Add a Text Watermark Over a Photo in Photoshop

Copyright protection watermark on a photo of a creek

Lifewire / S. Chastain

Placing a watermark on images that you plan to host on the web will identify them as your own work and discourage people from copying them or claiming them as their own. Here's a simple way to add a watermark in Photoshop where the text remains editable.

Here's How

  1. Open an image.
  2. Select the Type tool and type the copyright symbol or any other text you want to use for a watermark.
  3. While you're still in the type tool dialog, click the color swatch, and set the color to 50% gray. (Use HSB values 0-0-50 or RGB values 128-128-128; both will produce the same result).
  4. Click OK to exit the type tool.
  5. Resize and position your text as desired.
  6. Double-click on a blank area of the type layer in the layer palette (not the thumbnail or the layer name) to bring up the layer styles dialog.
  7. Apply the Bevel and Emboss effect and adjust the setting until it's to your liking.
  8. In the layers palette, change the blend mode for the type layer to Hard Light.

Quick Adjustments and Key Commands

  1. If you'd like the watermark a little more visible, try a color value of 60% gray for the type (HSB value 0-0-60).
  2. Resize the type at any time by pressing Ctrl+T (Windows) or Command+T (Mac). Hold the shift key and drag a corner handle. When you apply the transformation, the type will resize with no loss in quality.
  3. You are not restricted to using only text for this effect. Try importing a logo or symbol to use as a watermark.
  4. The Windows keyboard shortcut for the copyright (©) symbol is Alt+0169 (use the numeric keypad to type the numbers). The Mac shortcut is Option+G.
  5. If you use the same watermark often, save it to a file that can be dropped into an image any time you need it. Remember, it's always editable!