Create a Watermark on PowerPoint Slides

Workshop
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Watermarks can be as simple as a company logo placed in a corner of the slide to brand it or can be a large image that is used as the background for the slide. In the case of a large image, the watermark is often faded so that it does not distract the audience from the content of your slides.

01
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Show a Faded Picture in the Background of PowerPoint Slides

Access the slide master in PowerPoint to create a watermark
Access the slide master in PowerPoint. screen shot © Wendy Russell

For this tutorial in PowerPoint 2007, check Watermarks in PowerPoint 2007.

Enhance Your Slides With a Watermark

Placing a watermark on the slide master will ensure that this picture appears on every slide.

To access the slide master, from the main menu choose View > Master > Slide Master.

02
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Insert the ClipArt or Picture on the Slide Master for the Watermark

Insert ClipArt for a watermark in PowerPoint
Insert ClipArt for a watermark in PowerPoint. screen shot © Wendy Russell

While still in the slide master you have two options:

  1. Insert Picture
    • From the main menu, choose Insert > Picture > From File...
    • Locate a picture on your computer to insert into the slide master.
  2. Insert ClipArt
    • From the main menu, choose Insert > Picture > ClipArt...

For the purpose of this tutorial, we will use the option to insert clipart.

03
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Locate the ClipArt for the Watermark

Search for ClipArt for a watermark in PowerPoint
Search for ClipArt for a watermark in PowerPoint. screen shot © Wendy Russell
  1. In the ClipArt task pane on the right of the screen, type a search term in the appropriate text box.
  2. Click on the Go button. PowerPoint will search for any clipart images that include this search term.
  3. Click on the chosen clipart to insert it into the slide master.
04
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Move and Resize the Watermark ClipArt or Picture

Move or resize photos on a PowerPoint slide
Move or resize photos on a PowerPoint slide. screen shot © Wendy Russell

If this watermark is for something like a company logo, you may wish to move it to a specific corner on the slide master.

  • Moving a picture
    • Place the mouse over the center of the photo. The mouse pointer will change to a four-headed arrow. This is a move pointer in any graphic program.
    • Drag the photo to the new location.
  • Resizing a picture
    • To resize the photo, drag a corner selection handle to enlarge or reduce the size of the photo. The mouse pointer will change to a two-headed arrow. Using a corner selection handle will maintain the proper proportions of the picture.
05
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Format the Picture for a Watermark

Resize photo on PowerPoint slide
Resize photo on PowerPoint slide. screen shot © Wendy Russell

To make the picture less distracting on the page, you will need to format it to fade the image.

In the example shown, the picture is enlarged so that it takes over a large portion of the slide. The tree image was chosen for a presentation on creating a family tree.

  1. Right click on the picture.
  2. Choose Format Picture... from the shortcut menu.
06
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Fade the Picture for the Watermark

Format picture as a washout in PowerPoint
Format picture as a washout. screen shot © Wendy Russell
  1. Click the drop-down arrow beside "Automatic" in the Color section of the Format Picture dialog box.
  2. Select Washout as the color option.
  3. Click the Preview button if desired, but do not close the dialog box. The next step will adjust the color.
07
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Adjust the Color Brightness and Contrast of the Watermark

Adjust picture brightness and contrast in PowerPoint to create watermark
Adjust picture brightness and contrast in PowerPoint to create watermark. screen shot © Wendy Russell

The option Washout from the previous step may have faded the picture too much.

  1. Drag the sliders beside Brightness and Contrast.
  2. Click the Preview button to see the effect on the picture.
  3. When you are happy with the results, click OK.
08
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Send the Watermark to the Back on the Slide Master

Send picture to back in PowerPoint
Send picture to back in PowerPoint. screen shot © Wendy Russell

Your final step is to send the graphic object to the back. This allows all text boxes to remain on top of the picture.

  1. Right click on the picture.
  2. Select Order > Send to Back
  3. Close the slide master

Your task is now complete -- the new watermark picture will show on every slide.