How To Add a Text Watermark to a Photo in Photoshop Elements

Add A Watermark for Copy Protection in PSE

Watermarked Photo
Photo with Copy Protection Watermark. © S. Chastain

Placing a watermark on images that you plan to post on the Web will identify them as your own work and discourage people from copying them or claiming them as their own. Here's a simple way to add a copyright watermark in Photoshop Elements where the text remains editable.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 2 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Open an image.
  2. Select the type tool.
  3. In the options bar, click the color swatch and set the text color to 50% gray. (Use HSB values 0-0-50 or RGB values 128-128-128; both will produce the same result).
  1. Choose a fairly heavy typeface like Arial Black.
  2. Type the copyright symbol or any other text you want to use for a watermark.
  3. Click the commit button to add your text.
  4. Use the move tool to resize and position your text as desired. Double click to commit the changes.
  5. In the layer styles palette choose Bevels from the pull down menu.
  6. Click on Simple Inner to apply this effect.
  7. Double click on the circled f symbol of the type layer in the layer palette to bring up the style settings dialog.
  8. Adjust the bevel size and lighting angle until it's to your liking.
  9. Click OK to apply the settings.
  10. In the layers palette, change the blend mode for the type layer to Hard Light.


  1. If you'd like the watermark a little more visible, try a color value of 60% gray for the type (HSB value 0-0-60).
  2. Resize the type at any time by pressing Ctrl-T (Windows) or Command-T (Mac). Hold the shift key and drag a corner handle. When you apply the transformation, the type will resize with no loss in quality.
  1. You are not restricted to using only text for this effect. Try importing a logo or symbol to use as a watermark.
  2. The Windows keyboard shortcut for the copyright (©) symbol is Alt+0169 (use the numeric keypad to type the numbers). The Mac shortcut is Option-G.
  3. If you use the same watermark often, save it to a file that can be dropped into an image any time you need it. Remember, it's always editable!