[pdftex] page background

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Jan 27 20:20:24 CET 2007

>>>>> "Alex" == Alex Scorpan <scorpan at gmail.com> writes:

  >>> Hi, Is it possible to to add custom backgrounds (gradients etc.)
  >>> to pages using pdftex?  Thank you for your help in advance.
  >>  Yes, but buying a good book about typography makes much more
  >> sense.

  > On the other hand, I don't quite manage to make much sense of your
  > reply.  I'm not arguing either way, I just sincerely don't know
  > what it is that you mean.

Sorry, I had been too imprecise.  No problem with page backgrounds in
general but gradients are always bothering.  A reasonable contrast
between text and background is always required.  But with gradients
you'll get the required contrast only at a part of a page.  Hence, it
is better to avoid them.  They are usually looking ugly, do not
improve legibility, and are distracting.

In most cases people use gradients only because their software
provides them and they think that they improve their presentations if
they make use of all the features available.  I've seen many
presentations where parts of it had not been readable at all because
color gradients had been used without much care.

If background colors are used, they have to be chosen carefully in
order to get a reasonable contrast between text and background.
Background pictures usually require some pre-processing.  The contrast
of the pictures has to be reduced significantly in order to make sure
that the pictures do not disturb the reader while reading the text.

However, as Martin already said, eso-pic is the preferred package to
insert backgrounds of any kind.  Gradients (and much more) are
described in the TikZ/pgf manual.


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-4592165
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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