How-To

How to Create and Insert a Watermark in Google Docs

Do you have a document that needs a watermark in Google Docs? This tutorial shows you how to both create and insert a watermark.

Google Docs makes it easy enough to insert images into your documents. However, when it comes to watermarks, it gets a bit difficult. There isn’t currently a feature to add a background image to your document, ideal for a watermark. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done!

We’ll show you two ways to add a watermark in Google Docs. One method uses the Drawing feature within Google Docs, while the other uses Google Drawings. Depending on if you already have an image you want to use or need to create one, use whichever method is best for you.

Create and Insert a Watermark Using Google Docs Drawing

If you want a simple watermark of text like “Private,” “Confidential,” or something similar, using the Drawing feature in Google Docs takes only a few minutes.

Open your document in Google Docs and place your cursor in a spot on the page where you can insert the watermark. Click Insert > Drawing > New from the menu.

Click Insert, Drawing, New in Google Docs

When the Drawing tool opens, you can create your watermark using the toolbar. For our example, we’ll create a “Draft” watermark.

First, we click Text Box in the toolbar, draw the box, and add our text.

Insert text box

Next, we click More (three dots) to open the font formatting tools. This lets us increase the size, adjust the style, and align the text inside the box.

Format the text

Because we want our watermark more transparent, we’ll change the color of the text using a light gray.

Change the text color

Finally, we’ll rotate the text box, so it appears angled. You can do this by clicking and dragging the top dot of the text box.

Rotate the text box

Now, we hit Save and Close to pop the image into our document.

Click Save and Close

This is just one example of how to create a watermark with the Drawing feature in Google Docs. Of course, you can create whatever you like for your own watermark.

Create and Insert a Watermark Using the Google Drawings Site

Another option for creating a watermark for Google Docs is on the Google Drawings website. The advantages are that you have additional tools, can use an existing image or search for one, and the image is automatically saved to Google Drive so you can reuse it.

Visit Google Drawings and sign in if necessary. You can create a text watermark the same way as the above example, by inserting a text box and formatting it. But for this example, we’re going to insert an existing image to work with.

First, click the Insert Image button in the toolbar and select the location of the image. In our case, we pick Search the Web.

Click Insert Image and select a location

We enter our search term in the sidebar, select the image we want, and click to Insert it. The process may vary for you depending on the location you choose for your image.

Search for and insert an image

With the image on our canvas, we want to adjust it to be more transparent. After all, it’s a watermark, not a featured image.

Click Format Options in the toolbar to open the sidebar. Expand Adjustments and move the Transparency slider to the desired amount.

Adjust the transparency for the watermark

When you’re happy with the watermark, give it a name and head back to your document in Google Docs. Remember, all changes in Google Drawings are saved automatically to Google Drive.

Changes saved to Google Drive

Place your cursor in the spot where you want to insert the image. Then go to Insert > Drawing > From Drive in the menu.

Click Insert, Drawing, From Drive in Google Docs

Click your image and hit Select to pop it into your document. You’ll be asked if you want to link the image, make your choice and click Insert.

Pick a link option and click Insert

Move Your Watermark Behind the Text

The final piece to making your image a true watermark is to blend it into the page as if it was the background. You’ll perform this step by creating and inserted the image using the Drawing tool or the Google Drawings website.

Select the image to display the toolbar beneath it and click Behind text.

Move the watermark Behind Text in Google Docs

You can then move your watermark wherever you like on the page, and it will remain behind the text as it should. If you want to secure its spot, click the drop-down box in the toolbar and pick Fix position on the page.

Click Fix Position on Page

And there you have it, a watermark in your Google Docs document.

Watermark in Google Docs

Watermarks in Google Docs

Hopefully, Google will allow users to add a watermark or use a background image down the road. But until then, you can both create and insert a watermark in Google Docs using these methods. Which will you use?

For other applications like Microsoft Office, take a look at how to add a watermark to your Word documents or your Excel spreadsheets.

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