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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to use custom background colors and transparent overlays in Instagram Stories «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

How to use custom background colors and transparent overlays in Instagram Stories «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

On Instagram you can write text over an image or video in your story, but it can be difficult to get your message across with a disturbing background. Although there is a "Type" option for Stories that lets you write text over colorful gradient backgrounds, the selection is limited to just over twenty options, and there are no options for solid-colored backgrounds or transparent overlays.

You can upload an image with a fixed color and use it as a background, but it first requires that you create or find a picture of the color you want on your iPhone or Android phone. A faster alternative is instead to use a hidden function in Instagram Stories itself to create a solid colored background. If you want a solid colored background, you can do one yourself by taking advantage of the pen tool. Open Instagram, tap the top left icon, or drag right to access your Stories camera and either take a picture by pressing the shutter button or uploading a photo you want to remove a color from. Everything works.

Next, tap the draw icon at the top right, then the cursor icon at the far left and select a color at the bottom of the screen (hold down a color to see more shades) or tap the color picker tool and select a color from the photo.

Once you have selected a color (reflected in the circle surrounding the color picker tool), hold your finger down on the screen for a moment until it fills that color. You can now write text over the sunny colored background.

In addition, you can use the line icon to display some of the image below. If you upload a video and put a solid color over it, the line tool can also display parts of the video. Hit "Done" when you are done and send the picture to your story.

Tip 2: Create a transparent overlay

In addition to a solid colored background, you can also Create a colorful window-like overlay on your Instagram Stories using the transparent highlighter. It basically takes a color of your choice and lowers the opacity of it to about 75 percent so that the picture below can be seen but not entirely focused on.

In the Stories camera, select a photo or video you want to create an overlay on. Touch the drawing icon and then the transparent pen icon (others from the left). If you are satisfied with white, otherwise, choose a different color just as in the previous tip.

When you have a color, hold your finger down on the screen until the overlay appears. You can then add GIF, stickers, text and more on top of your semi-transparent overlay. Rubber rubber works on the top layer, if you want to show more of the story below. When finished, press "Done".

This article has been produced under the Gadget Hacks special coverage to become a social media expert on your phone. Check out the entire Social Media series.

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Cover image and screenshots of Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

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