Watermark In Excel

What Is Watermark In Excel?

A Watermark in Excel is a text or a picture that appears on the background of data in the worksheet. Typically, it has a lighter tone than the main text, so it does not obstruct the spreadsheet content. It was introduced in Excel in 2007.

One can use their spreadsheet’s watermarks to inform others that their document contains confidential information. Thus, it helps avoid unauthorized access and distribution of confidential data. Therefore, a watermark in Excel is quite useful in the business world.

For example, you run a computer peripherals business and want to ensure that the information in the below table remains confidential.

Watermark in Excel Intro

Using the method to insert a watermark in Excel, you can watermark the above document with a text image, say, Confidential. Then, the worksheet data will appear in the Page Layout view as depicted in the image below:

Intro Example

While it is a text watermark in Excel, you can also use an image or a pattern as a watermark. You can format the watermark in Excel by changing its position, size, etc.

Key Takeaways
  • The watermark in Excel is a text or image faded into a worksheet’s background. It prevents the worksheet content from getting re-used or plagiarized by unauthorized entities.
  • You can add or remove a watermark in the worksheet header section. It will ensure the watermark gets automatically inserted into all the pages of the worksheet.
  • You can format a watermark by repositioning, resizing, and editing its color. You can also fade the color of the watermark using the washout option.
  • If you want to remove the watermark, delete the image inserted in the header section box.

How To Add Watermark In Excel?

Excel does not have a built-in feature to add watermarks in spreadsheets. But there is a roundabout solution that can help us create objects like watermarks and add them to our Excel spreadsheets.

Let us see how to insert watermark in Excel with an example.

You have to share the following table with sample data of students with our management.

How to Add

You can make our submission more professional by watermarking our worksheet as SAMPLE using the following steps in Excel.

Step 1: Go to Insert > Text > WordArt in the ribbon in an empty worksheet. And select a suitable word art style from the available options.

Watermark in Excel How to Add.1

For instance, let us choose the third style from the first row for our table; A text box where we can enter the text appears as shown here:

Watermark in Excel How to Add.1.1

Step 2: Enter the word SAMPLE in the highlighted text area.

Watermark in Excel How to Add.2

Step 3: Rotate the text box using the rotating arrow.

Watermark in Excel How to Add.3

Step 4: Choose the View tab and uncheck the Gridlines box to remove the gridlines from the workspace.

How to Add.4

Step 5: Right-click in the text box and select Copy.

 How to Add.5

Step 6: Open MS Paint and paste the text into a new file.

How to Add.6

Step 7: You can adjust the image size according to your requirements and how you want the watermark to appear in Excel. Use the Resize option highlighted in the image below to resize the watermark. And then save it as an image on your computer.

How to Add.7

Step 8: In the Excel worksheet with the table where you must insert the watermark, choose Insert > Text > Header & Footer.

How to Add.8

The worksheet will appear in a new view with a header and footer.

How to Add.9

Alternatively, you can choose View > Page Layout or the Page Layout icon on the bottom-right corner of the Excel window to get the same view.

How to Add.8.2

Step 9: With the cursor on Add Header, choose the Picture option from the Design tab.

 How to Add.9.1

Choose the image you saved on the computer. Next, you will see the text &[Picture] in the header section.

How to Add.9.2

Please Note: The header section has three boxes. You can insert only one watermark per box, thus making it possible to add three watermarks to a worksheet at a time. If you try adding more than one watermark in a box, you will get an error.

Step 10: Click on any cell outside the header section box to view the watermark in Excel. The watermark appears as shown below:

Watermark in Excel How to Add.10

When you add the watermark in the header section of your worksheet, it automatically gets inserted into every page of that worksheet. You need to click on the particular page to view the watermark.

Please Note: The watermark in Excel will be visible only when the worksheet has a Page Layout view. Once you go back to the Normal view, the watermark will disappear. However, when you choose the Print command from the File tab, you will have the worksheet ready for print with the watermark on every page.

How to Add.Print
Excel How to Add.Print 1

Please Note: The above illustration shows how to add a text watermark in Excel. Likewise, you can insert any image, such as a company logo. The steps remain the same, except that the file you choose from your computer in Step 9 will be the one with the logo.

How To Format And Resize Watermark In Excel?

In the previous example, we added the watermark in Excel that required resizing and repositioning to make it more presentable. Here, we will learn how to format the watermark in worksheets.

For example, the table below shows a company’s sample inventory data. As depicted below, we can use the draft watermark in Excel to ensure all are aware that the table content is a draft or sample. Please note that the worksheet is in the Page Layout view.

Resize and Reposition

1. Watermark Repositioning

We can see that the watermark is not aligned properly in the spreadsheet. Therefore, we have to manually move it to the required position in the worksheet.

The steps to reposition a watermark in Excel are:

Step 1: Click on the header section box where we inserted the watermark image and place the cursor before &[Picture], the text that shows the watermark position in the worksheet.

Reposition.1

Step 2: Press Enter key multiple times to move the draft watermark in Excel to the center of the worksheet.

 Reposition.2

Step 3: Check the watermark position in the worksheet by clicking outside the specific header section box.

Watermark in Excel Reposition.3

We may need to iterate steps 2 and 3 a couple of times to get the watermark in Excel at the required position.

2. Watermark Resizing

We can resize the image if we need the watermark to appear across our worksheet width.

Considering the same table used in the previous example, let us see how we can resize the watermark, Draft.

Step 1: Click on the header section box where we inserted the image. Then choose Design > Format Picture.

