setup", So choose « custom«  and set the height to fit your Google Docs page. Adjust the sizes according to the margin settings, so that the 11″ width is 9″ with 1″ margins.
  3. Click on the "Drag" tab and choose "Change of background. »
  4. In the Google Slides "Background" dialog box, click “Choose a picture. » Browse your computer for the image you want to add and click " Open. » Once the image is uploaded, click " Ended. »
  5. Repeat the above steps for each Goodle Slides page, then add text boxes and paste your Google Docs content.
  6. Once you are done placing and editing the text, take a screenshot of the slide. Next, open a new Google Docs document and insert the image. It's not editable text, but it works. Adjust the image size if necessary.

Option 3: Use the Drawings feature in Docs to add a background

If you prefer to stick with Google Docs to create your background image below the text, you should use the "Drawings" feature and add text boxes.



  1. In your current Docs file, position the cursor and select “Insert -> Drawing -> + New. »
  2. Click it " Picture " and select the file you want to use as a background.
  3. Modify the transparency of your image if necessary by clicking on the " pencil " icon and clicking « Transparent. »
  4. Select the "Add text box" and place the text box where you want your foreground text to appear. Next, type the foreground text, setting its font, color, and size to your preference. Presto, instant background image!

Following the steps above, you may need to manipulate your images and make the text match the existing content. This technique is better for very simple text overlays than a transparent background image on a standard text document, but it works.

As you can see, there are ways to add backgrounds to Google Docs, but not in the ordinary way. You sacrifice features, but it works until Google decides to add more features.

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