According to Dictionary.com a watermark is “a figure or design impressed in some paper during manufacture, visible when the paper is held to the light.” Fine stationery papers have a watermark on them. With photo and graphic design software available today, including Word, watermark has taken on a new description as we can watermark our own paper with words, logos and even images. Word makes it very easy to add watermarks to our Word documents.
Start by going to the Page Layout tab and click on Watermark. The dropdown menu has a variety of watermarks already setup -- confidential, draft, do not copy, etc. -- either printed across the middle or diagonally on the page. You can use one of these or you can create your own watermark using your logo, words or an image.
At the bottom of the menu selecting Custom Watermark opens the Printed Watermark dialogue box. Options available include No watermark, Picture watermark and Text watermark. Selecting Picture watermark and Select Picture allows you to choose an image from your computer. This could be a logo for company stationery or a picture of a turkey for a Thanksgiving menu. Once you image is chosen you can then adjust the Scale (size) of the image. Washout lightens the background image making it very faint. The image below shows both washed out and not washed out. Clicking on Apply shows how your watermark will look.
If you would like your own message in the background, choose Text watermark. From the dropdown menus you can select Language, Font, Size, and Color. For Text you can choose from the dropdown menu or type what you want. Semitransparent when selected will lighten the color used for the text. There are also two Layout options: Diagonal or Horizontal.
The last option under Watermark is Save Selection to Watermark Gallery. Using this option allows you to create a unique header using images and/or text. To create a header with an image and text, insert an image on your page and then add your text. In the sample I used a flower and next to it the text “Flower Designs for You!” raised by 20 points using the Font dialogue box. Selecting the flower and text, then the last option under Watermark opens the Create New Building Block dialogue box. Here you can name your selection and give it a description. The only other option here to change is the Category. There are categories already created that you can choose from or you can create your own. When you are done and click Okay, your watermark will appear in the dropdown menu under Watermark. An idea I came up with while writing this article is to create a watermark header for each of my clients’ letterheads. Instead of looking for their letterhead file I will just select their watermark from the menu.
If you create a header for your document and you also want a watermark on the page, you can have both at the same time. As only one watermark from the dropdown menu can be selected at a time, first select your header from the dropdown list, and then use the Custom watermark function to add a watermark to the page itself.
Before desktop computers and printers, yes, the days of the typewriter, the paper we used to type on was watermarked bond paper. The watermark showed our clients that we were using quality paper. And yes, some of them would hold the paper up to the light to see the watermark. When I buy paper now my main concerns are, is it bright white and will it feed through my printer(s)?