How to Add a Watermark Using Photoshop

By Chantel Alise

Within Adobe PhotoShop, it is possible to add a watermark to an original created image. The watermark embeds important information about the person who developed and, therefore, copyrighted the image. Much like paper watermarks let users know who owns the rights to the stationary pattern, the digital watermark lets users know to whom the image is copyright protected. Some watermarks are strictly digital display, while others are also visible in printed form by photocopiers and/or scanners. The purpose is to make it more difficult for someone to hijack the image in any solid form.

Things You'll Need

  • Authorized registration through Digimarc

Step 1

Develop an image that requires a watermark or, if one already exists within Photoshop, pull it up within the software program.

Step 2

If the image to be watermarked is layered and has not been flattened, that must be achieved before watermarking the item. A flattened image is one where all of the visible layers have been combined and assigned to the background. On Adobe’s main menu, choose the drop down menu marked “layer.” Move the cursor down to “flatten image.” It will automatically be adjusted.

Step 3

Under Photoshop’s main menu, choose the filter section, moving to the final option on the list--Digimarc. Once there, choose the "embed watermark" option. Click on the "personalize" button.

Step 4

Under the “personalize creator ID” menu, move to the “register” button. This will automatically go to the Digimarc website where an ID and number will be assigned.

Step 5

Enter the ID and number assigned by Digimarc into spaces provided in the “personalize creator ID." Double-check the entered information for correctness before clicking on the “OK” button. Once done, the system will automatically go back to the section where the watermark is to be embedded.

Step 6

Put in the the year the image was copyrighted.

Step 7

Choose the appropriate standing such as “restricted use” or “adult content use.”

Step 8

Under "output," identify how the watermark image it displayed; either monitor only, print only, or web monitor and print.

Step 9

Determine the level of visibility and durability desired for the watermark. The purpose of choosing a level of durability and visibility is to make sure that the watermark is appropriately visible, yet able to withstand future editing adjustments. Images that are higher in value may be more easily seen visibly, as well as more durable during the editing process. Images that are lower in value are usually less visible as well as less durable, but less conspicuous.

Step 10

Click on “verify” to determine the durability of the watermark as input.

Step 11

Once everything is verified as correct and proper, click on “OK” to finalize embedding of the watermark.

Tips & Warnings

  • For additional assistance in the watermarking process, check the "Help" menu under Adobe Photo Shop and/or Digimarc.
  • Only one watermark is allowed per image.