Creating a Printed Watermark in MS Word

By | Jan 19, 2009

You’ve seen them, documents with a word or picture in the background with the text of the document running over the top of it.  Just how do they do that, anyway?  If you use Microsoft Word, placing a printed watermark in your document is easy.

What is a watermark anyway?

A true watermark is created during paper processing.  Most standard paper doesn’t contain watermarks because it costs more to produce.  However, fine papers often contain a true watermark.  If you hold a piece of premium paper at an angle, you can often see the manufacturer’s name or logo.  This is imprinted while the paper pulp is still wet.

Printed watermarks are created during the printing process.  By using special inks or varnishes, you can print something that will only show up when the paper is held at a particular angle.  Many checks use this as a security measure.

The type of printed watermark we are discussing here are text or graphics that are visible behind text in a document without obscuring the text.  Now that we know what a watermark is, let’s look at creating one.

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How to Create a Watermark in MS Word

Creating a watermark in Word is quite easy.

  1. On the menu bar, click on “Format” and choose “Background” and then “Printed Watermark”.

    Click on Thumbnail to see larger image.

    Click on Thumbnail to see larger image.

  2. This will bring up the Printed Watermark dialogue box to choose your options.

    Click on Thumbnail for larger image.

    Click on Thumbnail for larger image.

  3. Choose your options.  For a Graphic, choose Picture Watermark and then Browse to choose your graphic.  For Text, choose Text Watermark and choose your options for Font, Font Size, Color and Text Direction.  Then choose OK.
  4. Voila! A watermark.


    Click on Thumbnail for larger image

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3 Comments so far
  1. hp notebook adapter (1 comments) January 30, 2009 1:46 am

    Thank you for such a lucid explanation of the creation of print watermark in MS Word. Always wanted to know how to do it but no one offered an explanation, it was not clear.

  2. Jodith (189 comments) February 2, 2009 9:12 am

    You’re welcome. I’m glad you found the explanation helpful.

  3. John Tighe (1 comments) January 21, 2011 6:25 am

    Hi Jodith,

    Great article, just what I was looking for.

    Just one question. You said in the article that printed watermarks use special inks or varnishes, I take it we don’t need them?

    I know I’m probably being dumb but I thought I would ask.

    All the best
    John Tighe´s last blog post ..Buying Pepper Spray

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