How to Make a Background Transparent on Microsoft Publisher

by Kevin Lee

Although Microsoft Publisher gives you the power to create professional publications quickly, you may have trouble discovering the tools that can make your documents more readable and effective. Publisher's transparency tool, for instance, helps people turn solid backgrounds into transparent ones -- but the tool is hidden. Find it if you'd like to make an unwanted background disappear or when the existing background makes it hard for people to see the publication's text.

Step 1

Open a Publisher publication and click "Page Design." Click "Master Pages" followed by "Edit Master Pages" and move to the Pages panel that displays thumbnail images of the publication's master pages.

Step 2

Click the master page you'd like to edit, click the ribbon's "Page Design" button and then click the "Background" button. Click "More Backgrounds" to open the Format Background dialog box.

Click "Picture or Texture Fill" to reveal a Transparency slider and the text box that sits next to it. Type "100" in the text box and click "OK." Publisher makes the publication's background 100 percent transparent.


  • You can also type smaller values, such as "50," in the Format Background text box. Publisher will make the background translucent. Experiment with different transparency values to achieve the effect you desire. If you'd like to make your publication's background reappear, change the transparency value to 0.
  • After you click the "Background" button, you will see a few predefined background colors above the "More Backgrounds" button. Click one of those colors if you'd like to make a quick change to the publication's background.

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