How to Add a Watermark

In today's digital world, it's much easier to steal photos and documents on the web. This is where watermarks come in handy, discouraging would-be thieves from posting or selling material on their own sites without permission. Of course, it's best to copyright your photos so that you have legal proof that you can use in court, but placing a watermark on your work is also a smart idea.In most cases, these watermarks are placed onto the main image, sharing the photography company or copyright owner in the bottom corner. Below, we've shared how to watermark an image using Photoshop, as well as a few common-sense watermark tips. 

Watermarking with Photoshop Actions

  1. First, open Photoshop and create the image that you'll use as your watermark. This can be as simple as black/white text, or you can use a detailed company logo. Next, open the image that you want to watermark. 

  2. One easy way to add a watermark to multiple images is with Actions. To enable this feature, go to the Window menu and then choose "Action". You'll be asked to name this Action, so choose "Watermark". Now, every action you perform in Photoshop will be recorded. 

  3. Next, go to the main File menu and choose "Place". You can select your logo, resize it so it has the right proportions, tweak the opacity level, and more. Alternatively, if you just want to place a text watermark, you can create a text box layer and type anything you wish. This action will also be recorded, so you can repeat it later. 

  4. When you're happy with how the watermark looks, save the edited image by selecting "Save As" from the main File menu. This will ensure that you keep the original image, while also saving a new version. 

  5. Lastly, you can add the watermark to multiple photos simultaneously (known as a "batch add"). To do this, go to the main File menu, select "Automate", and then "Batch". Now, you'll be prompted with a list of available Actions, and you can select "Watermark" from the previous project. 

Make sure your desired images are all located in the same folder, so that the program knows which photos to watermark. Select this folder, and then select the "Destination" for your watermarked images. Enable the "Override" box, and then press "OK". 

Watermarking Tips

  • To ensure that your watermark doesn't distract from the photo, use a low opacity and place the text in one of the bottom corners. Think of your watermark like a signature on a finished painting or sculpture — it should clearly indicate the creator, but it shouldn't take up too much real estate. 

  • Alternatively, you can separate your watermark from the photo by adding a black strip to the bottom with all relevant information. This is a classier and more confident way to advertise the photographer or design company. You're branding the image, and your operation is large enough that you aren't afraid of people trying to steal the work.

  • Depending on your needs, you can place a URL on the image instead of a name. This is more for advertising purposes than preventing copyright infringement, but if you're trying to build a following, it can be a powerful method of directing people to your main portfolio. 

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