Add a watermark to a sheet in Excel 2016 for Mac

You can add a transparent watermark that says "Draft" or "Confidential." However, there is not a Watermark button that does this for you in Excel 2016 for Mac. Instead, you can do the following steps.

Step 1: Change your view

  1. On the View tab, click Page Layout. Page Layout view is helpful because you can easily see the margins of each printed page.

  2. Resize the window of the workbook so that you can see the entire first page.

Step 2: Create a watermark text box

  1. On the Insert tab, click the WordArt button, and then choose this option:
    Insert tab, Word Art menu, cursor on 'Fill - Gray-25%, Background 2, Inner Shadow'

  2. In the text box, type Confidential, Draft or any of your own text in place of Your Text Here.

  3. Rotate and move the watermark as you see fit.

Step 3: Change the transparency settings for the watermark

Most likely the text in the watermark overlaps some of your data, making it hard to see. To fix this, you can change the transparency of the watermark so that the data can be seen through the watermark.

  1. Hold down CONTROL, click the watermark text box, and then click Format Text Effects.

    The Format Shape task pane appears on the right side.

  2. Click the Text Fill & Outline tab.
    Format Shape task pane, Text Fill & Outline tab

  3. Under Text Fill, find the Transparency slider.

  4. Change the Transparency slider to 50% or more.

  5. Close the Format Shape task pane.

Step 4: Copy and paste the watermark

If your workbook has more than one page, you can copy and paste the watermark to other pages.

  1. Select the watermark text box.

  2. Press COMMAND + C.

  3. Click inside another page in the workbook.

  4. Press COMMAND + V.

  5. Reposition the watermark if it's not placed in the exact spot you want.

  6. On the View tab, click Normal to continue working in Normal view.

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!