Introduction: The Importance of Adding Watermark in Excel

A watermark serves as a visual identifier that is embedded into the background of your Excel documents. It acts as a protective layer against unauthorized use or distribution of sensitive information. By adding a watermark to your Excel files, you not only enhance their security but also establish your brand identity.

Branding is an essential aspect of any business or organization. Adding a watermark with your logo or company name helps reinforce your brand image and ensures that your documents are instantly recognizable as belonging to your organization. It adds a professional touch and enhances credibility when sharing important files with clients or stakeholders.

Furthermore, watermarks play a significant role in maintaining confidentiality. Whether you are dealing with financial reports, legal documents, or confidential client information, adding a watermark can serve as an additional layer of protection against unauthorized access or tampering.

The importance of adding watermarks in Excel cannot be overstated. It not only safeguards the integrity and authenticity of your documents but also reinforces your brand identity and ensures the confidentiality of sensitive information. Take advantage of this simple yet powerful feature in Excel to enhance document security and protect your valuable assets.

A watermark is a transparent image or text in the background of the document.

It can be used to protect the document from unauthorized use by adding the image or text in the background indicating it has copyright to use or distribute ahead or to label the document as a “Confidential”, “Draft”, “Sample”, “Versions” etc.

Users can also use the watermark to brand the company by adding the logo image. Excel does not have an inbuilt watermark feature, but users can add, format, and replace the watermark as an image and text in a spreadsheet in many ways.

Below, we have captured some quick and easy steps to add, format, replace, and delete watermarks in Excel.         

To insert the watermark as image or picture users can add it using the “Header & Footer” option.

  1. First, go to the “Insert” tab and then click on the “Text” icon on the ribbon and select the “Header & Footer” option.
  2. After that, click on the “Picture” icon under the” Header & Footer Elements” group on the ribbon.
  3. Now, select the image or picture you want to put as a watermark from the “Insert Pictures” dialog box and click on the “Insert” button.
  4. At this point, your image has been added as a watermark, but it will not reflect immediately on the worksheet and will reflect as &[Picture] in the center header box.
  5. To move the watermark to the center of the page, place your cursor just before &[Picture] code and press enter multiple times to move the watermark.
  6. In the end, click anywhere in the cell outside the header, and your added image as a watermark should be visible.

Format Watermark Image in Excel

  1. First, open the Header & Footer view to format the watermark image.

  2. To format the watermark image’s size and color, click on the “Format Picture” icon under the “Header & Footer Elements” group on the ribbon.

  3. Once you click on “Format Picture”, you will get a “Format Picture” window opened and under the “Size” tab you can adjust the size of the watermark image.

  4. Within the same “Format Picture” window, you can select the “Picture” tab and can adjust the brightness, contrast, and color of the watermark image.

    Rotate Watermark Image in Excel

Excel does not have the rotate option to rotate the watermark image.

If users want to rotate the watermark image, they must first save the image as a rotated image, and for this, we have steps for you on how to rotate and save the image before adding it to “Header & Footer” as a watermark.

  1. First, go to the “Insert” tab, then click on the “Illustrations” icon, then click on “Pictures” and select the option from where you want to add the image.

  2. After that, select the image and click “Insert”.

  3. Now, hold on to the rotate arrow and rotate the image as you want.

  4. Once you rotate the image, right-click on it, select “Save as Picture” from the pop-up menu, and save it.

  5. After you save the image, click on the image border and delete it.

  6. Now, open the “Header & Footer” and add the above-saved image as a watermark and you will get the rotated watermark image.

    Add Text as Watermark Image Using Word Art

Sometimes users want to display text such as “Confidential”, “Draft”, “Sample”, “Company’s domain name” etc. as a watermark image.

For this, users can enter the text using the “WordArt” option and can use that text as a watermark image.

  1. First, go to the “Insert” tab and click on the “Text” icon on the ribbon.

  2. After that, select the “WordArt” option and select any “WordArt” style you want to use for writing text as a watermark.

  3. Once you select the “WordArt” style, you will get a text field to add the text and that will have sample text as “Your text here” in your chosen style.

  4. Now, click within the text field, remove the sample text “Your text here” and enter the text you want as a watermark.

  5. After that, hold the text box border and move the text box anywhere you want.

  6. Now, hold on to the rotate arrow and rotate the text field as you want.

  7. If you want to format the text box including the font and background style, you can do it from the “Shape Format” tab.

  8. Once you have done with this text box, right-click on any edge circle of the text box and select “Save as Picture.

  9. At this point, your text is now saved as an image, and you can use that text image as a watermark image.

  10. First, open the “Header & Footer” view and enter the text you want as a watermark. (For example, we have entered “” as text).

  11. After that, place your cursor just before the text ( and press enter multiple times to move the watermark to the center of the page.

  12. Now, to format the text, select the whole text and go to the “Home” tab.

  13. Under the “Font” group on the ribbon, you can select the font type, size, and color you want for your watermark text.

  14. At this point, your watermark has been added, and to see it, click anywhere in the cell outside the header, and your added text as a watermark should be visible.

    Delete or Replace the Existing Watermark

  15. First, go to the “Insert” tab and then click on the “Text” icon and select the “Header & Footer” section.

  16. After that, select the &[Picture] code and press delete to remove the watermark.

  17. Once you delete the watermark code, click anywhere in the cell outside the header, and your watermark gets removed.

  18. Now to replace or add the new watermark image, follow the “Add watermark image in Excel using “Header & Footer” steps again.


    In conclusion, adding watermarks to your Excel documents offers a multifaceted range of benefits, including enhanced security, professionalism, branding, collaboration, and intellectual property protection. By implementing this seemingly small but impactful practice, you are taking proactive steps toward ensuring the integrity and value of your content in an increasingly digital and interconnected world. So, the next time you embark on creating an Excel masterpiece, consider the power of watermarks to elevate your work and fortify your presence in today's information-driven landscape.