Microsoft Word/Watermarks



Is it possible to make a watermark display on the pages of my document only when the document is printed on Word 2010?

Well, this is a question that could mean more than one thing. Do you mean that you want the watermark not to be displayed when you view the document on screen but to be included when you print? Or do you mean you want it to be printed only if the document is printed from Word 2010 and not from some other version?

I assume you mean the former. There are several possible approaches to this problem.

1. The simplest is to view the document in Print Layout with white space hidden; since a watermark is anchored to the header, and hiding white space between pages hides everything in or anchored to the header or footer, this would prevent the watermark from being displayed.

2. A second approach is to create the watermark as a "page background" instead of a watermark. To do this, you will have to have the desired watermark saved as a picture. On the Page Layout tab, use Page Background | Page Color | Fill Effects | Picture. Select your picture as the page background. You will probably have to experiment with the picture resolution to get one that will display properly. In File | Options | Advanced: Show document content, clear the check box for "Show background colors and images in Print Layout view," but make sure that you have "Print background colors and images" checked at File | Options | Display: Printing options.

3. A third approach is to go outside Word entirely. Some printers allow you to specify a watermark to be included on every page printed. This watermark will not be displayed in Word, even in Print Preview. You will probably have a limited choice of horizontal/diagonal text watermarks (you can add custom text but not a picture). If you don't want this watermark printed on every page printed from a given printer but just specific documents, then you can set up a specific print command for the printer with these properties selected (see and use that when you want to print a document with this watermark.  
About Microsoft Word
This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Word stand-alone or Microsoft Office Word including Word 2003, Word 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Word help on formatting text, tables, tabs, fonts, styles, general Word layouts, bullets, headings, and outlines, using templates, toolbar modifications, and using Track Changes. You may also find tips on linking Word and Excel embedded objects including charts. This site does not provide a general Word tutorial nor the basics of using a word processor. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Word only. If you do not see your Word question answered in this area then please ask a Word question here

Microsoft Word

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

©2017 All rights reserved.