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How to remove watermarks from images

Watermarks are light grey or white letters or marks that appear over an image. Watermarks are typically used to allow you to preview an image before you buy. This ensures you can't use the image without purchasing. Some programs also imprint a watermark onto images if you're using the program in a trial or demo mode. If you find old images or pictures and can't contact the original owner, you can remove the watermark without damaging the image.

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  1. Open an internet browser window and navigate to "http://www.pixlr.com/editor/." This is a free online image editor. You can upload images from your computer, create new images or specify the URL of the image you wish to edit. Choose either to "Open an Image from your Computer" or "Open Image from URL." Browse to your desired image or type in the URL of the image's location.

  2. Select the Clone Stamp Tool from the toolbox at the left of the screen. The tool looks like a small stamp with an arrow in it and is located beside a pencil. You can also press "S" to select the tool.

  3. Select an area of the image that is comparable to any portion of the watermark you need to remove. For instance, if part of the watermark is on a dark green area of the image, choose a portion of the image that's roughly the same colour as source point. The Clone Stamp Tool needs a comparable source point to replace the watermark with the colours from the source. Press "Ctrl" and left-click with your mouse when you have a source point.

  4. Position the centre of the Clone Stamp Tool over the area of the watermark you wish to replace with the source point. Left click once to begin painting over the area. You may need to repeat the process two or three times to completely remove each portion of the watermark.

  5. Zoom in on your image using the Zoom Tool that looks like a magnifying glass. This will allow you to see if you've successfully removed all of the watermark. If you haven't, you can still use the Clone Stamp Tool while zoomed in to finish the removal process.

  6. Tip

    Save the original image in case you need to start the removal process over. Attempt to purchase the image or program, or contact the image's owner to use the image at a discount or for free before trying to remove the watermark of copyrighted images. Many copyrighted images can be used legally, even with a watermark, as long as it's not for profit.


    Never remove watermarks from copyrighted images. This is illegal and considered stealing. Only remove watermarks for personal use. Doing otherwise may be a violation of the law.

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About the Author

C.D. Crowder has been a freelance writer on a variety of topics including but not limited to technology, education, music, relationships and pets since 2008. Crowder holds an A.A.S degree in networking and one in software development and continues to develop programs and websites in addition to writing.

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