We propose SelfDoc, a task-agnostic pre-training framework for document image understanding. Because documents are multimodal and are intended for sequential reading, our framework exploits the positional, textual, and visual information of every semantically meaningful component in a document, and it models the contextualization between each block of content. Unlike existing document pre-training models, our model is coarse-grained instead of treating individual words as input, therefore avoiding an overly fine-grained with excessive contextualization. Beyond that, we introduce cross-modal learning in the model pre-training phase to fully leverage multimodal information from unlabeled documents. For downstream usage, we propose a novel modality-adaptive attention mechanism for multimodal feature fusion by adaptively emphasizing language and vision signals. Our framework benefits from self-supervised pre-training on documents without requiring annotations by a feature masking training strategy. It achieves superior performance on multiple downstream tasks with significantly fewer document images used in the pre-training stage compared to previous works.