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

Give your document more depth and information with a watermark

A watermark is text or an image that's placed over a document page and lightened so that the document text can be read over the watermark. A watermark provides information about a document. For example, a confidential watermark indicates that the information in the document shouldn't be shared. With text watermarks, choose the size, transparency, color, and angle. With image watermarks (such as a company logo), Word automatically lightens and places the image.

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

Insert a Text Watermark in MS Word

Word includes several default text watermarks. Follow these steps to use one of the built-in formats or to create your own watermark.

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

  2. Go to the View tab and select Print Layout.

  3. Go to the Design tab and, in the Page Background group, select Watermark. (Depending on the version of Word, the path may be Page Layout > Page Background > Watermark.)

    Watermark option in Word
  4. To design a watermark, select Custom Watermark.

    To quickly create a watermark, use one of the built-in styles. Select a watermark style in the gallery.

    Word with the Custom Watermark option highlighted
  5. In the Printed Watermark dialog box, select Text watermark.

    Create Watermark menu in Word with the Text Watermark option highlighted
  6. In the Text text box, enter the text you want to appear as a watermark.

    You can customize the watermark font, size, color, and layout. By default, the watermark is semi-transparent. To make the watermark easier to see, clear the Semitransparent check box.

    Printed Watermark menu in Word with the Text field highlighted
  7. To apply the watermark to all pages of the document, select OK.

    Printed Watermark menu in Word with the OK button highlighted
  8. The watermark text appears on the document.

    Screenshot of text watermark applied to Word document

The watermark only appears in the document in Print Layout view. If you don't see the text watermark, go to the View tab and select Print Layout.

Insert an Image Watermark in MS Word

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

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

  2. Go to the View tab and select Print Layout.

  3. Go to the Design tab and, in the Page Background group, select Watermark. (Depending on the version of Word, the path may be Page Layout > Page Background > Watermark.)

    Watermark option in Word
  4. Select Custom Watermark.

    Word with the Custom Watermark option highlighted
  5. In the Printed Watermark dialog box, select Picture watermark.

    Printed Watermark menu in Word with the Picture Watermark button highlighted
  6. Choose Select Picture.

    Printed Watermark menu in Word with the Select Picture button highlighted
  7. In the Insert Pictures dialog box, select the location of the image you want to use.

    Screenshot of Insert Pictures dialog in Word
  8. Choose the picture you want to use as the watermark, then select Insert.

    Select Image window in Word with the Insert button highlighted
  9. In the Printed Watermark dialog box, select OK to apply the watermark to all pages in the Word document.

    Printed Watermark menu in Word with the OK button highlighted
  10. The picture watermark appears in the document.

    Screenshot of picture watermark applied to Word document