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Using Watermarks In MS Word

Monday, November 22nd, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Word

Using Watermarks In MS Word

Now that you know what a watermark is, would you like to know how to create one?

It’s a good way to turn this…


into this…


Sound like a great idea? Yeah, it did to me too, so let’s get started.

The first thing we should do is to change our view to Print/Page Layout. (If we don’t, we won’t be able to see the watermark in our document when we’ve finished. It will still print but won’t be visible unless we’re in Print Preview or the Print/Page Layout view.) Go to the View menu, Print/Page Layout choice.

Next you need to know that you must put the watermark in the header or footer of the document—so we’ll be going there now.

You need the View menu, Header and Footer choice.

At this point you may want to hide the document text. To do this you can click the Show/Hide Document Text button on the Header and Footer toolbar.


Now you’re ready to insert your graphic, AutoShape, text box, WordArt, etc. Just remember that whatever you use as a watermark will appear on every page of the document. (Unless you set the options for different headers and footers through the Page Setup window. Then you’ll have limited flexibility with the watermark pages.)

Once you have the item inserted you’ll need to place and format it appropriately.

For placement, you can drag the item anywhere on the document you feel is appropriate. It is not confined to the space of the header or footer.

Also, you can use the grabbers to resize the object to meet your requirements.

If it’s a graphic then you have the option of using watermark coloring. On the Picture toolbar that opens with the insertion of your graphic you’ll find buttons for Image Control, Contrast and Brightness.


Under Image Control there is a setting for Watermark. After I set this I find I tend to adjust the brightness because the colors seem to all wash out. It’s completely a matter of your own preferences.

For things other than graphics you’ll want to adjust colors, rotation, etc. to suit your needs.

No matter what object you’ve put in as a watermark, you’re going to need to set the wrapping on the object so that text will cover it.

  • Right click on the object.
  • From the pop-up menu, the last choice should be to Format the object (whatever type of item you inserted).
  • In the Format window you’re looking for the Wrapping tab.


  • Select None.
  • Click OK.

    With all the formatting and placement complete you’re ready to return to your document. Click the Close button on the Header and Footer toolbar.

    You should be returned to your document where you can see your watermark behind your text.


    ~ April

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