How to Implement Watermarks on Images and Presentations

A watermarked photo
Many photos are watermarked for copyright protection.

S. Chastain

Watermarks were originally faint imprints on paper that could only be seen at a specific angle. This process was designed to prevent counterfeiting and is still used today. Digital watermarks are also added to photos, films, and audio files to show a copyright by the owner of the object.

Watermarks on Images

Visible watermarks can be seen on photos on the Internet displayed before you purchase them, such as on photos from races, proms, school photos, and news/celebrity photo services. Viewers can't easily copy those photos to use them, and they must make the purchase first to download a photo that doesn't have a watermark.

If you place your photos on the Internet and want to protect your rights to those images, you may place a watermark on them to show that they are covered by copyright. While you can simply add text to a photo with photo editing software such as Photoshop, visible watermarks are easily removed and can detract from the photo itself. Instead, there are ways to watermark your photos invisibly with a service such as and several watermarking programs and apps you can use with your smartphone photos.

Watermarks as Used in Presentation Software

A watermark in presentation software and word processing is frequently used in a slightly different manner. A watermark is often a faded image or text used as a background of a slide or a page. It is meant to enhance, but not be the focal point of the slide. Watermarks are sometimes used in the form of a logo, discreetly placed on a slide or page to brand the presentation or document.

  • Examples: Mary added a watermark as a background image on her family tree presentation.

When used in a presentation, a watermark image is often added to the slide master, so it is on every slide of the presentation without having to add it repeatedly. By inserting an image on the master slide, you can place it where you want it and then use the Washout option to adjust the brightness and contrast to fade it. You can then send it to the background of the slide so other elements will be positioned on top of it. By fading it enough, you can use it as a background and not distract from the rest of the presentation.

Watermarks can be created in most Microsoft Office documents, including those in Microsoft Publisher in a similar way to the method used for PowerPoint. It can be useful protecting your work as well as labeling documents as drafts or labeling them as confidential. Watermarks are then easily removed if the document is ready to be printed or distributed in its final form. Most word processing and presentation software include a watermark feature. It may be lacking in the most basic programs, and a user would have to improvise a way to add one.