We know it might be difficult to choose a background for your page, but whatever you finally decide on, placing one is as easy as drag, drop, click a button, and save.

Choose from our predesigned backgrounds, upload your own high resolution image, or simply use a solid background.

You’ll have a full bleed background which captures your page theme just perfectly.


To place a predesigned background: 

  • Click Create > Page Designer > Images button
  • Choose from either Backgrounds_SAO folder or our exclusive Quick Creator™ Themes folders.
  • Drag an image of your choice onto your page. The image will place as a small photo box.
  • Click the image to select if the orange ball handles are not visible.
  • Click Format button.
  • Click Make Background.


 To place a solid background:

  • Click Create > Page Designer
  • On the top menu bar, click the gray solid shape box to place a new shape object on the page.
  • Click Format button
  • On the Formatting panel of the Format button, select a new fill color from the dropdown (but if you really LIKE gray for your background, that’s okay!)
  • Click Make Background


Add some creativity

So you've been through the School Annual Online backgrounds and you just don’t see anything that suits your school's personal theme?

We add new backgrounds every year – we’re around 1000 now - but it can be challenging to stay one step ahead in the creative process and the upcoming trends. 

Let’s expand upon your choices.

Use your own image with full bleed:

  • Click Create > Page Designer > Images button
  • Choose from a previously uploaded image – or upload a new one “on the fly” using the small upload button. (Bet you didn’t know about this one!)
  • Drag an image of your choice onto your page. The image will place as a small photo box
  • Click the image to select if the orange ball handles are not visible
  • Click Format button
  • Click Make Background


TIP:  Avoid using images where people are close to the edge of the image as cropping will occur along the page edges when the page is trimmed.  (It was okay for that Horseman in Sleepy Hollow to run around without a head, but we like to keep all body parts together here.)


Create a background with a coordinating “frame”:

  • Place a solid color or coordinating image background on the page, making it full bleed as above. You can choose the solid color after you’re finished.
  • Click Create > Page Designer > Images button
  • Choose from a previously uploaded image, any of our images, or upload a new one “on the fly” using the small upload button
  • Stretch the image box to fit over most of the page, but still inside the blue grid lines

The first background becomes the border frame in the color of choice, while the image is the main feature.  Use the Effects tab to add special effects to your image – lighten / darken, tint, transparency, drop shadow, etc.


TIP:  This is a great way to use an image that isn’t quite large enough to bleed.  Check the Details tab of your image in the Image Library for exact dimensions.


Strike a pose

If you have a parent with a great camera, ask them to capture some images that you can use for backgrounds.  Nature scenes are always popular and even pieces of those images can be cropped to create textured backgrounds.

You can also create great graphics in Photoshop or InDesign and same them as full page, 300 ppi JPG files or transparent TIF files to upload for backgrounds.

A friendly reminder about Copyright

You must be the owner of the image or have permission from the image owner in order to use the image in your yearbook.  If you purchase a large file from one of the stock photography sites, you’ll be able to download the image WITHOUT a watermark.  Hang onto that purchase receipt – or better yet…scan it and upload it to your Image Library so there isn’t any question that you’re legally allowed to use an image.  Being creative is serious stuff.


Clipart and Backgrounds FAQ

Where can I find your Clipart and Backgrounds?

You can find Clipart images in your Image Library under Clipart and on Page Designer under the Images button on the right side of your screen. 

Full page background images can be found in many of these sections as part of a theme, in Backgrounds-SAO or Quick Creator™.  


TIP: After placing a Background image on the page, use the Format button to create a full bleed background.  Click Make Background to eliminate the “white border” and saturate the entire page.


Are the Clipart and Backgrounds free and unlimited to use?

Yes, Clipart and Backgrounds are free to use in your yearbook with School Annual Online and you can use them over and over on your yearbook pages.


What kind of Clipart and Backgrounds do you have?

We have a little bit of everything from beach to animals to space to mascots.  We have matching Clipart and Backgrounds combined in our Quick Creator™ folders so you can carry a theme throughout your book.  Many of these combine with our standard covers!

You can also create solid color backgrounds with a shape box and Make Background.


Do you have books that show the Clipart and Background choices?

A representation of our Clipart and Backgrounds are shown in your School Annual Online kit book.  Kit books for the new season ship in September.  If you would like a kit book, email or call your rep at 800-436-6030. 

The information in your kit book is current at the time of printing, however we reserve the right to add, change, or remove Clipart designs as needed.

To see the most current designs for use in your yearbook, view them in your Image Library under the Clipart folder.  Use the +/- Zoom slider to increase the viewing size in the thumbnails panel, or double click on the first image to pop the Carousel viewer.  Use the carousel Previous or Next buttons to pan through the folders.


I don’t see anything I like. Can I upload my own?

Please do!  We see some great yearbook themes come through each year.  Just create a folder in your Image Library and start uploading snippets.

You will need high resolution, 300 ppi JPG, TIF or PNG files.  For backgrounds, the trimmed size of your book is 8.5 x 11 inches.  If you’re creating your own file, start with a 300 ppi canvas and size it to 8.67 x 11.33 or a smidge larger.  That will allow for a full bleed.  Just make sure any “critical elements” – y’know the good stuff – is about ½” away from the edge for trimming.

If you have an image other than JPG, TIF, or PNG, check out www.zamzar.com for conversion options.

We also like www.canva.com and www.picmonkey.com for designing high resolution files.


Can I change something on the Clipart or Background?

No.  You cannot change color, text, or design of the Clipart and Backgrounds.  Clipart or Backgrounds are not downloadable images from your Image Library, so they cannot be altered.

You can layer a different text box over some Headlines or layer shapes to cover certain parts that you may not want visible, but you cannot change the overall image.


Can I Resize/Rotate the Clipart and Backgrounds?

Yes.  Drag and drop the piece of Clipart or Background onto your yearbook page. 

To Resize, hold the CTRL (cmd) key on your keyboard while you click and drag with your mouse to stretch or shrink. 

To Rotate, use the orange rotator handle at the top of the Clipart piece or type the number of degree rotation in the Angle field at the bottom of the Format panel (H/W, X/Y, Angle).

You can also “flip” or “mirror” these pieces – especially Backgrounds – so that they flow more evenly across two pages.  Use your Format button for this.


Can I lighten Clipart and Backgrounds?

Yes.  Sometimes the images you like are very bright for the theme on your page.  Use Tint or Transparency.

Drag and drop the piece of Clipart or Background onto your yearbook page.

Click the Format button. You will see the options for Formatting and Effects tabs. Experiment with the sliders on both panels for Drop Shadow, Tint, Transparency, and Stroke.


I have all these images that I can’t use.  I’m bummed.

Whoa…do we have a fun idea for you.  Remember as a kid when you’d get out the shoebox of pictures and dump them on the coffee table. (Okay, old folks used to have printed pictures and we did store them in shoeboxes!!)

The pictures would fall all over the place willy-nilly and you’d see pieces and parts of things, but nothing really specific.  You can do this to create a really fun background or collage page.

Make a solid background (dark ones work best) and then just start dragging images onto the page.  You don’t even need to drop image boxes!  Now go back to each image and resize it a little or rotate it a little.  Make them big, small, skew left, skew right, even upside down.  Use the Effects panel under the Format button to add some fun.

You just placed a bunch of kids in the yearbook!


I tried to use Make Background but it won’t work.  Why?

Some images may not be large enough to use as a full bleed background.  Check the Details tab of that image in the Image Library.  The Max Size will show how large that image can be on a page.

If it’s not large enough to bleed, you can always use it with a framed border or as part of a collage background.





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