How To Insert Watermark in Google Docs

Google Docs now supports adding watermarks without using third-party add-ons. Here is how to create and insert a watermark in Google Docs.

Other than Microsoft Word, Google Docs is one of the most popular word processors out there. This is especially true when you want to create a new word document right in the browser. A few of the main reasons for the popularity of Google Docs is that it integrates with Google & Gmail, has an easy-to-use interface, supports several Word-specific features, beginner-friendly options, and more. To put it simply, Google Docs makes it easy to create and share documents online.

While sharing a Google Doc, you must mark it as your own. You can do this by adding a watermark to a part or the entire document. That way, you can prevent others from copying or redistributing without giving proper credit. You should always watermark your documents while sharing them online. This is especially true for official documents, creative work, templates, etc.

Previously, you would have to use a third-party add-on or separate programs to add watermark in Google Docs. However, Google recently added a new “Watermark” option, making it easy to add text or images. With the new option, all it takes is a few clicks to insert a watermark in Google Docs.

So, without delay, let me show you how to create and insert a watermark in Google Docs.

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1. Insert watermark in Google Docs

To insert a watermark in Google Docs, we will use the new Watermark option. Before proceeding, make sure you have an image, like a logo, that you would like to set as a watermark. As of now, Google Docs only allows image watermarks. You cannot use text. If you don’t have an image to use as a watermark, follow the “create watermark” section in this article to know how to create a simple watermark directly in Google Docs itself.

1. First, open the Google Doc in which you want to insert the watermark. You can find the target document in Google Drive or on the docs.google.com website. After opening the document, click on the “Insert” option in the top bar and select the “Watermark” option.

select the watermark option to insert a watermark in Google Docs

2. As soon as you click the option, Google Docs will open the Watermark panel to the right of the document. In the panel, click on the “Select Image” field. This is the field that allows you to select an image to insert as a watermark.

click on select image

3. Google Docs provides several different ways to add a watermark image. If the watermark image is already in Google Drive or Google Photos, you can select it from the appropriate tab.

4. Alternatively, you can search for images directly from the “Google Image Search” tab. While adding an image from Google Search, make sure you have the proper license. If possible, always use images with a Creative Commons license. When required, provide appropriate attribution to the image creator.

search for an image in Google Docs

5. To add your image, go to the “Upload” tab. Here, drag and drop the watermark image into the available field. Alternatively, click the “Browse” button, select the image, and click “Open.”

upload watermark image in Google Docs

6. As soon as you do that, the image is applied as a watermark in Google Docs. You can instantly see the watermark preview in the document.

7. By default, Google Docs sets the image scale to 100%. In the vast majority of cases, this is fine. If needed, you can adjust the image size using the “Scale” dropdown menu.

scale watermark

8. Rather than choosing a predefined scaling option, you can manually set any value between 1% & 100%. For instance, I put the image scale to 78%.

custom scale watermark

9. Just as with image scale, Google Docs automatically enables the “Fade” option. This option will make the watermark less opaque. As you can guess, the Fade option is helpful when using solid images with no transparency. If you are already using a transparent image, it is better to uncheck the “Fade” checkbox.

enable or disable watermark fade option

10. Finally, click the “Done” button to insert a watermark in Google Docs. Unfortunately, as of writing this, you cannot change the watermark position or rotation. It is automatically added to the center of the document behind the content.

watermark added to Google Doc

11. If you ever want to change the watermark, open the Watermark panel (Insert > Watermark), click the image, and select a new one.

That is all. It is that simple to add a watermark in Google Docs.

2. Remove watermark in Google Docs

After adding the watermark, you can also remove it from Google Docs. For example, when delivering a document in its final stage, you might have to remove the watermark. In those cases, you can remove the watermark in Google Docs with a single click. Here is how to do it.

Important note: You can only remove a watermark that is added via Google Doc’s Watermark feature. Also, the document should be in Google Docs format. i.e., it should not be in other formats like PDF, DOCX, etc.

1. First, open the document containing the watermark. You can find the target document in Google Drive or on the docs.google.com website. After opening the document, click on the “Insert” option in the top bar and select the “Watermark” option.

2. The above action will open the watermark panel. Here, click on the “Remove Watermark” button appearing at the bottom of the panel.

remove watermark in Google Docs

3. As soon as you click the button, Google Docs will remove the watermark from all the pages.

watermark remove from Google Doc

Remember, if Google Docs cannot recognize the watermark or if the Remove Watermark is disabled or greyed out, it means the watermark is combined with the document, the document is not supported by Google Docs, or the watermark is not added by Google Docs.

That is it. It is that simple to remove the watermark in Google Docs.

3. Create a watermark in Google Docs

If you don’t have a watermark image, you can create one directly in Google Docs using the Drawing feature. After creating, you can download and insert it as a watermark. Here is how to use the Drawing option to create a new watermark in Google Docs.

1. First, open a Google Doc or create a new one. After that, place the mouse cursor in the document. Now, select “Insert” and then “Drawing > New.”

create new drawing

2. This action will open the Drawing panel. Here, you can add text, images, and other effects to create your drawing. In my case, I selected the Text tool and added a text. In the case of text, you can use the text formatting options like Bold, Italic, Text Color, etc., to modify it. Of course, try other options and make your image.

create new drawing using the annotation tools

3. Once you are satisfied with the drawing, click on the “Actions” button. Next, select the “Download” option and then choose “PNG Image (.png).” As soon as you do that, the drawing will be downloaded as a PNG file. Since it is a PNG file, the background of the image will be transparent. For watermarks, it is perfect.

download drawing as png file

4. After downloading the image, follow the above “Insert watermark in Google Docs” section to add a watermark to the document.

use downloaded image to insert watermark in Google Docs

That is all. It is that simple to create a watermark in Google Docs.

I cannot add a watermark in Google Docs

If you cannot add a watermark in Google Docs, watch for a few things.

First, make sure you are on a supported web browser, like Chrome or Edge. For whatever reason, some features and options won’t work on all browsers. This is especially true for new features like Watermark.

Second, make sure you place the cursor inside the document. Otherwise, you might not see the Watermark option, or it will be greyed out.

Third, ensure the document is fully loaded. Sometimes, the document might stop in the middle of loading, and all options might not load. In that case, you must click the reload button.

Fourth, as of writing this, the Watermark feature is only present in the web editor. If you are using a mobile app, you might not find the option. Hopefully, Google will add the Watermark option in the mobile app too.

Is the watermark feature available in Google Sheets?

No. As of writing this, the Watermark feature or option is only in Google Docs. There is no option called Watermark in Google Sheets. But hopefully, Google might add it to Sheets in the future.

I hope that helps.

It is that simple to insert a watermark in Google Docs. If you need any help, comment below, and I will do my best to help you.

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