How to add a watermark to an excel spreadsheet

Updated April 11, 2017

Microsoft Excel is not equipped to add a watermark to its spreadsheets automatically. A watermark is a light image, frequently a company logo, that appears in the background of a document. An individual may wish to add a watermark to his Excel spreadsheet to create a professional look for the document.

Place your cursor where you would like the watermark to appear. Choose to put this in a header or footer or in the middle of a page.

Choose "Picture" under the "Insert" menu.

Browse for and select your image. Hit "OK." Your image should now be on the spreadsheet.

Click on the photo. This will make the picture toolbar appear.

Click "Format Picture" on the toolbar.

Under "Image Control/Color," select "Watermark." This will lighten the colours in your image to look like a watermark.


If you choose to place the watermark in the header or footer of the document, then the watermark will automatically show up on all pages. If you choose to place the watermark in the middle of a spreadsheet, however, you will need to repeat this operation for each page. If you are not happy with the look of the watermark, you can also adjust the colour of your image manually through the "Brightness" and "Contrast" slide bars under the "Format Picture" menu.

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About the Author

Based in Wisconsin, Courtney Ryan has been writing since 2005. She has been published in "The Motley" literary magazine and has provided private research for various businesses and organizations. With a background in education and economics, Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Spring Hill College and a Master of Arts in the social sciences from the University of Chicago.