Insert a watermark or change a watermark

You can add text watermarks, such as Draft or Confidential, to your document. Microsoft Word provides galleries of ready-made watermarks, or you can create your own custom watermark, such as a company logo.

What do you want to do?


Learn about watermarks

Watermarks are text or pictures that appear behind document text. They often add interest or identify the document status, such as marking a document as a Draft. You can see watermarks in Print Layout view and Full Screen Reading view or in a printed document.

Watermarks and backgrounds

If you use a picture, you can lighten it, or wash it out, so that it doesn't interfere with document text. If you use text, you can select from built-in phrases or type in your own text.

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Insert a text watermark

Watermarks can be viewed only in Print Layout and Full Screen Reading views and on the printed page.

You can insert a predesigned watermark from a gallery of watermark text, or you can insert a watermark with custom text.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Background group, click Watermark.

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  1. Do one of the following:
    • Click a predesigned watermark, such as Confidential or Urgent, in the gallery of watermarks.
    • Click Custom Watermark, click Text watermark and then select or type the text that you want. You can also format the text.
  2. To view a watermark as it will appear on the printed page, use Print Layout view.

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Turn a picture into a watermark

You can turn a picture, clip art, or a photo into a watermark that you can use to brand or decorate a document.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Background group, click Watermark.

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  1. Click Custom Watermark.
  2. Click Picture watermark, and then click Select Picture.
  3. Select the picture that you want, and then click Insert.
  4. Select a percentage under Scale to insert the picture at a particular size
  5. Select the Washout check box to lighten the picture so that it doesn't interfere with text.

The picture that you selected is applied as a watermark to the entire document.

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Insert a watermark only on selected pages

To insert a watermark only on selected pages, you must separate the document into sections. For example, if you want to apply a watermark only to the table of contents in a document, you must create three sections: a cover page section, the table of contents section, and the rest of the document text in its own section.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Show/Hide so that you can see the page breaks in your document.

  1. In Draft view, replace the page breaks surrounding the pages to which you want to add watermarks with section breaks.

On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Breaks, and then click Next Page under Section Breaks.

 Note   When you insert a cover page in a document, it has a separate header so that you don't need to create a separate section for it if you're creating sections to add a watermark only to selected pages.

  1. Switch to Print Layout view.
  2. Double-click the document header area on the page where you want the watermark to appear. This opens the header.

Microsoft Office Word places watermarks in the header even though they don't appear in the header.

  1. On the Design tab, in the Navigation group, click Link to Previous so that the headers are no longer linked.
  2. Double-click the document header area on the first page where you don't want the watermark to appear — for example, the first page of document text — and then repeat step 4.
  3. Click the page where you want the watermark to appear.
  4. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Background group, click Watermark and select the watermark that you want.

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Change a watermark

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Background group, click Watermark.

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  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose a different predesigned watermark, such as Confidential or Urgent, from the gallery of watermarks.
    • To change pictures, click Custom Watermark, and then click Select Picture.
    • To change picture settings, click Custom Watermark, and then select or clear the options Picture watermark.
    • To change text, click Custom Watermark, and then select a different built-in phrase or type in your own phrase.
    • To change text settings, click Custom Watermark, and then select or clear the options that you want under Text watermark.

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Applies to:
Word 2010