Add or Remove Watermarks Like DRAFT or a Picture in Microsoft Word

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated January 10, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

You can insert a watermark in the background of one or more pages in a Microsoft Word document. Common watermarks are text such as DRAFT or CONFIDENTIAL but you can also add a picture watermark. Watermarks typically appear faded or in grey in the background behind text. Technically, watermarks are WordArt or images inserted into a header.  Therefore, they can be displayed in different sections in a document. You can remove a watermark using the Watermark drop-down menu.

Recommended article: How to Keep Text Together in Microsoft Word (Words, Lines and Paragraphs)

For 2010 users, Watermark appears on the Page Layout tab in the Ribbon.

Inserting a text watermark (like DRAFT)

There are several default text watermarks available in Word.

They include:

  • DRAFT
  • CONFIDENTIAL
  • SAMPLE
  • DO NOT COPY

You can also type custom text and use it as a watermark.

To add a default text watermark in Word:

  1. Click in the Word document. If you are using sections, click in the section in which you want to insert the watermark.
  2. Click the Design tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Page Background group, click Watermark. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Click the watermark you want to use.

The Watermark gallery displays the following default options:

Watermark dtop-down menu in Word.

To add a custom text watermark in Word:

  1. Click in the Word document. If you are using sections, click in the section in which you want to insert the watermark.
  2. Click the Design tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Page Background group, click Watermark. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Click Custom Watermark. A dialog box appears.
  5. Click Text Watermark.
  6. Beside Text, type the text you want to use.
  7. If necessary, select options for Font, Size and / or Color.
  8. Check or uncheck Semitransparent (it is typically checked).
  9. Beside Layout, select Horizontal or Diagonal.
  10. Click OK.

In the Watermark dialog box, you can select text options as follows:

Watermark dialog box in Word for text watermarks like draft.

Inserting a picture watermark

You can insert a picture watermark to appear in the background of pages as well. A common picture watermark is a company logo.

To add a picture watermark from a file in Word:

  1. Click in the Word document. If you are using sections, click in the section in which you want to insert the watermark.
  2. Click the Design tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Page Background group, click Watermark. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Select Custom Watermark. A dialog box appears.
  5. Click Picture Watermark.
  6. Click Select Picture. A dialog box appears.
  7. If necessary, click From a File.
  8. Navigate to the location of the picture and double-click it (or click the picture and click Insert).
  9. In the Watermark dialog box, select a Scale option if desired.
  10. Check or uncheck Washout (it is typically checked).
  11. Click OK.

In the Watermark dialog box, you can select a picture to use as a watermark as follows:

Add picture watermark dialog box in Word.

Removing a watermark

To remove a watermark:

  1. Click in the Word document. If you are using sections, click in the section with the watermark you want to remove.
  2. Click the Design tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Page Background group, click Watermark. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Select Remove watermark.

Watermarks can be useful in many scenarios, particularly when a document is a draft.

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Summary
How to Insert a Watermark in Word (like DRAFT)
Article Name
How to Insert a Watermark in Word (like DRAFT)
Description
You can insert a watermark in the background of one or more pages in a Microsoft Word document. Common watermarks are text such as DRAFT or CONFIDENTIAL but you can also add a picture watermark. You can remove a watermark using the Watermark drop-down menu.
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Avantix Learning

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