How to Make a Watermark in Excel

By Techwalla Contributor

A watermark can be added to a document to add security, specify information or simply give the document a more polished and professional appearance. While you cannot create an actual watermark in Excel, you can mimic a watermark with a graphic that prints on every page of your spreadsheet.

Step 1

Open the Excel workbook in which you want to create a watermark.

Step 2

Click View on the Excel toolbar, or use the keyboard shortcut "Alt" plus "V."

Step 3

Click the View menu and select Header and Footer.

Step 4

Choose Custom Header in the Page Setup dialog box that appears. Click the "Center Section" so your cursor is active in the corresponding field.

Step 5

Click the "Insert Picture" button on the right; this button has a picture of mountains and the sun. Navigate to the picture that you wish to use as a watermark and double-click the graphic to insert it.

Step 6

Click the "Format Picture" button on the far right of the Header dialog box. Resize the picture to fit your page using the options on the Size tab.

Step 7

Click the Picture tab. Under Image Control in the drop-down menu next to "Color" choose Washout. This will give your graphic a watermark appearance.

Step 8

Click "OK" on the Format Picture dialog, and again on the Header and Page Setup dialogs.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can see how your "watermark" will appear by going to Print Preview from either the File menu or the Page Setup dialog box.