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How to Add Watermark in Google Docs

by Gaurav Bidasaria

Google Docs is one of the most used word processors in the world. While that is not surprising at all seeing how fast, easy to use, and intuitive the app is, it still lacks several features that millions of users would like to use. The case in point is the watermark feature. There is no native way to add a watermark in Google Docs. In fact, Docs didn’t have a way to count words in real-time either until a few months before. So, how to insert a watermark in Google Docs, really?

How to Add Watermark in Google Docs

While there is no native way to do so and Google hasn’t commented on the feature either, there are other options available. Here is a short guide on all the ways to add a watermark to your Google Docs before you share it online.

Let’s begin.

1. Google Docs Drawing Feature

There is no way to add a watermark to Google Docs directly, however, you can use the drawing function to insert an image that will then act as a watermark inside Docs. This will involve using a text box with transparency effects. Here are the steps.

Create a new document in Google Docs. Did you know that typing docs.new in the address bar in a new tab will automatically create a new Docs file? Try it. You can also open an existing document with text in it but I recommend try adding watermark in a fresh Google document. You don’t want to ruin an important document.

Once the Docs file is open, click on Insert and select Drawing. You will see two options: New and From Drive. The new option will allow you to create a watermark inside Google Docs in real-time. From Drive will allow you to upload one from your Drive account.

creating watermark in google docs

If you want to create and add a simple text-based watermark in Google Docs, you can’t do it because Google Docs doesn’t have a transparency option for text yet. You will understand that better when we create and insert an image-based watermark. I recommend using a dedicated image editing app like Canva or Snapseed.

Once you have the watermark ready, Select New as we saw above and click on the image option to upload your watermark.

image option in google docs

You can either upload from your local drive, Google Drive, or even from a URL here.

upload watermark image to google docs

Once the image is uploaded, you can change its size by dragging one of the corners or change its angle by dragging the round handle icon.

edit and adjust watermark in google docs

Here comes the most important part. Remember when I said there is no transparency option when it comes to text. Click on Save and close to view the image on your Google Drive. Select Image Options now from the toolbar.

transparency option in google docs

Click on Adjustments here and use the slider to change the transparency level. Save when done.

transparent watermark in google docs

Done. You can now type on top of this watermark and it won’t move with the text or wrap the text around it. This is the problem with adding text directly. When you add an image of a text like I did or a logo, you get to change the transparency effect.

If you are unable to type text on top of the image, go back to the Drawing screen, click on Image options to add transparency effect, and then instead of saving everything and going back, type whatever you want to type in the drawing screen itself. You can do so using the text box feature. I know this is not what you were looking for but it is what’s available right now in Google Docs. Hopefully, they will fix this and add a simpler, easier option to add watermark in Google Docs.

Also Read: Automatically Transcribe YouTube Video/Audio with Google Docs

2. Google Suite Add-Ons

Google Docs add-ons can help supercharge your experience, adding new features to the platform. There are two add-ons that you can use to create and add watermark to a Google Docs document. Here they are:

Watermark for Drive

The description mentions PDF files that are stored on Google Drive but the add-on works equally well for Google Docs too. Just click on the link below and install the add-on to begin the process. You will be asked to give the necessary permissions first.

google docs watermark addon permission

You will now see a screen with a few options like text that you want to use in the watermark, header and footer details, and whether you want to password-protect the document.

google docs watermark addon

Tada! You are done.

Download Watermark for Google Docs: G Suite

Also Read: 10 Best Google Drive Tips and Tricks for Beginners and Pros

Image Above Text

In a more traditional approach, this nifty little add-on will create a watermark image that you can customize to your liking. You can use it to put a watermark like ‘confidential’ splattered across the page or even sign a document. The watermark image will not disrupt your text but instead, float over it to create a watermark setup.

watermark image over text in google docs

I know what you are thinking. You just need to use a more transparent font or reduce the opacity here to make it work. Watermarks never carry dark fonts. This is just an example of how things work with the add-on while adding watermark to Google Docs.

Download Image Above Text for Google Docs: G Suite

Wrapping Up: How to Add Watermark in Google Docs

The first idea where we use the Drawing feature to add a watermark and then use the text box option to add text above the faded watermark is not user-friendly. But it works really well once you have got the hang of it. If you are a G Suite user, you can go ahead and use one of the add-ons to get the desired effects and results. If you have found another, simpler way to add a watermark to a Google Docs document, do share it with us in the comments below. It will also help our other readers for years to come. Stay home, stay safe.

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