How to Add, Remove and Customize Word Watermarks

Learn how to add and remove Word watermarks as well as create and save custom ones.

How to Add, Remove and Customize Word Watermarks

When you collaborate on Word documents with others or are routing drafts of documents, you may want to mark the document as draft or private with a watermark.  This allows the recipient to see at a glance the type of document it is. Word automatically applies the watermark to every page except a designated cover page. If you don’t see the watermark, click View > Print Layout. This also shows how the printed watermark will look.  Below, we’ll go over step-by-step how to add, remove and customize Word watermarks.

Adding a Watermark

  1. Click the Design tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click the Watermark


  1. Choose the appropriate watermark for your document.

Customizing – Adding a Custom Watermark

  1. Click the Design tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click the Watermark


  1. Click Custom Watermark.


  1. The Printed Watermark dialog box will open. Choose the appropriate options.
    • Picture watermark – Add a picture, such as your logo to the document.
      • Browse for the appropriate picture and add
      • Scale – Set the scale for the picture watermark
      • Washout – Select Washout to washout the picture
    • Text watermark
      • Choose language
      • Text – Type the text you wish to appear in the watermark
      • Font – Select the font for the watermark
      • Size – Set the size of the watermark
      • Color – Set the color of the watermark
      • Semitransparent – Check to make the text watermark semitransparent
      • Layout – Choose either Diagonal or Horizontal
  1. Click Apply.
  2. Click Close.

Customizing – Saving a Custom Watermark

  1. Create and insert the custom watermark.
  2. Double-click the header to open the header pane.
  3. Click on the watermark to select it. Once you’ve selected it, you should see the selection handles around the watermark (marked by the red arrows)
  4. Click the Design tab on the ribbon.
  5. Click the Watermark
  6. Click Save Selection to Watermark Gallery


  1. The Create New Building Block dialog box opens.


  • Name – Enter a name for the watermark.
  • Gallery – The Gallery the watermark will be stored in.
  • Category – Choose the category to store it under or create a new category.
  • Description – Enter the description of the watermark.
  • Save in – Choose the template to store the watermark in. Building Blocks.dotx is the default.
  • Options – Insert content only.
  1. Click OK. You’ll now see the watermark saved to the gallery.


Removing a Watermark from a Document

  1. Click the Design tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click the Watermark
  3. Click Remove Watermark.


  1. The watermark will be removed from the document.

 Note:  If the watermark does not remove, you have a watermark that was applied to a specific section of the document.  To remove it, double-click to open the header area of any page containing the watermark, click the watermark to select it, and click Delete.

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