Add a picture as a background watermark in Word 2016 for Mac

Adding a picture watermark is a great way to brand your document with a logo or add an attractive background. To insert a background picture quickly, add it as a watermark. If you want more options for adjusting the background picture, insert it as a header, instead.

Word document with a picture for background

Add a background picture as a custom watermark

This method is fast, but it doesn’t give you many options for formatting the image.

  1. Click Design > Watermark.

    The Watermark option is highlighted on the Design tab.

  2. In the Insert Watermark box, select Picture > Select Picture.

  3. Browse to (or search for) the picture you want to use as a watermark, and then click Insert.

  4. Next to Scale, make sure Auto is selected and Washout is checked, then click OK

    Insert Watermark dialog box with a callout around the Picture options .

Add a background picture with more formatting options

Inserting a background picture as a header is a bit more involved, but it gives you more options for adjusting the image.

  1. Click Insert > Header > Edit Header.

  2. On the Header & Footer tab, click Picture from File.

  3. Browse to the picture and click Insert.

  4. On the Picture Format tab, do the following:

    • Click Position, and then click the centered option under With Text Wrapping.

    • Click Wrap Text > Behind Text.

    • Select any other options you want. For example, to give the picture a washed out look so it doesn’t compete with the text, click Color, and under Recolor, click the Washout option:

      The Washout option is highlighted in the Color gallery.

  5. On the Header & Footer tab, click Close Header and Footer.

    On the Header & Footer tab, Close Header and Footer is highlighted

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