Adding a “Watermark” in Microsoft Word 2003 or 2007

A watermark is a recognizable background image or pattern that is embedded in a document at various shades of lightness or darkness. The standard placement of a watermark is done in such a way in the background (e.g. diagonal) to catch the reader’s eye and to convey a readily recognizable message that portrays the status of the document (e.g. confidential, draft, ASAP, etc.). Of course there are other non-standard methods of embedding a watermark, such as adding your own image. Today, I had a situation where I had to embed a watermark in a Microsoft Word document; which provided me with the idea of sharing this process with others.  Actually it is quite simple, and this tip may be helpful to others.

WatermarkMicrosoft Word 2003

The watermark commands are available only in normal, print layout, and outline views.

  1. On the Format menu, point to Background, and then click Printed Watermark.
  2. Do one of the following:  To insert a picture as a watermark (watermark: Any graphic or text, such as “Confidential,” that when printed appears either on top of or behind existing document text.), click Picture Watermark, and then click Select Picture. Select the picture you want, and then click Insert.To insert a text watermark, click Text Watermark, and then select or enter the text that you want.
  3. Select any additional options that you want, and then click Apply.
  4. To view a watermark as it will appear on the printed page, use print layout view

Microsoft Word 2007

You can insert a predesigned watermark from a gallery of watermark text, or you can insert a watermark with custom text.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Background group, click Watermark.
  2. Do one of the following: Click a predesigned watermark, such as Confidential or Urgent, in the gallery of watermarks. Click Custom Watermark, click Text watermark and then select or type the text that you want. You can also format the text.
  3. To view a watermark as it will appear on the printed page, use Print Layout view.


18 thoughts on “Adding a “Watermark” in Microsoft Word 2003 or 2007

  1. what u r giving about water mark is perfectly working. what my doubt is i am inserting print screens in the word-2003 in that water mark is behind the screen shot, i want water mark upon the screen shot please help me


    1. kbkumar,

      I am understanding that you desire to overlay the watermark over top of the background image. Do the following to apply the background, then follow the process in the article to apply the watermark. Hope this helps. Rick

      Applying a background to your MS Word document:

      You can apply a different color, apply a texture or picture instead of color, or change settings for patterns and gradients (gradient: A gradual progression of colors and shades, usually from one color to another color, or from one shade to another shade of the same color.).

      On the Format menu, point to Background.
      Do one of the following:
      Click the new color you want.

      Click More Colors to see additional color choices.

      Click Fill Effects to change or add special effects, such as gradients, textures, or patterns.


  2. For those who don’t what to manually put the watermark in and take it out each time the document is printed or want to automate the process of creating and editing, StampIt for Word is a very useful alternative.


  3. With one particular document, I’m having a problem.

    The document is divided into sections (necessary for formatting reasons), and will only allow the watermark in one section. If I put the watermark in Section 1, that’s fine; but when I put the watermark in Section 2, it disappears from Section 1. And so forth. Other sectioned documents I work on do not have this problem.

    what the heck?


  4. I just want to apply the watermark to a paragraph. In Quick Parts Gallery I can “apply to paragraph only”- but the watermark has to be in that gallery, not the water marks gallery.


  5. Why, when I add a draft watermark, does it push my document down? This totally messes up where my date should be (we use window envs so this makes a difference), and on legal pleadings, it makes my top margin seem to be a bit larger, though when I check what the margin is, it says it is what it should be, but I know it is not, because now my document is on two pages, instead of the one page it was before. HELP !


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