Insert tables, pictures & watermarks

Insert a watermark

Add a watermark

A watermark is text or a picture that sits behind your text and pictures, usually faint or washed-out so that it doesn't interfere with what's on the page. Like headers and footers, a watermark usually appears on all the pages of your document, except a cover page.

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  1. On the Design tab, select Watermark.

  2. Choose a pre-configured watermark, like DRAFT or CONFIDENTIAL.

If you'd rather use your own text or a picture, do this instead:

  1. On the Design tab, select Watermark.

  2. Select Custom Watermark, and then choose Picture Watermark and select a picture, or choose Text watermark and type your watermark text in the Text box.

  1. On the Design tab, select Watermark.

    The Watermark option is highlighted on the Design tab.

  2. In the Insert Watermark dialog, select Text and either type your own watermark text or select one, like DRAFT, from the list. Then, customize the watermark by setting the font, layout, size, colors, and orientation.

    The Insert Watermark dialog box with a highlight around the Text options

    If you don’t see the watermark, click View > Print Layout. This also shows how the printed watermark will look.

  3. Select OK.

If you'd rather use a picture for the watermark, do this instead:

  1. On the Design tab, select Watermark.

    The Watermark option is highlighted on the Design tab.

  2. In the Insert Watermark box, select Picture > Select Picture, and then browse to the picture you want to use.

  3. Next to Scale, make sure Auto is selected and Washout is checked, and then choose OK.

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

  1. On the Page Layout tab, select Watermark.

  2. Choose a pre-configured watermark, like DRAFT or CONFIDENTIAL.

If you'd rather use your own text or a picture, do this instead:

  1. On the Page Layout tab, select Watermark.

  2. Select Custom Watermark, and then choose Picture Watermark and select a picture, or choose Text watermark and type your watermark text in the Text box.

  1. On the Layout tab, under Page Background, select Watermark.

    Layout tab, Page Background group

  2. Choose Text.

  3. Type or edit your text for the watermark, or select a text watermark from the drop down menu, and then select the text formatting that you want.

    Tips: 

    • If the text watermark makes it difficult to read the text on the page, increase the transparency of the watermark text, or select a lighter color for the watermark text.

    • You can use the Size drop down menu to change the size of the watermark text.

If you'd rather use a picture for the watermark, do this instead:

  1. On the Layout tab, under Page Background, select Watermark.

    Layout tab, Page Background group

  2. Select Picture.

  3. Choose Select Picture, and then locate the picture that you want to use as a watermark.

  4. Choose Insert,

    Notes: 

    • If the picture watermark makes it difficult to read the text, select Washout to lighten the picture.

    • You can use the Scale pop-up menu to change the size of the picture watermark.

In Word Online you can see watermarks that are already in a document, but you can’t change them or insert new ones.

If you have the Word desktop application, use the Open in Word command to open the document and add or change the watermark there. When you’re done and you save the document, it will continue to be stored where you opened it in Word Online. When you reopen it, you’ll see the watermarks in the doc.

If you don’t have Word, you can try or buy it in the latest version of Office.

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