Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How to Make Teacher Docs: Backgrounds

Do you want to create original documents for your students? Feeling bewildered by the technological tools involved? Here's my story:

A year ago I didn't know how to do a screen capture. (Now I use this on an almost daily basis!)

Nine months ago I didn't know how to use Word for anything but typing.

Six months ago I didn't know how to put clipart into a Word document.

Last week I didn't know how to put backgrounds into Word docs.

Two days ago I didn't know how to do a screen recording.

Reading this list, I'm feeling slightly accomplished! (Despite the fact that I'm home writing a blog entry only because I have a kid with a 103+ degree fever sleeping on the couch nearby! Poor kid feels TERRIBLE! But I digress...) 

Even my teenagers, a major source of my technological education, are marginally impressed with my new abilities. Not that they don't roll their eyes occasionally. Just last week they watched me trying to put a circle into a worksheet. "Mom, hold down SHIFT to keep the circle perfectly round." (If only someone had told me that a year ago!)

Although I don't keep a bucket list or make New Year's Resolutions, I've really been wanting to learn how to make the cute teacher handouts that are constantly posted all over the internet--in blogs, on teacher selling sites, on Google Docs...  Little by little, I'm learning. I'm happy to share a couple things that I've recently discovered. Hopefully, this will make your bucket list a little easier!

Note: A TON of credit goes to MyCuteGraphics. That's where I'm getting most of my clipart. And it's where I found a tutorial for how to put a background into a Word Doc. I had to experiment a bit because Word on my Mac doesn't look like her photos. (I assume she has a PC?) But I figured it out. Here tis...

If this sort of tutorial helps you with your bucket list, please leave a comment. I'd be happy to make more if I know that it helps someone!

And if I totally did it wrong, let me know. I can take it. I think. 

For the rest of the series, see Make Teacher Docs.


  1. Replies
    1. That's awesome coming from the person who has learned far more about this stuff in a far shorter time than I! :)

  2. AWESOME!!! I posted on my blog a while back that it would be great if I could find someone who would mentor me on how to make all those great worksheets/packets everyone else makes.
    Thank you for the time in doing this.

    1. LadyB, I'm still looking for someone to mentor ME! But maybe we can muddle through together. ;)

      MyCuteGraphics has been a huge help. I plan to continue these posts, so drop me a line if there are specifics you'd like to see covered!

  3. This is exactly what I needed! I just went to MyCuteGraphics and made a document with one of the super cute backgrounds. You have no idea how long I have tried to figure out how to do this. Thanks for the help.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I have a terrible time with the background in word. It would never fill the page properly, etc... You wouldn't happen to know how to use a custom background on Blogger, would you? I'd LOVE a tutorial on that. Thanks again, Stacy @ http://new-in-room-202.blogspot.com

    1. Stacy, I don't know how to do a custom background on Blogger, but I think I do know about the other issue...filling the page properly. It happened to me when I tried to load a SINGLE page rather than the whole document. I need to do a tutorial on that. :) Thanks for posting!

  5. Okay, I am gone for a short time and now you are a pro at this stuff and left me in the dust! LOL

    I absolutely LOVED hearing your beautiful voice. I can now put a voice to your photo and your emails. It is all coming together now :)

  6. Thank you so much for creating the videos! I have been trying to figure out how to make my own stuff! I have a MAC too, so this was really helpful! Thank you for sharing! =)

  7. Hello,
    Thanks for the tutorial. I tried this and it worked well, except once I save it and open it the background is gone. I get it back if I go back to the program but if I save it as a pdf or try to email it out the background is missing on the saved document. Any idea what could be wrong? Do I need to merge the document?

    1. It looks totally fine in Word but is gone in the pdf? I'm not sure. I haven't experienced that before. I wonder if it has something to do with the layers? Wish I could help you. I've never had to merge anything. I do know that if I look at it (even in Word) that sometimes it can look like the background isn't there if my layers are in a certain order. But if I can see it in Word, I've always been able to see it in the pdf. Good luck!

  8. Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. I figured it out. Thought I would post in case anyone else has the same problem.

    This is for the Mac:

    1. Click on Word (top bar next to the apple)
    2. Click on Preferences
    3. A box pops up on output and sharing click Print
    4. A new box opens, check Background Colors and Images
    5. Click OK to save new settings


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