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

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 custom 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 icon is highlighted on the Design tab

  2. Click Custom Watermark.

  3. Click Picture watermark > Select Picture.

  4. Browse to (or search for) the picture you want, and then click Insert.

  5. Select a percentage under Scale to insert the picture at a particular size. Make sure you put in a big enough percentage to fill the page, or just select Auto.

  6. Select the Washout box to lighten the picture so it won't interfere with text.

  7. Click OK.

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 photo.

  1. Click Insert > Header > Edit Header.

  2. Under the Header & Footer Tools tab, click Pictures.

  3. Browse to the picture and click Insert.

  4. Under the Picture Tools tab, click Position, and then click the centered option under With Text Wrapping.

  5. In Picture Tools, click Wrap Text > Behind Text.

  6. In Picture Tools, select the options you want in the Adjust group. For example, to give the picture a washed out look so it doesn’t fight with the text, click Color, and under Recolor, click the Washout option:

    The Washout option is highlighted under Recolor.

  7. Click Header & Footer Tools > Close Header and Footer.

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!