How to Create a Watermark With Photoshop

By Brian Richards

Watermarks can either be an image or text that identifies the work you are watermarking as your own. Photographers watermark their photographs with their name and website so people who view their image will know who took it and where more photos can be found. Adding your own watermark to your photographs in Photoshop is simple, will help to protect your images from theft and will direct viewers of your images back to your website.

Step 1

Open the photograph you want to watermark in Photoshop by selecting "File" in the toolbar and clicking on the option "Open." Search for the photo you want to edit in the explorer window, highlight it and click the "Open" button.

Step 2

Click "Layer" in the toolbar and select the option "New Layer." You can also use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+N on a Windows PC, or Cmd+Shift+N on Mac OS X.

Step 3

Choose the "Horizontal Text Type" tool and click on the area of the photograph you would like to add your text watermark. Type in any identifying information you wish to include in your watermark such as your name, the year the photograph was taken, the name of your photography company or your website. You can change the size and font of your text with the drop down menus at the top of the screen. You can also choose a color for the text, but black or white will typically show best.

Step 4

Move the text by clicking and dragging on the text itself. You will want the text to be in an obvious location without distracting the viewer from the image itself.

Step 5

Chose the "Layer" menu from the tool bar and select "Layer Style" and then "Blending Options."

Step 6

Move the "Opacity" slider to your preferred setting. You will want the text to be visible and legible without being distracting. A setting of 40 to 50 percent opacity will typically suffice. This will make your text semi-transparent.

Step 7

Duplicate the layer by dragging the layer to the "New Layer" button. This will allow you to include your watermark in multiple places on the image. If you do not want multiple watermarks on the image, you may omit this step.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can add an image to your watermark by copying and pasting your logo (or any other image) into the layer with your semi-transparent text. The image will automatically use the same opacity settings you used for your text. If you need to resize your logo or watermark image, right click it and choose the option "Free Transform." This will present you with a box around the image that you may drag around or resize by moving the corners of the box in or out.
  • Put your watermark in an area of the image away from the border and on an area with a great amount of detail. This will prevent users from cropping your image to remove the watermark, or using the "Clone Stamp" tool to erase your watermark.
  • Save a copy of your watermarked image in .psd format or any other format that supports layers. If you overwrite your .jpg or .gif image and do not retain an unedited copy, it will not be possible for you to remove your watermark later.