Friday, June 14, 2013

How to print white text on black or colored paper (Yes, it's possible -and easy)

So this isn't so much a DIY project as much as it is a tip and trick that I learned today as I was attempting to make a DIY Father's Day gift for my husband.  What I wanted to do was print out a document that looked like a blackboard with white chalkboard font.  But if you've ever tried to print white font you know it's not actually as simple as it seems like it should be.

You can't just stick a black piece of paper (or any other non-white sheet of paper) into the printer and get white text by selecting white or even a shade of near-white for your text. So how to print white text on a black background...This had me scratching my head and running around like a mad woman as time was running out.

Then my neighbor stopped over, saw my distress, and suggested putting a black square behind the white text in the word processing program I was using. (Wait til I tell you the other life hacks she shared!)  To easily make the black square in the background try using a program like Powerpoint or PhotoShop instead of MS Word so you can more easily manipulate the shapes and text.  (As you know by now...I am a sucker for PowerPoint.)

Stretch black sqaure to fit the full page
I tried this on black construction paper and the paper looked like nothing had been printed on it - even though I had selected white text.  That's when I noticed there looked like a black square on the black paper.  Where the text was supposed to be I could actually see it was negative space - in other words I could see the actual paper instead of ink for the font.  Am I making any sense here? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Anyway, what I realized was...if I printed this same black background with white font on white paper, the white text would actually show up as negative space and thus the white paper would shine through all that black ink.  So all that text you see right there <<< that's actually the white paper peeking through. 

Ah ha...tricked you printer - and that's my hack to print white text on a black background.  (BTW I cut my piece down to size and then mounted it on a piece of white card stock to make it a little thicker...which is why you see a white border on top and bottom.)

So now you're to print white font on colored paper.  Well, you don't actually use colored paper. You just use white paper and change the color of your background square...obviously this would be if you want a red background.  If you'd like another color - just change that background square.  Yes, it uses a lot of ink so use this technique sparingly (we figured dad was worth it). And least you're saving in the white spaces...silver lining people, silver lining. 

You're welcoming....2IY bringing you the life hacks you really need. Haha.

PS. Tutorial on this super cute, easy, cheap, kid-friendly and last minute Father's Day gift is coming soon. 

Happy Friday Everyone!

Posted by: Melissa


  1. Okay, but I want to use colored paper (black) not burn through gallons of black ink

    1. then you can't do it! she's just showing us a way round it

  2. Hey, I just read out your blog, it's quite interesting and informative thank you for sharing it..personally, I like NutsandBolts for learning how to print powerpoint with notes. just check it out. I m sure you won't regret it

  3. excellent, thank you, all the sites say use the black box behind the white words, then print onto a black sheet, rubbish, Thank You, Haydn, South Africa

  4. excellent thanks, I've been trying to do this x


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