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

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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

Step 1: File > Place Embedded The PNG File

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.

Step 2: Adjust The Watermark Size By Holding Shift And Pulling The Control Handles

You can increase the watermark size by clicking any control handles around it while holding Shift and then pushing them outwards to make them larger or inwards to make them 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. 

Step 3: Reduce The Opacity Of The Watermark

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.  

Step 4: Change The Color Of Your Watermark

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.

Option 2: Create A Watermark Action

Step 1: Alt + F9 (Win) or Option + F9 (Mac) To Open Actions And The Plus Sign To Start A New Action

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.

Step 2: Place Your Watermark In The Photo And Stop The Action

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.

Note: 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.

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. Ensure 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.

Step 3: Remove An Accidental Step (Optional)

If you accidentally made a mistake during the recording, you can remove that step. Click the arrow in the recording layer to see the list of actions under the recording. Then, select any wrong action and click the bin icon to delete it. 

Option 3: Create A Watermark Brush Preset

Step 1: Control + N (Win) or Command + N (Mac) To Create A New Blank Document

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.

Step 2: Use The Type Tool (T) To Create A Text Watermark On The Blank Document

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

Step 3: Edit > Define Brush Preset To Create The Brush Preset

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

Step 4: Adjust The Brush Opacity, Size, And Color Then Stamp On Your Image

Go to the Options bar and change the opacity of the brush, just like we did in the first option. Make note that every time you use a watermark brush preset, you must manually change its opacity. You can also adjust the watermark brush size by pressing the right bracket key ] to increase the brush size or the left bracket key to decrease it [. Finally, you can change the color of your brush by double-clicking 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!

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I'm a Canadian photographer and photo retoucher turned founder of bwillcreative.com. Around here I help you to decode the mystery of photo editing with no-fluff videos and written guides to help you achieve your creative goals. Outside of shooting photos and my passion for educating, you'll find me mountain biking or on the trails with my dog, Sunny!

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