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How to Add a Watermark to Your Photos Using Photoshop

Watermarks Significantly Reduce Image Theft Through Copyrighting

More and more people are looking to add a watermark to their online images. This is due to the sheer volume of people using and some (unfortunately) abusing the internet. Whilst this will not completely eradicate image theft, it will hopefully prevent it in many cases.

What style, size and colour of watermark you wish to leave is entirely up to you. As in Microsoft Word you are simply creating text across the face of your image and then blending it in to give it some luminescence.

A comment that I received on my portfolio not so long ago had a great idea for adding a watermark that is not only difficult to remove but also adds some humour and interest to your images.

It was suggested for instance, that you could add a passing "blimp" in the sky with your name emblazoned along it. Perhaps write your website name across the shirt or blouse of your model. Once you get the hang of Photoshop you can really be as creative as you like when you add a watermark to your images.

For now, I will simply show you where to start, and how to add a watermark using simple text. Plus I'll show you how to record the process in "Actions" for easy future use. Please note, this will work in all versions of Photoshop from CS to the latest version of CC. It will also work in many other image editing programs including Lightroom.

How to add a watermark

Ok, open the image you wish to watermark and select the "text" tool. Click where you want to add the text and select whatever font, size and colour you want. Once you have entered the text, click the arrow on the top of your screen or hit enter and the text will appear on your image as in Fig.1.

Add a Watermark in Photoshop

Add a Watermark in Photoshop Fig. 1

Add a Watermark in Photoshop

Now, this is far too bold so we need to "soften" it or blend it in. Highlight the text again (still with the text tool, click in front of the first letter and drag along until all highlighted), and then go to, in the top menu;

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    LAYER
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    LAYER STYLE
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    BLENDING OPTIONS

...and Click (see Fig.2)

Add a Watermark in Photoshop

Add a Watermark in Photoshop Fig. 2

A new box will appear with all sorts of options like drop shadows, outer glow etc. You can get creative but in general you simply want a basic watermark that will just do the job. Anything too distracting and people are looking at your watermark artwork rather than your photography!

All you need to do is click and drag either of the opacity bars to the left. As you do so, you will see the text start to fade. See Fig.3.

Add a Watermark in Photoshop

Add a Watermark in Photoshop Fig. 3

Once at a level of opacity that you think will suffice, just click OK . You are now left with a watermark on your image as in Fig.4.

Add a Watermark in Photoshop

Add a Watermark in Photoshop Fig. 4

How to record an "action" in Photoshop

If you regularly add a watermark to your images, I suggest that you create a new Action thereby automating the process in the future. Now when you wish to add a watermark to many images, you can simply:

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    Open the action in Photoshop
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    Go to actions
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    Highlight the action you created
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    Press play

This will add your watermark and save all images to a file of your choice, just follow the onscreen instructions.

If you are unfamiliar with creating a new action, this is how you do it;

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    Open your image, go to the windows menu and click Actions.
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    This will open a list of default actions as in Fig.5
Recording Photoshop Actions 1

We need to create a new one so click on the "create new action" icon which is second from the right underneath the list of default actions.

This brings up a new box where you can name the action you are creating, in this case "Add Watermark" (see fig.6)

Recording Photoshop Actions 1

Once you have named it, hit "RECORD" and go through the process of adding a watermark to your images as learned above.

After you have finished, go back to the actions palette and click on the stop button to the left of the red record button (see fig.7). This will have now recorded your new action and saved it in the palette for future use.

Photoshop Proofmaker

If you have a situation where adding a watermark to your images is a regular thing for you, you may want to consider Photoshop Proofmaker. Proofmaker is a very handy plug in for Photoshop that automates this entire process for you thereby speeding up your workflow.

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