What is a Watermark?
A watermark is a faded image or text that appears behind the primary text or image on a page. Watermarks are used to:
- Indicate that a document is a draft or confidential
- Deter copyright infringement by identifying the owner
- Prevent unauthorized use by making copies less desirable
- Enable tracking if a document is shared without permission
Watermarks can be text, images, or custom designs. They are made semi-transparent so the main content remains visible.
Why Use Watermarks?
Here are some key reasons to add watermarks in Word, Google Docs, and other documents:
- Copyright Protection: Watermarks make it clear the content is owned and not for reuse without permission. This deters theft.
- Branding: Using your logo or name reminds readers who created the content.
- Security: Marking docs “Confidential” ensures they are not shared carelessly.
- Tracking: If an unwatermarked version leaks, the source may be identifiable.
How to Insert a Text Watermark in Word
Adding a simple text watermark in Word takes just a few clicks:
- Open the Word document
- Click the Design tab
- Click Watermark
- Select a default text watermark like “Draft” or “Confidential” from the menu
- Customize the font, size, color, and transparency
You can also create a custom text watermark by selecting Custom Watermark instead of the defaults.
Adding an Image Watermark in Word
Using a logo or image watermark instead of text works much the same way:
- Click Design > Watermark
- Choose Custom Watermark
- Select Picture Watermark
- Click Select Picture and choose your image
- Adjust size and transparency settings
- Click Apply to insert the image watermark
Be sure to use a high-resolution, transparent PNG image for best print and on-screen display.
Creating Reusable Custom Watermarks in Word
For watermarks you’ll use repeatedly, save them for easy reuse:
- Create the custom text or image watermark
- Double click the header and select the watermark
- Click Design > Watermark > Save Selection to Watermark Gallery
- Give it a name and click OK
- Insert the saved watermark anytime by clicking it in the gallery
How to Add Watermarks in Google Docs
The process works much the same way in Google Docs:
- Open the Google Doc
- Click Insert > Watermark in the top menu
- Choose either Text or Image
- Customize display settings like size and transparency
- Click Done
For an image watermark, you’ll select the specific graphic after choosing Image.
Watermark Design Best Practices
Follow these guidelines when creating watermarks:
- Use a semi-transparent image or grayed out text
- Place small watermarks out of the way, like a corner
- Avoid covering key content areas
- For documents, use it on all pages
- On images, place it across the entire image
- Make sure your name, logo or copyright status is clear
The goal is for the watermark to be noticeable but not obstruct reading or viewing.
Converting Documents After Watermarking
Once your document has the right watermark, you may want to convert it to PDF format or another protected file type. This prevents editing out the watermark while preserving formatting.
In Word, use File > Export > Create PDF/XPS Document to convert to PDF. In Google Docs, click File > Download > PDF Document to save a PDF copy with the watermark intact.
Remove or Edit an Existing Watermark
To edit or delete a watermark in Word or Google Docs, click on the watermark itself and select Watermark in the top menu. This will open settings to adjust, replace or remove the current watermark.
Saving custom watermarks makes them easy to reuse later on. And inserting watermarks before sharing deters misuse while identifying content owners. So leverage them to properly secure docs.