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How To Watermark Images In Lightroom And Other Editing Software

If you want to learn how to add watermarks to images then take a look at this tutorial.

|  Lightroom
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What Is Water Marking?

A watermark is a visible word, image or icon which is added onto an image digitally that identifies the copyright owner or creator of it. It can be your name, your company's name or anything else that marks the image so others know it belongs to you.



How To Add Watermarks

A popular way to add watermarks to images is through image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP. There are also free watermarking programs found online that allow you to upload images so watermarks can be applied to them.

Another piece of software found in Adobe's collection which makes it easy to add watermarks to images is Lightroom which has its own Watermark Editor.

Library Module – Metadata Copyright Options

When you open the Metadata tab in the Library module you'll see there's a section where the Copyright Status (Unknown, Copyrighted, Public Domain) and who the image is copyrighted to can be entered. Even though there's options to do this, the information won't appear on your image it will just be saved in the file as the other metadata is. To add a visible watermark you need to locate the Watermark Editor.

Locating The Watermarking Options In Lightroom

There are two ways Lightroom's Watermark Editor can be accessed: Through the menu system or by going into the export options.

The Watermark Editor can be accessed via any of the modules by going to Edit > Watermark Editor.

Edit menu

To access it via the Export options you need to right-click on your image and a menu will appear with several options. The one we are looking for is export which brings a secondary menu up when your mouse cursor is placed over it. Click the top option (Export) and the Export window will open. You may need to scroll down to locate the Watermarking options and if the Watermark box isn't ticked, do so now. There's an option to use a Simple Copyright Watermark but we actually want to select the Edit Watermarks option so we can create our own.

Export menu

Export window

Watermark Editor

The Watermark Editor can be resized, if you so wish, by dragging the corners out.

Watermark editor

You'll see the following options in the Watermark Editor (note the numbers to see what section we are referring to):

Watermarking Editor
  1. This menu allows you to select and save watermark presets.
  2. The left and right arrows allow you to scroll through several images (if you are exporting more than one at at time) so you can see how the watermark will look on each specific shot.
  3. You can select an image or text option for your watermark.
  4. Various effects can be added to your watermark to make it unique.
  5. This text box is where your text is added if you've chosen to use the text option.

Image Option

To select an image to use as your watermark click the 'Choose...' button. This will open a window so you can open an image file from your computer. When you've selected an image the Watermark Style will now show Graphic selected and the Text Options will be greyed out.

Watermark Image

Text Option

To add your text you need to click in the text box and add which ever text you wish. You can then edit the font, style alignment and colour of the text under the Text Options. The fonts will change depending on what's installed on your computer and the styles usually include common choices such as Bold, Italic etc.

If you want to add a shadow to the text ensure the Shadow box is ticked as this will allow you to edit the opacity (how strong the shadow is), offset (how far from the text the shadow is set), radius (shadow's width) and angle (direction the shadow falls) of the shadow applied. Shadows can also be applied to image watermarks.

Text watermark

Watermark Effects

Under this tab you can edit various aspects of your watermark.

Opacity controls how visible the watermark is. If you reduce the opacity more of the image will be visible through the watermark.
Size adjusts and sets the size of the watermark. If you tick proportional then you'll be able to scale the watermark via the slider or by inputting a value. Fit will 'fit' the width of your image and Fill will increase the size of the watermark so it 'fills' most of the image.

Text size

The Inset options allow you to adjust how far the watermark sits from the edges of the shot. You can pull the sliders or insert a value into the box for the horizontal and vertical positions.


Under Anchor you'll see a square made up of six circles. These circles can be selected to move the watermark to various points across the image. The bottom or top corners are less intrusive but the final positioning of the watermark is down to personal taste. The rotate arrows allow you to change the watermark's orientation.



Once you are happy with your watermark click the Save button found in the bottom right-hand corner and give your new watermark preset a name. Then your watermark is saved and ready to be used on other images. 

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