Insert or change a watermark

Watermarks are text or pictures placed behind the document text. They can mark the document’s status as Draft, Confidential, etc., brand it with a logo, or just make it look better.

Watermarks and backgrounds

  1. Click View > Print Layout.
  2. Click Design > Watermark.

The Watermark command in Word 2013. On the Design tab, click Watermark.

  1. Apply one of the built-in watermarks in the watermark gallery, search for one online, or click Custom Watermark to create your own from text or a picture. Here’s how:
    • In the Watermark gallery, click a diagonal or horizontal version of Confidential, Do Not Copy, Draft, ASAP, Sample, or Urgent.
    • Click Custom Watermark > Picture watermark and browse to an image. It automatically lightens so as not to interfere with the document text unless you uncheck the Washout box.
    • Click Custom Watermark > Text watermark and type what you want in the Text box. You can adjust the font, size, color, layout, and transparency.

Word automatically applies the watermark to every page except a designated cover page.

Insert a watermark on selected pages

To add a watermark only to certain pages, those pages need to be in a separate section. For example, to add a watermark only to the table of contents (TOC), put everything before the TOC in one section, put the TOC in a section of its own, and treat everything after the TOC as another section. Then unlink the sections so they don’t automatically copy each other.

Steps 1-7 create and unlink the sections. Steps 8 and 9 do the actual work of adding the watermark. Here goes:

  1. Click View > Print Layout.
  2. Click Home and in the Paragraph group, click the Show/Hide button.

The Show/Hide command on the Home tab in Word 2013.

  1. Place your cursor on the last page before the section you want to watermark and insert a section break; click Page Layout, > Breaks, and under Section Breaks, click Next Page.

The insert break command on the Page Layout tab

  1. Place your cursor on the last page of the section you want to watermark and insert another section break; in Page Layout > Breaks, click Next Page.
  2. On the first page where you want the watermark to appear, double-click the header area to open the header. This opens the Header & Footer Tools > Design tab. (Word anchors the watermark to the header even though the watermark doesn't show up in the header area.)
  3. Under Header & Footer Tools > Design, in the Navigation group, click Link to Previous to unlink this section header from the previous section header.
  4. On the first page of the section after the section you want to watermark, repeat steps 5 and 6.
  5. Click the page where you want the watermark to appear.
  6. Click Design > Page Background, click Watermark, and select the watermark you want.

The Watermark command in Word 2013. On the Design tab, click Watermark.

 Note    A cover page has a separate header so you don’t need to create a separate section for it.

Top of Page Top of Page

Change watermarks

  1. Click Design > Watermark.

The Watermark command in Word 2013. On the Design tab, click Watermark.

  1. Do any 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 the options you want under 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 the options you want under Text watermark.

Top of Page Top of Page

More info

 
 
Applies to:
Word 2013