How to Remove Watermarks in MS Word

Watermarks are commonly used in Microsoft Word documents to indicate confidentiality, draft status, or ownership. However, there are situations where you may need to remove

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Watermarks are commonly used in Microsoft Word documents to indicate confidentiality, draft status, or ownership. However, there are situations where you may need to remove a watermark, such as when editing a document or preparing it for final presentation. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various methods for removing watermarks in Microsoft Word, catering to different versions of the software and user preferences.

Understanding Watermarks in Microsoft Word

Before diving into the removal process, let’s understand what watermarks are and how they function in Microsoft Word:

  1. Types of Watermarks: Microsoft Word offers two types of watermarks: text-based and image-based. Text-based watermarks typically consist of words or phrases, while image-based watermarks can include logos, graphics, or background patterns.
  2. Visibility and Placement: Watermarks are often displayed in the background of a document, appearing faintly behind the text. They can be placed diagonally across the page, centered, or customized to suit the document’s aesthetics.
  3. Purpose: Watermarks serve various purposes, such as indicating the document’s status (e.g., “Draft” or “Confidential”), branding the document with a company logo, or preventing unauthorized distribution or copying.

Methods for Removing Watermarks in Microsoft Word:

There are several methods for removing watermarks in Microsoft Word, depending on the version of the software and the nature of the watermark. Here are some common approaches:

1. Using the Watermark Removal Tool:

Microsoft Word provides a built-in tool specifically designed for removing watermarks. Here’s how to use it:

  • Open the Word document containing the watermark.
  • Navigate to the “Design” tab on the Word ribbon.
  • Look for the “Watermark” option in the “Page Background” group.
  • Click on the “Watermark” dropdown menu and select “Remove Watermark.”
  • The watermark will be removed from all pages of the document.

2. Editing the Header or Footer:

In some cases, watermarks are inserted into the header or footer of the document. You can remove them by editing the header or footer:

  • Double-click on the header or footer area of the document to enter editing mode.
  • Look for the watermark text or image and select it.
  • Press the “Delete” key on your keyboard to remove the watermark.
  • Exit the header or footer editing mode to apply the changes to the entire document.

3. Adjusting Transparency or Color:

If the watermark is particularly faint or transparent, adjusting its properties may effectively remove it:

  • Select the watermark by clicking on it.
  • Right-click on the watermark and choose “Format Picture” or “Format Text” from the context menu.
  • Adjust the transparency slider to increase opacity or change the color to match the document background.
  • Preview the changes and click “OK” to apply them.

Additional Tips and Considerations:

  • Save a Copy: Before removing a watermark, consider saving a copy of the original document with the watermark intact. This allows you to revert to the original version if needed.
  • Document Compatibility: Be mindful of document compatibility when removing watermarks. Some methods may not be supported in older versions of Microsoft Word or when using different file formats.
  • Review Document Layout: After removing a watermark, review the document layout to ensure that no unintended formatting changes have occurred. Pay attention to page breaks, margins, and text alignment.
  • Legal and Ethical Considerations: Respect copyright and intellectual property rights when removing watermarks from documents. Ensure that you have the necessary permissions or rights to modify the content as needed.


Removing watermarks in Microsoft Word can be a straightforward process with the right tools and techniques. By following the methods outlined in this guide, you can effectively remove watermarks from your documents and tailor them to your specific needs. Whether you’re finalizing a professional report, editing a draft document, or preparing a presentation, mastering the art of removing watermarks empowers you to create polished and professional-looking documents with ease.


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