How to Watermark Images Using Photoshop

Nancy Messieh 23-01-2011

There are several options on how to watermark your images online 4 Ways To Watermark Your Images Online Read More , but using an online service can have its drawbacks. They sometimes impose certain limitations, such as capping the image file size, and there is also the obvious inconvenience of not being able to watermark your images unless you have an internet connection.


The most obvious offline method of watermarking your images is using Photoshop, and while at first, it might not seem to be the easiest, it gives you the most flexibility and allows you to watermark your images exactly the way you want to. And once you create your watermark using Photoshop, you can easily automate the process using your very own Photoshop action, and even batch watermark images.

Creating a Text Watermark

To watermark your image, first select the color you want the text to appear in – we would suggest white. Next, select the Text tool, and type in the text you want to appear as your watermark.

how to watermark images

Once you’ve determined the size of the text and the placement, you’ll probably want to make the text less opaque. Go to Layer > Layer style > Blending Options.

watermark your images fast


Under Blending Options, drag the opacity bar down until the watermark looks the way you want it to. Usually, an opacity of about 50% should do the trick.

watermark your images fast photoshop

The watermarked image will look like this.

watermark your images fast


You can also use a similar method with logos and images, preferably in PNG format. Simply open the image or logo you want to use as your watermark, copy and paste it onto your image in Photoshop, and as described above, decrease the watermark’s opacity.

If you want to get creative, play around with some of the other options found under Blending options such as Bevel and Emboss, to create a more elaborate watermark.

If you want to rotate the watermark to appear diagonally across the image, select the Marquee Tool, right click the text and select Free Transform.

watermarking images


Hovering the mouse over any given corner, you should see a small curved arrow indicating that you can rotate the image at an angle.

Creating a Symbol Watermark

Using the copyright symbol found under Photoshop’s shapes, you can create a very simple watermark that allows you to protect the entire image. This symbol can, of course, be replaced with any other shape you choose to use.

After opening your image, create a new layer.

watermarking images photoshop


Next, using the Shapes tool, select Custom Shapes.

watermarking images

Select the copyright sign, and draw the shape on your image, determining the size and color. With a symbol like this, it’s possible to place it over the entire picture without detracting too much from the image itself.

watermark images free photoshop

When using a symbol as a watermark, using the additional Blending Options can really come to life. For example, with the copyright symbol, select Soft Light from the drop down menu, and make sure that Bevel and Emboss is checked.

watermark images free

The watermarked image will look like this.

watermark images free

Another method is to create the shape, using black as your color, and then applying the Emboss filter to the shape. After drawing the shape on your image, go to Filter > Stylize > Emboss.


When Photoshop asks you if you want to rasterize the shape, click OK.


Next, go into Layer Styles, and from the Blend Mode drop-down menu, select Hard Light.


The watermarked image will look like this.


If you want to add text beneath the copyright symbol, use the same method.

Create an Action and Batch Watermark

If you want to create an action, to make it easier to batch watermark images, record the steps that you choose to take and watermark your images at the click of a button.

To create your action, follow the instructions outlined here How to Automate What You Do in Photoshop with Actions Read More , with the steps outlined above for your preferred watermark.

Once you’ve created your action, to run the action on an entire folder of images, go to File > Automate > Batch…


From there you can select the source folder that contains the images you want to watermark, the action you want to use, and where you want to save your watermarked images.

how to watermark images in photoshop

And of course for those of you want to make life as easy as possible, there are free Photoshop watermark actions available for download, such as PSNick’s action downloadable from DeviantArt.

How Do You Create Watermarks?

In this article, I’ve shown you various ways to create watermarks using Adobe Photoshop.When you read the instructions for the first time, they might

When you read the instructions for the first time, they might seem complicated – but stick with it. With a little practice, you’ll quickly be able to make watermarks for any image, video, or document.

If this is the first time you’ve considered using Photoshop to make watermarks, I would love to know what you’ve used in the past. Is there a little-known web app that simplifies the process? Have you created watermarks using Photoshop’s free rival, GIMP GIMP vs. Photoshop: Which One Is Right for You? Adobe Photoshop is the most popular image editing app. GIMP is the best free alternative to Photoshop. Which should you use? Read More ? Or have you been slogging away using Microsoft Paint We Tested the MS Paint 3D Preview: Here's What We Think MS Paint has been around for as long as Windows existed. The Windows 10 Creators Update will include Paint 3D and Remix 3D. Will these free tools help 3D modeling go mainstream? Read More ?!

As always, you can leave all your tips and suggestions in the comments below.

Image Credit: Natasha R. Graham via

Related topics: Adobe Photoshop, Image Editor, Image Watermark, Photography.

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  1. Thomas Zagler
    January 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm


    After creating the watermark it wouldn't be great to insert automatically this watermark?
    With the batch process mentioned in the article the images have to be the same size. Not with my panel.

    Check out my panel Watermark CC:

    It can be downloaded directly from the Adobe Add-ons Homepage.

  2. Justin
    February 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Useful Article! Now if you want your images to be printed in a book, brochure or any other professional format, you might want to check this page, a few useful tips:

  3. Mangotreelover
    January 24, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I design a watermark, then go to Edit>Define Brush Preset. This saves the watermark as a brush that I can stamp on the photos. I like this option because I have more control over the opacity, color, size and location.

    • Saikat Basu
      January 25, 2011 at 2:40 am

      Yes, that's a great timesaver. Thanks for the tip.

    • nm
      January 25, 2011 at 7:57 am

      That's an interesting alternative - although it is worth pointing out that with most of the options above you have full control over all of the same elements - opacity, colour, size and location.

  4. Muhammed Awais
    January 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Actually Photoshop is more concise raster graphics software where you have to use your mind to create designs and image effects. CS versions has made so many things more easy but still it is a great tool for designers and photographers. Nice post and very clearly explained tutorial.

  5. Saikat Basu
    January 24, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Photoshop is the go-to tool for anything that's a raster graphic. I also use IrfanView sometimes to add a watermark. You can find it under Advanced options (Add Overlay Text) while dong your batch conversions. With a button it lets you add - Append Copyright, Append Date, or Append Time, along with other fine-tuning options.

    • nm
      January 24, 2011 at 8:04 am

      I'm surprised that Photoshop don't have an easier one-click way like IrfanView, but I do like the flexibility of being able to do whatever I want with the watermark using Photoshop