Create Cool Desktop Wallpapers Quickly using Microsoft Word

Jeffry Thurana 16-03-2010

00 Peculiar wallpaper.jpgHave you ever used a computer without a mouse? I don’t need to tell you that it’s extremely hard – even for a keyboard guy like me. Switching between open applications is easy (Alt + Tab), accessing the menu is also a walk in the park (Alt + Underlined letter – in Windows); but when the time to click a weblink comes, the suffering starts.


At my workplace, there’s only one public computer in our common room. Individual computers are for top management only. So everybody at my workplace was furious when our little black mouse vanished. Even though one of my friends was kind enough to lend his own mouse, the tension was still rising. To lighten up the atmosphere, I decided to make a quick and funny desktop wallpaper based on the situation.

Why wallpaper? So that everybody – the management people included – could see it. And why quick? Because in about fifteen minutes, one of the supervisors would visit the common room.

Word Painting

The problem was, the only graphic application that existed on the computer was MS Paint. Extremely inadequate for our little project. And to think that I only had several minutes left, I might just have canceled my plan. Fortunately, there’s MS Word to save the day.

In my humble opinion, using the famous Microsoft Word just to write documents is overkill. It has so many features beyond word processing. My first graphic editor is Word, and I still use it occasionally for small and quick projects like this wallpaper thingy.

In the rush of the moment, I didn’t have the time to document the process. So I recreated everything at home using MS Word for Mac. The images might have slight differences to the Windows version, but the steps are exactly the same.


Anyway, here’s what I did. I opened a blank document :

desktop wallpapers for computers

And changed the orientation to landscape.

desktop wallpapers for computers


I inserted a text box and started to type some ‘catchy’ phrases/sentences.

create desktop wallpapers for computers

Then I edited the text: changing the font types, sizes, colors, alignment, and other attributes.

04 Editing the text.jpg


I switched from Word to the web for a while to find an appropriate picture. I opened the web browser and went to Flickr to do the “commercial use Creative Common search“. If you have Quix, you could do this quicker by using “fc“. My search string was cute mouse.

create your own wallpaper

I found one image that I liked, downloaded it and inserted it to my document using the “Insert > Picture > From File” menu.

create your own wallpaper


I also adjusted the picture to fill the document, and arranged it to appear behind the text (Right click –> “Arrange > Behind Text“).

create your own wallpaper

After that, I continued by customizing the text box. I right-clicked on it and chose “Format Text Box

08a Format Text Box.jpg

I gradient filled the text box using the similar tone of color as the picture I used: Dark Brown and Light Brown. I also set the transparency to around 50%.

08b Color Fill.jpg

My last steps were changing the font color to white and did some minor adjustments.

09 final product.jpg

Capturing The Image

After finishing the final product, I viewed the document in full screen and captured the image using Jing How To Take A Better Screenshot Image With Jing (Mac) Read More .

Then I quickly went to the Desktop, changed the wallpaper, and waited for the supervisor to lay his eyes on the new wallpaper.

10 Windows_Desktop.png

One final note: basically, you could do this kind of project under any OS and using any kind of application as long as it can manipulate text, insert shape and insert picture. Just be creative.

You could read other articles about using MS Word for graphical uses such as to create a Mind Map How to Build a Mind Map in Microsoft Word Microsoft Word may not be the first tool you pick for mind maps. But with these tips, Word can be effective for mind mapping. Read More , or to create a logo How To Make a Logo Easily with Microsoft Word Microsoft Word isn't the first choice for drawing logos. It doesn't have the credentials to merit a place in a lineup of design software. But can it gatecrash? Let's take a risk. Read More . And even though the definition of “good design” is very subjective, you could improve your ‘sense’ by learning the basic principle of design How To Learn Principles of Design From Pre-Installed Templates Read More .

And as always, any thoughts, opinions, rants, whatever, write them down in the comments below.

Image credit: Tina Jiménez and Furryscaly

Related topics: Microsoft Word, Wallpaper.

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  1. Anonymous
    April 27, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I like this one. I use win 7 and this works fine. thank you.

  2. Infinity
    April 8, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Don't leave me hanging! What was the reaction in the office to your new wallpaper?

    • Jeffry Thurana
      April 13, 2010 at 7:59 pm

      Most of my co-workers giggle, the supervisor took a glance and did not say a word. But we have a new mouse now. :)

  3. MAK
    March 21, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    I use MS-PowerPoint for this kind of work. It is more convenient and you can save all your slide content by right clicking on them and choosing "save as picture".

    Murtaza A. Kapaasi

  4. JD
    March 20, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Nice post! I personally prefer Microsoft PowerPoint for all kinds of image works.. I guess it's basically coz there is no default pointer on the page, and i can insert stuff, and move them around much easier as compared to Word. :)

  5. Saket
    March 19, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    cool! i likie...

  6. Bimal Roy
    March 16, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    That's a new trick. Thanks.

  7. Cheryl Penn
    March 16, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I'm working with Word 2007.
    I'm unable to locate the Arrange option through right clicking (...Right click –> “Arrange > Behind Text“).
    The Send to Front or Send to Back buttons are grayed out. Do I have to use an image in a certain format?

    • Jeffry Thurana
      March 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm


      I've tried using jpg and png without any problem. But AFAIK, you should be able to do it with almost any image format. (Or maybe you simply forgot to select the image before doing the right click?)

    • Steve Ashley
      March 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm


      After selecting your image, set Text Wrapping to something other than In Line With Text. That should make your other arrangement buttons active.