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The body text can be set with no background (default), or with a BGCOLOR attribute, or with a BACKGROUND attribute (composed of a URL image-pattern created as either a "GIF"-file or a "JPG/JPEG"-file) to be repeated uniformly throughout all the pages of the document. Ideally the image (usually a gif) should be as small as possible to minimise screen-delays.
The examples below use a <BODY BACKGROUND="img/filename.gif"> tag to call icon-sized images (ie. 32 x 32 pixels), so the background image should appear almost immediately.
(With hindsight the background images are all actually unsuitable as background supports! Some of the patterns are great but the detail in each is far too small (each was hand-drawn on a 640x400 pixel screen) and the colours employed are far too strong or imposing to support text over... - Pvh 4/98).