4 Easy Ways to Add Watermarks to Your PDF Files

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A watermark is essential in protecting the copyright or ownership of any document. With a watermark, any of your work is secured. No one can copy your file or image easily. If they could copy, people could identify where the document or photo is copied and the rightful owner. Moreover, it protects files from being misused. 

Your watermark can be a logo, an image, or text. Whatever form it appears, still it serves the same purpose. However, there is a correct way of adding a watermark to serve its purpose. Read on and learn the different methods of how to add a watermark on a pdf. Also, know about some tips on how to place your watermark correctly. 

Add Watermark With These Methods 

1. Use online PDF editors

There are various online PDF editors that offer watermarking functionality. Some popular ones include PDFescape and Sejda. These platforms allow you to upload your PDF and add a watermark using their provided tools.

2. Use Adobe Acrobat

To add watermarks to a PDF, you can follow these general steps using Adobe Acrobat:

  1. Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat: Launch Adobe Acrobat on your computer and open the PDF document to which you want to add a watermark.
  2. Access the Watermark tool: In Adobe Acrobat, go to the “Tools” tab located on the right-hand side of the application window. Expand the “Pages” section and click on “Watermark.”
  3. Select the watermark type: In the Watermark panel, you’ll have the option to choose between Text Watermark or File Watermark. Text Watermark allows you to add custom text, while File Watermark enables you to use an image file as the watermark.
  4. Customize the watermark settings: Depending on the type of watermark you choose, you’ll have various customization options. For Text Watermark, you can enter the desired text, choose the font, size, color, and adjust the opacity. For File Watermark, you can browse for the image file and set properties like scale, rotation, and opacity.
  5. Specify the pages for watermarking: Decide whether you want the watermark to appear on all pages or select specific pages or page ranges. You can set these preferences in the Watermark panel.
  6. Preview and adjust the watermark: Adobe Acrobat provides a preview of the watermark in the document. Take a moment to review how the watermark will appear and make any necessary adjustments to its position, size, or appearance.
  7. Apply the watermark: Once you are satisfied with the watermark settings, click the “Apply” or “OK” button to add the watermark to the PDF.
  8. Save the modified PDF: After the watermark has been applied, save the modified PDF document to retain the changes.

While Adobe Acrobat is a powerful and feature-rich PDF editing solution, it’s worth exploring alternative options if you’re looking for a more cost-effective or specific use-case-oriented solution. Various free and paid alternatives offer simpler interfaces, specific functionalities, or online collaboration features depending on your needs.

3. Microsoft Word

Even though Word is primarily a text editing software, you can still use it to add a watermark to a PDF by converting the PDF to Word format, adding the watermark in Word, and then saving it back as a PDF.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open the PDF in Word: Launch Microsoft Word and open a new blank document. Go to the “File” tab and click on “Open.” Browse for the PDF file you want to add a watermark to and click “Open.” Word will convert the PDF to Word format.
  2. Insert the Watermark: Once the PDF is opened in Word, go to the “Design” tab in the toolbar at the top of the window. Look for the “Watermark” button in the “Page Background” section and click on it.
  3. Choose a Watermark: In the “Watermark” menu, you can choose from pre-designed watermarks like “Confidential,” “Draft,” or create a custom watermark. Select the desired watermark or click on “Custom Watermark” to create your own.
  4. Customize the Watermark: If you choose a custom watermark, a dialog box will appear where you can specify the text, font, size, color, and layout of the watermark. You can also adjust the transparency (opacity) to make it more or less prominent.
  5. Apply the Watermark: After customizing the watermark, click “Apply” or “OK” to add the watermark to the document.
  6. Save as PDF: Once the watermark is added, go to the “File” tab and click on “Save As.” Choose a location to save the file and select “PDF” as the file format. Give the PDF a name and click “Save” to save the document as a PDF with the watermark.

By following these steps, you can use Microsoft Word to add a watermark to a PDF. However, keep in mind that Word’s watermarking capabilities are more limited compared to dedicated PDF editing software like Adobe Acrobat. For more advanced watermarking options, consider using other specialized PDF editing tools.

How to Add Watermarks Properly

  1. Placement:
    • Choose a suitable location: Typically, watermarks are placed diagonally across the page or centered in the background. Consider areas where the watermark won’t interfere with the document’s main content.
    • Avoid essential information: Ensure the watermark doesn’t overlap or obscure critical elements such as text, images, or important visuals.
  2. Size:
    • Maintain visibility without dominance: Select a size that allows the watermark to be clearly visible but doesn’t overpower the document’s content. It should serve as a subtle, yet noticeable, addition to the page.
    • Test for readability: Make sure the watermark doesn’t become too small to read when scaled down, particularly if you’re adding text-based watermarks.
  3. Transparency (Opacity):
    • Find the right balance: Adjust the transparency of the watermark to strike a balance between visibility and legibility. A transparent watermark should be noticeable enough to deter unauthorized use while still allowing the underlying content to be easily read.
    • Consider different opacity levels: Depending on the background color and document type, you may need to experiment with different opacity settings to achieve the desired effect. A semi-transparent watermark is often effective.
  4. Test and preview:
    • Preview before finalizing: Always preview the watermark on different pages of the document to ensure it appears consistent and doesn’t interfere with critical areas.
    • Consider zoom levels and screen/print differences: Test the watermark at different zoom levels and check how it looks when printed to ensure it maintains its intended appearance across different viewing conditions.


A watermark is essential in keeping your ownership of a document or image. The watermark is as crucial as your content.  Moreover, there are plenty of methods on how to apply a watermark. However, an online tool like PDFescape is recommended. It’s easy, quick, and secured! 

You may be interested in: “How to Quickly Edit PDFs – A Guide”