How to Get Rid of a Watermark in a Document

Updated July 20, 2017

Watermarks are semi-transparent images or text added to the background of a document for a variety of practical and aesthetic purposes, such as to indicate drafts in progress, confidential materials, or to display company logos or other graphics in a subtle way. However, as part of your editing process, you may wish to remove a watermark from your document. Fortunately, removing one is as easy as adding one (most of the time).

Click on the "Page Layout" tab.

Click the "Watermark" button. A pull-down menu will display.

Select "Remove Watermark," located at the bottom of the menu.

Double-click the header.

Click the watermark once.

Press the "Delete" button.

Double-click anywhere in the document body to close the header, or select "Close Header and Footer" from the "Header and Footer Tools" tab.


If you cannot remove the watermark using this method, the image may not technically be a watermark, but rather an ordinary picture file that the author set in the background and made semi-transparent. In this case, you'll need to delete the image by clicking on the image in a text-free area, which should highlight the image. Press the "Delete" button to remove it. If your document contains multiple sections and headers that are not linked, you'll have to repeat this process to remove the watermark from each section individually.


If the document is locked for editing, you will not be able to remove the watermark. You must either unlock it yourself, or ask the document author for the unlock password.

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About the Author

A writer and proofreader since 2006, B. Steele also works as an IT Help Desk analyst, specializing in consumer and business user tech support. She earned a B.A. in English and journalism from Roger Williams University. Steele also holds certifications as a Microsoft-certified desktop support technician, Microsoft-certified IT professional, Windows 7 enterprise support technician and CompTIA A+ IT technician.