How to Add Watermarks to Google Docs

Put your personalized watermark on any document

What to Know

  • First, create the watermark in Google Drawings. Select Insert Image.
  • Copy the doc's text. Go to the drawing, Insert Text box. Then, Edit Paste to import the text.
  • Once it's formatted to your liking, go back to Docs, select Insert Drawing From Drive, select the file.

This article explains how to add a watermark to a Google Doc using Google Drawings and covers the formatting options you can use. These steps work for any operating system that runs a modern browser, like Edge, Chrome, Firefox, etc.

How to Create a Google Docs Watermark

Using a watermark in Google Docs lets you protect a document with your logo or mark something as a draft, confidential, copyrighted, etc. The watermark can be any image or text you want.

Make an Image Watermark

There isn’t a watermarking utility built-in to Docs, but you can make one with Google Drawings. This tool lets you create a watermark background with your text on top or a watermark that sits over the text. Using it in Docs is as easy as importing the drawing.

  1. From Google Drawings, go to Insert > Image to choose where to get your picture from.

    The insert image menu in Google Drawings.
  2. Once it’s imported, drag it around the screen however you wish it to appear. Use the corner boxes to resize it, or the circular button on top to rotate it.

  3. With the image selected, choose Format options in the menu, or go to Format > Format options.

  4. From the Adjustments section, increase Transparency to whatever works for you. The idea here is to make it light enough that the document will be visible when it goes on top, but dark enough that it still serves as a watermark.

    The image transparency settings in Google Drawings.
  5. Name the watermark. You’ll need to know it later.

  6. Skip down to the How to Use a Watermark With Google Docs section.

Make a Text Watermark

Sometimes, all you really need is a text watermark, a word or phrase that shows lightly over the document. For example, you might want to use the word 'Draft' on a draft document so that you know what version you're using. Here's how to make a text watermark in Google Docs.

  1. From Google Drawings, go to Insert > Text box

  2. Click and drag to make a space for where you want the watermark to go. You can change this later.

  3. Type the watermark text into the box and edit it as needed. You can make it larger or smaller, change the font type, rotate it, etc.

    Screenshot of text options in Google Drawings
  4. Choose the menu's text color option to change the text to a light grey or whatever color you want the watermark to be. This is necessary because, unlike images, there isn’t a transparency setting for text.

  5. Pick a name for the watermark so that you’ll know which drawing to select later.

    Rename your file in Google Drawings.
  6. Skip down to the next section.

How to Use a Watermark With Google Docs

As handy as it’d be to import the watermark into Google Docs so that you can write under or over it normally, you can’t do it like that. Instead, you’re forced to copy all of the document’s text into Google Drawings.

  1. Open the Google doc that has the text you want to be fitted with a watermark, and copy it all (or whatever selection you want). There’s a Select all and Copy option in the Edit menu to make this easy.

    The copy option in Google Docs.
  2. Return to the drawing you made and go to Insert > Text box.

  3. Click and drag from wherever you want the text to start to where it should end, like from the top-left corner to the bottom-right corner.

  4. Go to Edit > Paste to import the Google Docs contents.

    Edit menu paste option in Google Drawings.
  5. Make any adjustments to the text as needed.

    Screenshot of a Google Drawings watermark with text from Google Docs
  6. Choose how to layer the watermark. You can place it in front of the text or behind it to make a watermark background.

    To do that, right-click the watermark or the text you pasted, and then choose Order to pick how to layer them. For example, if your watermark is dark and you want it to hide some of the text, edit the text box's layer to be Send to back.

    The Order options menu in Google Drawings.
  7. Return to the original document or open a blank one, and go to Insert > Drawing > From Drive.

  8. Select the watermark you just made and then choose Select.

    Screenshot of the Google Drawings import page in Google Docs
  9. Pick either Link to source or Insert unlinked, and then choose Insert. The former provides a link to Drawings for easy editing.

  10. The watermarked drawing will be added to the doc. If you imported with the source link, you can find it at the top-right; selecting it opens it in Google Drawings.

    The source of the document in Google Docs.
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