How to Use Watermarks in a Microsoft Word Document

401382 How to Use Watermarks in a Microsoft Word Document

Watermarks are text or images that appear behind document text, indicating the status or purpose of a document. For example, you can apply “Draft” or “Confidential” watermarks to mark document status. Or add a company logo as a watermark to prevent unauthorized use.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to:

  • Add preset text and image watermarks
  • Create custom text or image watermarks
  • Adjust watermark layout, size, color and transparency
  • Save custom watermarks for reuse
  • Edit or remove existing watermarks

Why Use Watermarks in Word Documents

Here are some common reasons to use watermarks in Word documents:

  • Indicate document status – Apply “Draft” or “Confidential” marks for review and approval stages.
  • Prevent unauthorized copying – Discourage copying with watermarks like “Do Not Copy” or copyright notices.
  • Show document purpose – Clarify document use, like “Sample” or “Class Notes”.
  • Brand documents – Add company logos or brand images.

Watermarks allow readers to quickly recognize a document’s status or purpose without altering the main text. They also serve as constant visual cues of document sensitivity throughout the review process.

Adding Preset Text and Image Watermarks

Word provides preset text and image watermarks to easily mark documents without creating custom watermarks from scratch. Here’s how to use them:

  1. Open the Word document and switch to the Design tab.
  2. Click the Watermark button. A menu appears with watermark options.
  3. Select a preset text or image watermark. For example “Confidential”, “Draft”, “Sample”, or company logo images.
  4. Use the sidebar on the right to customize the watermark:
    • Choose watermark text, image, size, color, and transparency.
    • Select watermark layout – diagonal stripes or horizontal/vertical behind text.
  5. Click Apply to insert the watermark.

Tip: Try different transparency settings if the watermark interferes with document readability.

Preset watermarks in Word

Preset watermarks provide a few generic options to quickly mark documents. But for more specific watermarks, you can create custom watermarks as covered next.

Creating Custom Text and Image Watermarks

For watermarks tailored to your needs, create custom text or image watermarks:

Custom Text Watermarks

  1. On the Design tab, open the Watermark menu.
  2. Click Custom Watermark.
  3. Select Text watermark > Text field.
  4. Type your custom watermark text, like “Third Draft” or “Copyright ACME Inc.”.
  5. Format the text appearance using the sidebar or text formatting tools on the ribbon. For example, choose font style and size, text color, or apply text effects. Formatting text watermarks
  6. Click Apply when done. The text watermark appears behind document contents.

Follow the same steps to create multiple custom text watermarks for different document labels.

Custom Image Watermarks

To add a custom graphic or logo instead of text:

  1. Select Picture watermark from the Custom Watermark menu.
  2. Click Select Picture and choose the desired image file from your computer. Supported image formats include JPG, PNG, GIF and more. Tip: For best results, use high resolution images that are clear when printed.
  3. Adjust and apply the image watermark settings:
    • Set sizing and layout options.
    • Adjust transparency so text remains readable.
    • Click Apply to insert the image watermark.

Customizing image watermarks

Feel free to get creative with photos, logos or other graphics that personalize documents!

Saving Custom Watermarks for Later Use

Creating custom text and image watermarks from scratch each time you need them can be tedious.

To save custom watermarks for reuse:

  1. With the watermark inserted in your document, double click the header to open the header space.
  2. Click directly on the watermark in the header to select it. The Watermark button on the ribbon becomes active.
  3. Click the Watermark button > Save Selection to Watermark Gallery. Saving custom watermarks for reuse
  4. Give the watermark a descriptive name and click OK.

The saved watermark now appears under the Custom section when inserting watermarks:

Reusing saved custom watermarks

Now you can quickly apply it repeatedly instead of remaking it every time!

Editing or Removing Watermarks

To modify an existing watermark:

  1. Double click the document header and click the watermark to select it.
  2. Click the Watermark button on the ribbon.
  3. Choose Edit Watermark to change the watermark text, image, size, color or other properties.

To remove a watermark:

  1. Double click the document header and select the current watermark.
  2. Click the Watermark button on the ribbon.
  3. Choose Remove Watermark.

And that’s how you work with watermarks in Word!

They provide a handy visual label for important document identification and security purposes.

Use both preset and custom text or image watermarks to:

  • Indicate draft status for collaborators
  • Discourage unauthorized document use
  • Visually brand documents with logos
  • Clarify document purpose and sensitivity

So explore your options and apply watermarks judiciously to serve your business or personal documentation needs.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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