How to Add, Remove or Change a Watermark In Microsoft Word

Give your document more depth and information with a watermark

Young woman looking through paperwork.
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A watermark is a bit of text or an image that's placed over a large portion of a document page and lightened to a degree that you can read both the watermark and the document text. A watermark typically gives high-level information about the document, such as the phrase "confidential" to indicate that the information within the document shouldn't be shared. With text watermarks, you can control the size, transparency, color, and angle. With image watermarks (such as a company logo), you have less control.

Instructions in this article apply to Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word for Office 365.

Insert a Text Watermark in MS Word

Word includes several default text watermarks to choose from. Follow these steps to use one or to create your own watermark.

  1. In Word, open the document to which you want to add a watermark.

  2. On the ribbon, select Design. In the Page Background group, select Watermark. (Depending on your version of Word, the path may be Page Layout > Page Background > Watermark.) If you want to use one of the watermarks in the gallery, select it.

    Screenshot of Watermark on the Design tab in Word
  3. If you want to create your own watermark, from the menu select Custom Watermark. The Printed Watermark dialog box opens. Select Text watermark.

    Screenshot of Printed Watermark dialog box with Text selected
  4. In the Text field, type the text you want to appear as your watermark.

    You can also use this window to customize the watermark's font, size, color, and layout. By default, Word makes the watermark semitransparent, but you can disable that (to make the watermark easier to see) by removing the checkmark next to Semitransparent.

    Screenshot of text for custom watermark in Word
  5. To apply the watermark to all pages of the document, select OK.

    Screenshot of text watermark applied to Word document

Insert an Image Watermark in MS Word

Follow these steps to add an image watermark to your document.

  1. In Word, open the document to which you want to add a watermark.

  2. On the ribbon, select Design. In the Page Background group, select Watermark. (Depending on your version of Word, the path may be Page Layout > Page Background > Watermark.)

    Screenshot of Watermark on the Design tab in Word
  3. From the menu, select Custom Watermark. The Printed Watermark dialog box opens. Select Picture watermark.

    Screenshot of Picture Watermark selected in Printed Watermark in Word
  4. Choose Select Picture. The Insert Picture dialog box opens.

    Screenshot of Insert Pictures dialog in Word
  5. Navigate to the picture you want to use as the watermark and select Insert.

    Screenshot of Insert button
  6. Back in the Printed Watermark dialog box, select OK to apply the watermark to all pages in the Word document.

    Screenshot of picture watermark applied to Word document