How To Make A Watermark In Photoshop (3 Easy Ways)

Watermarks are very useful to protect your files against unauthorized use and increase brand recognition, among other benefits. You can make a watermark in Photoshop easily, including creating a custom action that allows you to watermark your photos with a click.

Here are three ways to create a watermark in Photoshop.

Video Tutorial

3 Ways To Add A Watermark In Photoshop

Option 1: Drag & Drop A PNG Logo Or Text File

A watermark is an element, such as a logo or text, that overlaps a document or image to mark ownership. When creating a watermark, remember that it should be semi-transparent to avoid distracting from the image or graphic they are placed on.

You can turn any file with a transparent background into a watermark. If your file doesn’t have a transparent background, remove the background before turning it into a watermark. After that, save the element as a PNG file to preserve the transparency. With that done, you can easily add your watermark to projects. 

Here is how to add your watermark to any document or image. First, open the document or image to which you want to add a watermark. 

Next, locate the PNG file on your computer. Then, drag and drop it into Photoshop. Alternatively, go to File > Place Embedded.  

Your watermark will be placed on your photo or document in its original size.

Increase the watermark size by clicking any control handles around it while holding Shift and then pushing it outwards.

 Or inwards to make it smaller.

When you finish resizing the watermark, click the checkbox on the Options bar or press Enter on your keyboard.

To change the watermark location, enable the Move Tool (V) and drag it to its new position. 

To reduce the opacity of your watermark, go to the Layers panel and drag the Opacity slider to the left. Alternatively, type a number from 1 to 9, press 1 to change the opacity to 10%, 2 to change it to 20%, and so on.  

Watermark With Opacity Reduced To 60%

To change the color of your watermark, hold Control (Win) or Command (Mac), and click the layer thumbnail. That will create a selection around the icon.

Next, click the Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Solid Color.

 Then, pick any color you want from the Color Picker panel.

Those are the basic steps for creating a watermark. If you want, you can duplicate the watermark and place it everywhere in your document, making it harder for someone to remove it.

Option 2: Create A Watermark Action

Actions automate repetitive tasks in Photoshop. Creating a watermark action saves you time because it allows you to apply watermarks with one click instead of following a sequence of steps. 

To create a watermark action, you can create a watermark from scratch or use a pre-existing icon and let the Action function record all the steps you take to perform the task. After completing the task, stop the recording to save it. Then, the next time you need to apply the watermark, you’ll just have to press a button and let Photoshop do the rest.

If you are adding a logo or icon from your computer onto the document, you must keep the logo or icon saved in the exact location on your computer for the action to work the next time you use it.

First, open the document you want to apply your watermark to in your workspace, and go to Window > Actions. Alternatively, press Alt + F9 (Win) or Option + F9 (Mac).

Once the Actions panel pops up, click the plus sign icon at the bottom of the panel.

Name the action in the New Action dialog box and click Record.

Then, place your watermark on your photo or document, as you learned in the previous section of this tutorial. If you need to change the watermark’s appearance in any way, do so before finishing recording the action.

When you are finished, click the Stop button in the Actions panel. That will turn off the record button.

Photoshop will save the watermark action in the Actions panel. Make sure you only add actions you want to be saved in the recording, as anything you click or add to your project while its recording is saved.

If you want to see the list of actions under the recording, click the arrow in the recording layer. 

If you accidentally made a mistake during the recording, you can select any wrong action and then click the bin icon to delete it. 

Once you are happy with the recording, you can hide the Actions panel by clicking the arrow icon on its top right side.

Next time you need to add a watermark to a document, all you will need to do is to select the watermark action, click the play button, and wait for Photoshop to work its magic!

Option 3: Create A Watermark Brush Preset

Creating a watermark brush preset is simple and similar to creating any other brush in Photoshop.

The element you want to turn into a watermark brush preset must be black. Additionally, its background must be completely white or transparent. 

I’ll create a text watermark from scratch so you can better understand how it works. 

First, create a new document to place your watermark. To do this, go to File > New. Alternatively, press Control + N (Win) or Command + N (Mac).

Click Create after choosing a size for your document.

After creating your document, you have two options: insert your element in the document, or create one from scratch. In my case, I will make a text watermark from scratch.

Grab the Type Tool in the Toolbar (T) to create a text watermark.

Then, choose black for the text color. 

Any element you want to turn into a brush must be black. After making the brush, you can change its color, opacity, and other settings, but for creating the element, you must paint it black.

After creating your element or adding it to your document, keep the element layer selected. 

Then, go to Edit > Define Brush Preset.

Choose a name for your brush in the Brush Name dialog box. Click OK to confirm your choice.

After that, select the Brush Tool in the Toolbar (B).

The brush will also be available the next time you use Photoshop within the Brush Preset Picker.

Next, go to the Options bar and change the opacity of the brush. You can do this by dragging the Opacity slider to the left or the right. I set the opacity of my brush to 50%. Every time you use a watermark brush preset, you must manually change its opacity.

You should also adjust the watermark brush size every time you use it. To do this, press the right bracket key ] to increase the brush size or the left bracket key to decrease it [.

You can also change the color of your brush. To do this, double-click the color swatch in the Toolbar. Then, choose any color you like from the Color Picker Panel.

After adjusting your watermark brush preset settings, you can stamp it on any document or image.

A watermark is an essential part of protecting your photos when you post them online. To take this one step further, it’s also worthwhile to add copyright info to your images in Photoshop too, which I detail how to do here.

Happy Editing!

Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

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