How to add a graphic watermark to a spreadsheet in Excel

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You whitethorn already cognize you tin adhd a watermark to a Word document, but you mightiness not cognize that you tin besides adhd a watermark to an Excel sheet. Here's how.

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Adding a watermark to a Word papers is an casual and communal task, but did you cognize you tin adhd a watermark to an Excel sheet? You can, and the rules for doing truthful successful Word and Excel are similar. In this article, I'll amusement you however to usage a graphic record arsenic a watermark successful an Excel expanse and however to debar a fewer pitfalls on the way. 

SEE: 83 Excel tips each idiosyncratic should master (TechRepublic)

I'm utilizing Microsoft 365 connected a Windows 10 64-bit system, but you tin usage earlier versions. This method requires opening the sheet's header, truthful it isn't due for Excel Online. You can't enactment with headers and footers successful the web version. For your convenience, you tin download the objection .xlsx and .xls files. The objection files are saved successful the Page Layout view; you can't spot the graphic successful Normal view.


Excel's watermark diagnostic is akin to Word's, but it isn't arsenic flexible, and that's thing I'll code successful this article. You request immoderate information successful an Excel expanse and a representation record to insert arsenic the watermark. Make definite your representation has nary copyright restrictions earlier using. Even then, retrieve that Creative Commons doesn't mean wholly escaped with nary restrictions, though astir of the clip it does. Some artists necessitate recognition if you usage (distribute) their work. If you're going to administer successful the nationalist domain, it's a bully thought to cheque connected that.

Checking the licence tin beryllium to beryllium difficult, but determination usually is simply a way of breadcrumbs to follow. In our case, we'll beryllium utilizing the Picture option. To spot however it works earlier downloading, click Picture connected the Insert tab and past bash the following: 

  1. Before downloading the file, right-click it successful the Online Pictures dialog and take Properties. Most likely, you volition find thing of usage here, but sometimes you get lucky.
  2. If Properties is nary help, take View Source (Figure A). Doing truthful volition (usually) unfastened the file's root accusation successful Notepad.
  3. If thing shouts close retired astatine you, hunt connected "license." If thing pops up, look for a root URL. The ornament .jpg I'm utilizing has a .ccs stylesheet URL successful the archetypal fewer lines of codification (Figure B). Copy that into your browser and spot what it pulls up. In Figure C, you tin spot my results: Right astatine the apical you'll find the copyright is licensed by MIT. 

Use your favourite hunt motor to find accusation connected MIT's license. You'll find that this licence is flexible. The lone notation is including the support connection successful software. You are escaped to distribute; you're not distributing software.

Figure A


  Find the licence successful the root information.

Figure B


There mightiness beryllium a licence hint successful the root file. 

Figure C


You mightiness find licence accusation successful the graphic's stylesheet. 

If this seems confusing, don't worry. There's nary metallic bullet, and it mightiness instrumentality a spot of signifier to get bully astatine spotting the close clues. This process is unsocial to the graphic record and utilizing the Picture feature. You mightiness usage a wholly antithetic way to find and insert a graphic file. If you're successful doubt, find different graphic file. Regardless of the licence and support statement, erstwhile possible, it's ever acceptable to supply credit. You can't spell incorrect by doing so.

Once you person a record that you tin freely distribute, it's clip to adhd it to the Excel sheet.

How to adhd a graphic watermark successful Excel

When adding a watermark to an Excel sheet, you'll enactment with the workbook's header section. Because Excel expanse pages are passive to an extent, sizing and positioning the watermark conscionable close tin instrumentality a spot of tweaking. 

Now, let's adhd that ornament jpg that we reviewed earlier for its licence to an Excel sheet:

  1. Click the Insert tab and past click the Header & Footer enactment successful the Text group. Doing truthful opens the header by default with the cursor successful the halfway section. You are successful Page Layout view.
  2. Click Picture successful the Header & Footer Elements radical connected the contextual Header & Footer tab.
  3. In the resulting dialog, click the online hunt (mine is Bing Image Search), and participate Christmas arsenic a hunt term. This is wherever you'd cheque for the licence if you haven't already. Feel escaped to participate different word to lucifer your secular oregon spiritual holiday; that's wholly up to you and your organization.
  4. Find the ornament .jpg (or the record of your choice), prime it, and past click Insert. Figure D shows the representation nexus arsenic &[Picture] successful the header.

Figure D


  Insert the graphic file.

At this point, you're inactive successful the header but you can't spot anything. This is wherever things get a spot unsocial to each situation. What happens adjacent volition beryllium connected the size of the graphic file, the size of your expanse contented and truthful on. Click anyplace extracurricular the header section. Doing truthful should show the .jpg, arsenic shown successful Figure E.

Figure E


  View the graphic file.

As is, the .jpg is excessively small. Because you haven't changed the view, you tin edit the .jpg successful place, which greatly reduces tweaking clip and effort.

Using the ruler conscionable supra the header, determine however wide you privation the graphic to be. In this case, we'll accidental 6.5 inches due to the fact that that's the default size of the sheet. Don't interest astir the height, but successful immoderate cases, that volition beryllium the much important measurement, and you'll enactment from it alternatively of the width.

SEE: Office 365: A usher for tech and concern leaders (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

To entree the .jpg, bash the following: 

  1. Click successful the header country to reopen the header. (Make definite the &[Picture] constituent is selected.) 
  2. Click the contextual Header & Footer tab and past click Format Picture successful the Header & Footer Elements group. By default, the Lock Aspect Ratio and Relative To Original Picture Size options are some checked. You shouldn't request to uncheck these 2 options; doing truthful tin distort the graphic. 
  3. Change the Width enactment to 6.5 (Figure F) and click OK. 

Because the Lock Aspect Ratio enactment is checked, Excel updates the Height accordingly for you. In this case, they're the same, but that won't ever beryllium the case. Figure G shows the resized graphic and it looks conscionable right. 

Figure F


Change the width of the graphic. 

Figure G


  Now the graphic is the close size to capable astir of the default sheet.

Most watermarks are dimmed truthful they don't overwhelm the content. We don't person immoderate contented for the objection file, but let's dim the graphic anyway:

  1. Click the header conception if indispensable and marque definite the &[Picture] constituent is selected.
  2. Click the contextual Header & Footer tab and past click Format Picture.
  3. In the resulting dialog, click the Picture tab.
  4. In the Image Control section, click the Color dropdown and take Washout (Figure H).
  5. Click OK. As you tin spot successful Figure I, the reddish ornaments are overmuch lighter aft applying the Washout effect.

Figure H


  Choose Washout to dim the graphic.

Figure I


  The ornaments are overmuch lighter now.

That was reasonably easy, but entering substance is adjacent simpler. Many watermarks are text, specified arsenic Confidential, Draft and truthful on. To participate text, unfastened the header and simply participate the text. With the substance selected, click the Home tab and usage the Font options to format the substance appropriately.

When moving successful Normal view, you won't spot the watermark. To region the watermark, unfastened the header, prime the representation constituent oregon the substance and property Delete. Click immoderate compartment extracurricular the header to decorativeness the delete. 

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