Excel Watermark Step by Step Tutorial

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Insert a Watermark in Excel

Insert a Watermark in Excel
Insert a Watermark in Excel. © Ted French

Excel Watermark Overview

Excel does not include a true watermark feature, but you can insert an image file into a header or footer to approximate a visible watermark.

In visible watermarking, the information is typically text or a logo which identifies the owner or marks the media in some way.

In the picture above, an image file containing the word Draft was inserted into the header of an Excel worksheet.

Since headers and footers are normally displayed on every page of the workbook, this method of watermarking is an easy way to ensure that a logo or other necessary information is present on all pages.

Watermark Example

The following example covers the steps to follow in Excel necessary to insert an image into a header and position it in the middle of a blank worksheet.

This tutorial does not include steps to follow for creating the image file itself.

An image file containing the word Draft or other similar text can be created in any drawing program such as the Paint program included with the Microsoft Windows operating system.

To get you started, the image file used in this example has the following characteristics:

  • Font: Gills Sans MT
  • Size: 72 point
  • Color: Gray - 25%

Note: Windows Paint does not include an option for rotating the text as seen in the image above.

Page Layout View

Headers and footers are added to a worksheet in Page Layout view.

Up to three headers and three footers can be added to a page using the header and footer boxes which become visible in Page Layout view.

By default, the center header box is selected - this is where the watermark image will be inserted in this tutorial.

Tutorial Steps

  1. Click on the Insert tab of the ribbon
  2. Click on the Header & Footer icon towards the right end of the ribbon
  3. Clicking on this icon switches Excel to Page Layout view and opens a new tab on the ribbon called Header & Footer Tools
  4. On this new tab click on the picture icon to open the Insert Picture dialog box
  5. In the dialog box browse to find the image file that will be inserted into the header
  6. Click on the image file to highlight it
  7. Click on the Insert button to insert the image and close the dialog box
  8. The watermark image is not immediately visible but a &[Picture} code should appear in the center header box of the worksheet
  9. Click on any cell in the worksheet to leave the Header box area
  10. The watermark image should appear near the top of the worksheet

Returning to Normal View

Once you have added the watermark, Excel leaves you in Page Layout view. While it is possible to work in this view, you may want to return to Normal view. To do so:

  1. Click on any cell in the worksheet to leave the header area.
  2. Click on the View tab
  3. Click on the Normal icon in the ribbon

Page 2 of this tutorial includes steps for:

  • repositioning the watermark in the worksheet
  • removing the watermark image
  • replacing the watermark image
  • viewing the watermark in print preview

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Excel Watermark Tutorial con't

Insert a Watermark in Excel
Insert a Watermark in Excel. © Ted French

Repositioning the Watermark

If desired, the watermark image can be moved downward to the middle of the worksheet as seen in the image above.

This is done by adding blank lines in front of the &[Picture} code using the Enter key on the keyboard.

To reposition the watermark:

  1. If necessary, click on the Header & Footer icon on the Insert tab to enter Page Layout view
  2. Click on the center header box to select it
  3. The &[Picture} code for the watermark image in the box should be highlighted
  4. Click in front of the &[Picture} code to clear the highlight and to position the insertion point in front of the code
  5. Press the Enter key on the keyboard several times to insert blank lines above the image
  6. The header box should expand and the &[Picture} code move downwards in the worksheet
  7. To check on the new position of the watermark image, click on any cell in the worksheet to leave the Header box area
  8. The watermark image's location should update
  9. Add additional blank lines if necessary or use the Backspace key on the keyboard to remove excess blank lines in front of the &[Picture} code

Replacing the Watermark

To replace the original watermark with a new image:

  1. If necessary, click on the Header & Footer icon on the Insert tab to enter Page Layout view
  2. Click on the center header box to select it
  3. The &[Picture} code for the watermark image in the box should be highlighted
  4. Click on the picture icon
  5. A message box will open explaining that only one picture can be inserted into each section of the header
  6. Click on the Replace button in the message box to open the Insert Picture dialog box
  7. In the dialog box browse to find the replacement image file
  8. Click on the image file to highlight it
  9. Click on the Insert button to insert the new image and close the dialog box

Removing the Watermark

To remove a watermark entirely:

  1. If necessary, click on the Header & Footer icon on the Insert tab to enter Page Layout view
  2. Click on the center header box to select it
  3. Press the Delete or Backspace key on the keyboard to remove the &[Picture} code
  4. Click on any cell in the worksheet to leave the Header box area
  5. The watermark image should be removed from the worksheet

Viewing the Watermark in Print Preview

Since headers and footers are not visible in Normal view in Excel you must switch views in order to see a watermark.

In addition to Page Layout view where the watermark image was added, the watermark can also be seen in Print Preview:

Note: You must have a printer installed on your computer to use Print Preview.

Switching to Print Preview

  1. Click on the File tab of the ribbon
  2. Click on Print in the menu
  3. Your worksheet and watermark should appear in the preview panel on the right of the screen

Switching to Print Preview in Excel 2007

  1. Click on the Office Button
  2. Choose Print > Print Preview from the drop down menu
  3. The Print Preview screen will open displaying the worksheet and watermark