Adding a Watermark to your documents is an easy way to jazz up a printed document and or in some cases it might be required for legal or security reasons. A watermark is essentially just semi transparent images or wording that are placed behind text in a letter or document.

In previous versions of Microsoft Office, the way to add a watermark was by placing a background  in your document but in Microsoft Word 2013 we now have a handy ‘watermark’ feature. Using this feature you can add any kind of watermark you could possibly imagine to your document, using your own pictures or graphics, or selecting from a built in watermark gallery. The gallery includes popular text options such as ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ or ‘DRAFT’ or options for image watermarks. Of course as you would expect, you can also type or upload your own customised watermarks, for example by uploading your company logo or adding a strapline.

So here’s how to add or edit a watermark in Microsoft Office 2013…

How to add or change a text watermark

First of all, open up your Word document and make sure the view is set to Print Layout or Full Screen Reading view. You won’t be able to see your watermark in web layout or outline view. If you need help with selecting a layount, check out this article on Page Setup in Microsoft Word.

Next, from the toolbar select Design tab > Page Background group > Watermark

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The Watermark gallery will open, and you can choose from a list of predefined watermarks such as ASAP, Draft, Urgent or Confidential – all in different styles. To select an option simply click on it, and it will be added to your page.

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Alternatively, you can add your own custom text watermark by selecting Custom Watermark

This opens up the Printed Watermark dialogue box where you can choose from a large number of settings

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Select Text watermark and then select or type the text that you want to add as a watermark. You can also change the size, colour and font and set options for the layout of the text.

To make your watermark appear faintly behind your text, tick the box for ‘semitransparent

When you have chosen your options, click Apply and then OK to return to your document and view your watermark

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How to add a picture as a watermark

You can use any picture, photograph or graphic as a watermark to brand or liven up a Word document.

Select Design tab > Page Background group > Watermark > Custom Watermark

This opens up the Printed Watermark dialogue box where you can choose from a large number of settings

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Select Picture watermark then click Select Picture to open up the file browser

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Select the picture that you want, either from a file or any other location that your Microsoft App allows you then click Insert

Under Scale option, choose the size that you’d like to insert your picture from the dropdown menu

If you’d like your image to appear faint or lightened behind your text then tick the Washout box. (Note: This is the usual way to add a watermark so that it doesn’t interfere with text and the document can still be read easily)

When you have chosen your options, click Apply and then OK to return to your document and view your watermark. The image you have chosen will be added as a watermark to the whole document.

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Removing a Watermark

To remove your watermark select Design tab > Page Background group > Watermark > Remove Watermark

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