Watermark in Excel Resize.1

Step 2: The Format Picture window pops up. Adjust the size settings in the Size tab and click OK.

Resize.2

We will get the resized watermark in Excel. However, we may have to make the size adjustments couple of times and reposition &[Picture] in the header section to correct the rescaled watermark position in our spreadsheet.

The output will be:

Watermark in Excel Resize.3

We can also format the watermark by changing its brightness, contrast, and transparency settings.

Assume the below table with the watermark, Draft.

Excel Resize.4

We cannot view the table data as the watermark color setting is inaccurate. Therefore, we must format it so that the text Draft appears like a typical watermark.

Step 1: Click on the header section box where we inserted the image. Then choose Design > Format Picture.

 Resize.5

Step 2: Go to the Picture tab in the Format Picture dialog box. Set the Color setting as Washout.

Watermark in Excel Resize.6

Step 3: Click OK to view the output.

Excel Resize.7

The watermark gets faded, and thus, we can now view the table content more clearly.

How To Remove Watermark In Excel?

Let us assume that we want to remove the watermark from the below table:

Excel Remove Mark

Here are the steps to delete watermark in Excel:

Step 1: Click on the header section box where we inserted the image.

Remove Mark.1

Step 2: Click on the Delete button.

Remove Mark.2

Step 3: Now click anywhere outside the header section box. We will no longer see the watermark in Excel, even in the Page Layout view.

Watermark in Excel Remove Mark.3

Please Note: If you added a watermark from each header section box, you could follow the same method to delete the watermark in Excel. You need to click on the respective box and press the Delete button.

Important Things To Note

  • The watermark in Excel ensures others understand that the file belongs to the creator, thus protecting it from unauthorized use.
  • Whether it is a text or pattern, you can format it according to your requirements and save it as a .PNG or .JPG file to use the image as a watermark in the Excel sheet.
  • You can insert a watermark in a worksheet using the WordArt option under the Text option in the Insert. But the watermark will not get added automatically to other pages of the specific worksheet.
  • The watermark in Excel can be a text or picture (such as a pattern or logo).
  • If you want to add a watermark, use the worksheet header section. The header section has three boxes. You can add only one image as a watermark per box.
  • You can add three watermarks to a worksheet at a time. However, if you try adding more than one watermark in a box, you will get an error.
  • You can view the watermarks only in the Page Layout view and Print Preview

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I create a transparent watermark in Excel?


You can create a transparent watermark in Excel using the below steps:

1. First, open a blank worksheet and choose Insert > Text > WordArt.
2. Enter the text you want as the watermark in your Excel and rotate it to the desired angle.
3. Right-click the text area and choose the Format Shape option from the menu. A window will open on the right side of the worksheet. Select Fill > Solid Fill and adjust the Transparency bar until the image is adequately transparent as per your needs.
4. Copy the transparent text and paste it into MS Paint. Format it and save it as an image on your computer.
5. Finally, open your worksheet in the Page Layout view. Click on a header section box and choose Design > Picture. Next, select the image file you saved on your computer. Then click anywhere outside the header section box. You will now see a transparent watermark on your worksheet.

Alternatively, you can add the required image as a watermark in your Excel with the following steps:

1. Click on the Header section box where you inserted the image. Then choose Design > Format Picture.
2. Go to the Picture tab in the Format Picture dialog box. Set the Color setting as Washout.
3. Click on OK.

The watermark gets faded and will appear transparent.

How do I edit a watermark in Excel?


You can edit a watermark in Excel in the following ways:

1. Reposition the watermark by adjusting the text &[Picture] placement in the header section box containing the watermark image.
2. Resize the watermark by clicking on the header section box with the image. You then have to choose Design à Format Picture and make the required adjustments in the Size tab of the Format Picture window.
3. Perform color editing. Use the Picture tab of the Format Picture window to adjust the watermark transparency, brightness, and contrast.

For example, the below image shows a Simple Interest table in the Page Layout view. It has a watermark, SAMPLE.

Watermark in Excel FAQ.2

Step 1: Click on the header section box with the text &[Picture].

FAQ.2.1

Step 2: Adjust the position of the text &[Picture] in the header section box to reposition the watermark in Excel.

 FAQ.2.2

Step 3: With the cursor in the header section box containing the watermark image reference (&[Picture]), choose Design > Format Picture.

Watermark in Excel FAQ.2.3

Step 4: Change the Size and Scale settings in the Size tab of the Format Picture window to modify the watermark size.

Excel FAQ.2.4

Once you click OK, the output will be:

Watermark in Excel FAQ.2.5

Step 5: With the cursor in the header section box containing the watermark image reference, choose Design > Format Picture.

Step 6: In the Picture tab of the Format Picture window, change Color from Automatic to Washout and adjust the Contrast settings to edit the watermark color.

 FAQ.2.6

Once you click OK, the watermark will appear as depicted below:

FAQ.2.7

What is the purpose of a watermark in a document?


A watermark in a document protects it from unauthorized use, thus keeping the content confidential. It also becomes a way to inform others about the document’s purpose, whether the file contains sample data or is a draft.

And a watermark can be a tool to advertise a company. Using the company name or logo as the watermark helps readers remember the brand.

Download Template

This article must be helpful to understand the Watermark in Excel, with its formula and examples. You can download the template here to use it instantly.

This has been a guide to Watermark in Excel. Here we learn to add, insert, format, resize, and remove them, with examples and a downloadable excel template. You can learn more from the following articles –

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.