How to change the document background color in Pages

When you’re creating a flyer, poster, or brochure in Apple Pages, adding a splash of color to the background is a great way to spruce it up.

With Pages on iOS and Mac, you can add a color or gradient as the background for your document, and here’s how.

Change background color of document in the Pages app

Creating your document in Pages on Mac

While Apple offers the ability to change the background of a document in Pages, it’s not just as easy as creating a new document and popping in a color or gradient. You can currently only change the background of a Page Layout or Master Page document.

Page Layout documents are what you use to create things like newsletters and posters. You can add objects like text boxes and images and then arrange them as you like.

Master Page documents are templated page designs that are used by Page Layout documents.

So, if you start your project with one of the templates in Pages, you’re one step ahead and can jump down to the steps for changing the background.

But if you are starting with a basic blank page, you’ll have to convert it to a Page Layout document, and as of now, you can only do that on Mac.

1) Click the Document button on the top right of the Pages window.

2) Uncheck the box for Document Body.

3) You’ll then see a pop-up message confirming that you want to convert the document to a Page Layout document. Click Convert.

Convert to Page Layout Document Mac Pages

Changing the background color in Pages on Mac

When you’re ready to change the background to a color or gradient for your Pages document, just follow these steps:

1) Click the Format button on the top right of the Pages window to open the formatting sidebar.

2) Under Background, click the drop-down box and select the type of background you’d like, such as Color Fill or Gradient Fill. You can also pick an image for your background if you want.

3) Depending on which one you choose, you’ll see different options where you can pick colors or adjust gradient settings. When you make your selections, you’ll see the document change immediately.

Change Background Color Pages on Mac

If you have multiple pages in your document and want each one colored differently, you can do that by following the same steps as you create each page.

Creating your document in Pages on iPhone or iPad

Since you currently cannot convert a document to Page Layout on iPhone or iPad, you’ll either need to use a synced document you created on your Mac or use one of the templates. If you started a document on your Mac, you should see it on the main screen of Pages, where you can just open it.

If you want to start with a template instead, do the following.

1) Tap the plus sign on the top right to create a new document and tap Choose a Template.

2) Browse through the template options like those for flyers, posters, and newsletters.

3) Tap the one you want and if necessary, remove any of the objects that you will not need for your project. (Just tap the object and select Delete.)

Choose Page Layout Document iPhone Pages

Changing the background color in Pages on iOS

When you’re ready to change the background to a color or gradient for your document on iPhone or iPad, just follow these steps:

1) Tap a blank spot on the document and then tap the Format button on the top right.

2) In the pop-up, tap Background.

3) Choose from PresetColor, or Gradient. You can also pick an image for your background if you like.

4) Tap to make your selections based on the type of background you choose. Like on Mac, you’ll see your changes immediately.

5) When you finish, tap X to close the format window.

Change Background Color Pages on iPhone

Note: You may not see the background format option in all templates on iPhone and iPad.

Colored backgrounds for documents are most common for the types of examples above, like posters and flyers. But of course, you can add a background to any type of document. Are you going to add some color to your next Pages project?

Other Pages tutorials: