If you want to have complete flexibility to customize watermark pictures, you can go to the next level and bypass the Watermark gallery altogether. Watch this video to learn how.
Add a "Draft" watermark to your document
Add a picture as a background watermark
If you want to have complete flexibility to customize watermark pictures, you can go to the next level and bypass the Watermark gallery altogether.
I'll show you how.
Double-click the header to open headers and footers. Click INSERT and select the rectangle shape.
Then, draw a rectangle on the page.
Because the header and footer editor is open, we are actually drawing the rectangle in the header of the document, which places it in a layer behind the text, and on all the pages of the document.
To add a picture, go to the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab, click Shape Fill, and click Picture. Select a picture and Insert it.
Now, why did we add the picture to the fill property of the shape, instead of directly to the page?
Because this way we have more options to work with, including transparency.
When you add a picture to a shape, it stretches to fill the shape.
To get it back to its original aspect ratio, click the PICTURE TOOLS FORMAT tab, click Crop, and click Fit.
Then, adjust the crop handles to remove the empty space around the picture.
Click Crop again to turn it off.
Then, go back to the DRAWING TOOLS tab, and remove the Shape Outline.
Now we can resize the picture, move it, or align it automatically, by clicking the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab, clicking Align, clicking Align Center, and Align Middle.
Next, click the Format Shape dialog box launcher, and the FILL and LINE tab.
Now, you can adjust the Transparency, so it doesn’t compete with the text.
Click the Picture tab, and you have settings for Brightness, Contrast, and PICTURE COLOR.
Try the Sharpness setting to blur the picture slightly, if it has a lot of detail.
For this picture, let's go to the Effects tab, and add ARTISTIC EFFECTS.
This is another tool you can use to reduce the detail of a picture to push it more into the background.
Again, when you want to see what the watermark will look when it's printed, click FILE and Print.
Then, check the pages.
If you are happy with your watermark, you can reuse it in other documents.
Click DESIGN and Watermark. Then, click Save Selection to Watermark Gallery.
Type a name and click OK.
Now, adding the watermark is as easy as looking through the gallery.
So, now you have lots of options for adding and working with watermarks.
The secret is accessing them through the header and footer editor.
And here's something else. Because watermarks are related to headers and footers, you can also use the options on the HEADER & FOOTER TOOLS DESIGN tab.
For example, click Different First Page if you want a different watermark on the first page.
You can also create sections to add different watermarks throughout a document.
Here's the same document without watermarks. I have zoomed back, so you can see three pages of it.
I have also turned on Show/Hide Paragraph Marks, so you can see that. I have added a section break here and here.
Double-click the header and you can see the three sections that were created.
Click Next to go to the Section 2 header, and turn off Link to Previous.
Then click Next to go to section 3 and turn off Link to Previous. By turning off the links, I have isolated the three sections.
Now, I can click the Section 1 header, and INSERT a watermark. To keep it simple, I'll add a star shape.
Then, I can click the Section 2 header, and add a different shape, and go to the third section, and insert a third shape.
Three different custom watermarks created by using sections that were unlinked, and inserting the watermark graphics directly to the header and footer.
So now you know just about everything there is to know about watermarks in Word 2013. For related information, check out the links in the course summary.