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Word: Add a watermark

February 20, 2008

Adding a watermark in all versions of Word up to Word 2002 involved a complex set of steps. But from Word 2002, Microsoft made it much easier with a new dialog box called Printed Watermark.

You can add default watermark text (for example, DRAFT, CONFIDENTIAL, and so on), type your own text, or select a picture as the watermark.

The steps to add a text watermark to your document are slightly different in Word 2003 and Word 2007.

Word 2003

  1. From the Word 2002 or 2003 menu, select Format > Background > Printed Watermark.
  2. Select the Text watermark option, and then select or type the text that you want.
  3. Make other selections to change the font, font size and color, the layout (diagonal or horizontal) and the watermark transparency.
  4. Click OK.
  5. To view the watermark as it will appear on the printed page, switch to Print Layout view (View > Print Layout). Note: You cannot add a watermark in Web Layout view.

Watermark dialog box

Word 2007

  1. Go to the Page Layout tab > Page Background command group.
  2. Click Watermark. Some default watermarks are displayed (scroll down to see them all). If one of them suits you, click it and you’re done. If you want to define your own, continue with these steps.

To define your own watermark:

  1. Go to the Page Layout tab > Page Background command group.
  2. Click Watermark.
  3. At the bottom of the list, click Custom Watermark to open the Printed Watermark window, which is very similar to that showed for Word 2003 above.
  4. Select the Text watermark option, and then select or type the text that you want.
  5. Make other selections to change the font, font size and color, the layout (diagonal or horizontal) and the watermark transparency.
  6. Click OK.
  7. To view the watermark as it will appear on the printed page, switch to Print Layout view (View tab > Document Views command group > Print Layout button). Note: You cannot add a watermark in Web Layout view.

[This article was first published in the March 2004 CyberText newsletter; steps updated to incorporate Word 2007, 21 August 2008]

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