• 3-minute read
  • 27th July 2018

Microsoft Word Tips: Adding and Removing Watermarks

Watermarks are faint images or words that sit behind the text in a document. There are many reasons you may need to use a watermark, especially in the business and professional publishing worlds.

In this post, we’re looking at how to use watermarks in Microsoft Word.

Why Use a Watermark?

The most common uses of watermarks are to prevent an image being copied without permission or to show the status of a document. Here, we will focus on their use in written documents.

Common cases where a watermark may be used in a document include:

  • Using a “DRAFT” watermark for a work in progress
  • Using a “CONFIDENTIAL” watermark for a document that contains sensitive information
  • Adding a company logo to the background of each page in a document
The faded writing would usually appear behind the text of your document.

We will explain how this works in practice below.

Adding a Watermark

Microsoft Word offers a range of default text watermarks. These are categorized as follows:

  • Confidential (e.g., “CONFIDENTIAL” and “DO NOT COPY”)
  • Disclaimers (e.g., “DRAFT” and “SAMPLE”)
  • Urgent (e.g., “ASAP” and “URGENT”)

You can add one of these to your document by:

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  • Going to the Design > Page Background on the main ribbon
  • Clicking Watermark to open a dropdown menu
  • Selecting a watermark from the options available
Adding a watermark.

This will add the selected watermark to every page. You cannot add a watermark to just part of a document. If you want to add an image to the background of specific pages in a document, you will need to insert the image and then use the wrapping and image formatting options.

Removing a Watermark

Removing a watermark from a document is very simple. All you need to do is:

  • Go to Design > Page Background
  • Click Watermark
  • Select Remove Watermark

This will remove the current watermark from throughout the document.

Removing a watermark.

Custom Watermarks

Finally, you can also add a custom watermark to a document if none of the default options are suitable. To do this, go to Design > Page Background > Watermark and select Custom Watermark.

Custom watermark options.

This will open a new window, offering two main options:

  • Picture watermark – Here, you can select an image to use as a watermark (e.g., a company logo), the size the image will appear on the page, and how faded it should be (the Washout option).
  • Text watermark – In this case, you will find options to control what the watermark says, as well as the font, size, color, transparency, and angle of the text.

Once you have selected a watermark, simply click OK or Apply to add it to your document.

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