Saturday, July 02, 2011

Background Images

I am publishing this wonderful photo of a meadow in full bloom in France (photo by ©Francesca Bostock, 2011) just to show how to use background images.

What is attractive about this photograph is that it has a natural colour sequence: look how deep green, light green, speckled yellow, scarlet red, orange-red, deep blue and light blue is spread throughout the expanse of the meadow. And the curving road at the top adds a pefect finishing touch. Nature is the best artist.

Now, drop the photo into your Pages document, then under Arrange menu Send it to Back or Send Object to Background. After that create a Shape (a text box, or a rectangle) and in Graphic Inspector choose colour fill, pick colour (here it is a shade of green, but grey would work well too) and reduce opacity to around 75 percent, then type and format your text – an invitation to the Fourth of July barbecue, to la Bastille fireworks or to the Remembrance ceremony (image on the right).

One semi-transparent box
If you think the text doesn't stand out enough, use the two box trick (image below): insert a second shape, make it larger than the shape with text and Send Backward under Arrange menu. Then reduce opacity to around 75 percent.

Next select the box with text, in Graphic Inspector click on colour well and when  Colour viewer opens increase opacity to 100 percent. Using two boxes instead of one gives the impression of transparency while in fact the main box has solid colour fill to allow the text to be clearly visible.

Read more in the articles How to make coloured text stand out on the same colour background and Fading Out a Background Image.

See more photos of Normandy on my photo blog.


  1. Alexander,
    Had a problem converting a brochure into PDF that I worked for months on in Pages. I thought it was all for naught. Your blog is remarkable. Apple should pay you! Their forums are very good, but your site is invaluable. Thank you!
    Lost in Los Angeles (and now found)

  2. You're welcome. I am glad it helped - and good luck with your brochure.
    With amazing grace,


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