Our forum administrator Scott showed me an interesting trick in Outlook 2007 where you can assign any picture as the background to an email. Since this was news to me, I figured that I’d write it up for everybody else.

You should use this feature with caution, of course, since it will increase the size of the email and if you choose a really obnoxious image it will also annoy whoever you are sending the email to. Note that this feature is different from the Stationery feature in Outlook, which we’ll cover at another time.

Adding a Background Picture

Open up a new email, click on the Options tab and then the Page Color drop-down button, and then the Fill Effects item at the bottom of the menu.

Note that you’ll need to have your email in HTML or Rich Text mode for this to work.

You can use the Textures or Patterns on the various tabs if you like, although none of them are that great.


Or you can choose a particular picture from the Picture tab by using the Select Picture button to browse and find a file. You’ll want to make sure to choose an image that can be tiled, and also make sure that it’s small since it’s going to be included in the email.

You’ll notice that this particular image doesn’t tile very well…

And since it’s not mostly dark or mostly light, the text is barely readable.

Instead you want to choose a background image that can tile and is either mostly dark or mostly light colored.

Of course, you should always use this feature with caution. Nobody wants to get some gigantic picture as the background image for an email.

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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. Heโ€™s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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