How to Apply a Watermark to Your Graphics in Inkscape

Copyright symbol in clouds
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Knowing how to add a watermark to your designs in Inkscape can be useful. Your copyright information discourages others from borrowing your work without your permission. If you want to sell your designs, you obviously need to be able to let customers see your work, but this may also allow them to use your designs without payment. Applying a watermark to your Inkscape designs is easy to do. It protects your copyright and reduces the possibility of your work being misused. If you don't want to see the art you slaved over for sleepless nights show up on a T-shirt for sale online, take the time to watermark your work before you post it.

Protect Your Work With a Watermark

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The information you place on top of the design can contain your name or business name or any other identifying information to indicate the artwork is not free for use without your permission. It should be large enough to be obvious and transparent enough for your art to be viewed through the watermark. Changing the opacity of elements in Inkscape is easy. Using this technique with watermarks allows you ​to add your copyright to your designs while allowing prospective customers to peruse your work.


Add Semi-Transparent Text to Your Design

Inkscape logo
  1. Open the design in Inkscape.
  2. Click Layer in the menu bar at the top of the screen and choose Add Layer. Placing the watermark on a separate layer makes it easy to remove or suppress later. The layer should be positioned above the design layer or layers. Switch to the top layer by clicking Switch to Layer Above in the Layer menu.
  3. Click Text in the menu bar and select Text and Font to open the Text Tool Options window.
  4. Select the Text tool from the Tools palette to the left of the workspace, click on the design and type in your watermark or copyright information. You can change the font and size using the controls in the  Text Tool Options window and the color of the text can be selected using the swatches at the bottom of the window.
  5. To change the opacity, click the Select tool in the Tools palette and click on the watermark text to select it.
  6. Click on Object in the menu bar and select Fill and Stroke. Click on the Fill tab when the Fill and Stroke palette opens.
  7. Look for the slider labeled Opacity and drag it to the left or use the downward facing arrow to make the text semi-transparent. 
  1. Save the file and export a PNG version of the file that you can use to display your designs, knowing that casual users will be discouraged from using your work without permission.

To type a © symbol on Windows, press Ctrl+Alt+C. If that doesn't work and you have a number pad on your keyboard, hold the Alt key and type 0169. On OS X on a Mac, type Option+G. The Option key may be marked "Alt."