How to add a watermark to your Word documents

Add a watermark to a Word document to share the document's status or some other attribute.

A watermark is a picture or text that appears behind a document's contents. It's usually a light grey or other neutral color so it doesn't distract too much from the document's purpose. Usually, a watermark identifies a company or the document's status. For instance, a watermark might say confidential, urgent, or display a symbolic graphic. Adding a watermark to a Word document is a simple process:

  1. Click the Page Layout tab.
  2. Click Watermark in the Page Background group.
  3. Choose a watermark from the gallery. Or...

  4. Choose Custom Watermark. The Printed Watermark dialog presents three options. You can remove a custom watermark or insert a picture or text as watermark.
  5. Click OK once you've made your selections.
If you're using Word 2003, add a watermark as follows:

  1. From the Format menu, choose Background.
  2. Click Printed Watermark.

    To insert a picture as a watermark, click Picture Watermark. Then click Select Picture, navigate to find the picture file, and click Insert.

    To insert a text watermark, click Text Watermark and select or enter the text you want.
  3. Set any additional options.
  4. Click OK.
The watermark will display as part of the background on every page. Adding a watermark to a document is simple, yet effective.