As a content producer, what matters most to me is claiming and ensuring the ownership toward my creations. In such a circumstance, labelling my work with a watermark becomes imperative. Interested in knowing why?

Watermarking a PDF document can protect your work from being stolen, especially in this digital era where everyone can access your content and possibly steal your ideas without you ever even noticing. On the other hand, inserting a watermark can both provide clarity and prevent unauthorized use of your work.

The question is: How do we add watermarks to a PDF document to protect my content? This post will talk about inserting a watermark to a PDF file using online and offline PDF tools.


Adding Watermarks to PDFs Offline

SwifDoo PDF

SwifDoo PDF is an all-in-one PDF watermark creator and annotator, a free PDF program that lets you insert a few commonly used watermarks to your PDF documents, such as “No Copying”, “Confidential”, and “Office Use Only”. More than this, users can customize their own watermarks with SwifDoo PDF. Here’s how to insert a watermark to your PDF file:

Step 1: Download and install SwifDoo PDF on your Windows device;

Step 2: Open the software and add a PDF to its workstation;

Step 3: Click Watermark in the Advanced tab;

Step 4: Use the provided watermarks or create a customized one to label the PDF.


If your required watermark is an image file, click “File” to upload and add the draft watermark to PDF. Otherwise, type the text in the “Text” box. Furthermore, on the condition you only want to watermark certain PDF pages, click “Page Range” to specify which pages to watermark.

In case you need to remove watermarks from PDFs, please refer to this article.

                                                                          Free Download

Sejda PDF Desktop

With the aim of developing an easy, pleasant and productive PDF editor, Sejda PDF has integrated more than 30 PDF tools, including inserting a watermark to a PDF. Similar to other PDF watermark creators, Sejda enables users to import both text and image files as templates. Let’s take a look at adding watermarks to PDFs for free:

Step 1: Download and install Sejda PDF Desktop;

Step 2: Launch the PDF editor and upload the PDF document;

Step 3: Choose Watermark in the Security tab;

Step 4: Select Add Text or Add Image to create a new watermark.


If you need to adjust the color, size, or appearance of the text watermark, change the settings in the boxes located on the right. Aside from its desktop version, Sejda PDF provides web-based PDF-related services. Users can access free online services without downloading or registering, which is very convenient for users.

Foxit PDF

Foxit PDF is a solid and comprehensive PDF editor with multiple features. It offers useful functions which are often favored by professional users. With an organized user interface similar to Microsoft Office, users may benefit from this design and easily find what they want. If they don’t, use the search bar to look for the desired features.  

This PDF editor enables users to view, convert, annotate, protect and watermark PDF documents. Check out how to use Foxit PDF for inserting watermarks to PDFs:


Step 1: Download and install Foxit PDF on your computer. Foxit PDF has three different versions, just choose the versionthat best fits your needs;

Step 2: Open the program and upload the PDF to its workplace;

Step 3: Select Organize and click Watermark;

Step 4: Enter text or use image files as the watermark.

Note:As a versatile PDF watermark adder, Foxit PDF allows users to change the appearance, position, and page range of the watermarked areas. If needed, click Remove All to delete watermarks from this PDF document.  

The above three methods are based on desktop PDF programs for Windows users. Sejda PDF is a free editor which allows users to perform three FREE tasks per day, and the remaining two PDF editors require registration to access a free trial before adhering to their features. SwifDoo PDF has a 30-day free trial for registered users while Foxit PDF provides a 2-week free trial. Choose the one you may need.  

Adding Watermarks to PDFs on Mac

Lucky Mac and iOS users have a built-in free watermark adder - otherwise known as Pages. This word processing and page layout application can help users embed watermarks to their PDF documents. Take a look at how:

Step 1: Open a PDF document with Pages, then insert a text box by clicking Text at the top of the window;

Step 2: Move your cursor to draw a text box that fits the margin;

Step 3: Type the text within the box as a draft watermark, and use the formatting tools on the right side to change the text alignment, font, size, color, and opacity.

By doing so, you’ll watermark a single page of a PDF document, but if users need to embed watermarks on every page, here’s what you have to know:

Step 1: Choose Section Masters in Arrange, and click Move Object to Section Master to add the watermark to other pages;

Step 2: Select Section Masters in the Arrange tab, then press Make Master Objects Selectable;

Step 3: Place your cursor on the watermark and move it anywhere on the pages.

The process of embedding watermarks to PDFs on Mac seems a little overwhelming, does it not?  Don’t worry, you will find a few easier methods in the following paragraphs.

Adding Watermarks to PDFs Online

Thanks to continuously advancing technology, many developers have brought out Internet-based PDF editors that enhance productivity. Such products include LightPDF and PDF24 Tools.


LightPDF is a web-based PDF service provider, including converting, editing, splitting, merging, and protecting. One of the reasons the editor recommends this online PDF to users is because there are no time or file size limits while using.

When it comes to inserting watermarks to PDF, LightPDF now allows users to type text or upload images as the embedded watermark:

Step 1: Enter the URL in the search bar;

Step 2: Choose the file that requires watermarks;

Step 3: Select Watermark PDF in Other tools.


In the boxes on your right hand side, you are capable of choosing the pattern of your watermark: text or image. If your watermark is in text, feel free to change the color, size, position, transparency, and placing layer. Aside from the online version, LightPDF equally has a desktop version, known as ApowerPDF.

PDF24 Tools

Developed in 2006, PDF24’s functionality has served millions of people around the world. Though only a small team, PDF24 staff members are dedicated to helping resolve problems in the PDF sector. When it comes to watermarking a PDF, PDF24 only supports text watermark:


Step 1: Open the website and export your PDF document to the workstation from alocal folder, Google Drive or Dropbox;

Step 2: Type the watermarked text in Text, and change the font, size, color, space, and position if you need;

Step 3: Click Add watermark to save the changes.

Compared to LightPDF, the ability of batch adding watermarks makes it stand out. PDF24 Tools doesn’t support using an image file as the watermark, but it can assist in comparing PDFs, extracting PDFs, and creating PDFs from the camera.


Generally, inserting watermarks to PDF files isn’t a difficult task. Both online and desktop PDF products are reliable. However, think twice before you jump because once your PDFs are watermarked, it is hard to erase them from the files without the help of other desktop PDF programs.

Common FAQ about Adding Watermarks to PDFs Using Online & Offline Tools

Q:How can I add watermarks to my photos?

Since people spend more time on social media now than ever before, embedding a watermark to pictures has become necessary. Watermarkly is an online tool that is definitely worth a try. As a free watermark adder, Watermarkly enables users to resize, compress, and crop photos. Additionally, users can add text as the draft watermark.

Q:How can I create a watermark for free?

Most PDF programs are both watermark creators and adders, which means they can create a text watermark or use an image file as your watermark for free.  

Q:How do I add a watermark to my Microsoft Office documents?

Before anything else, you need to verify the version of Office you are running on your computer. Here, we look at embedding watermarks to Word documents in Office 2007 to 2010.

Step 1: Click Page Layout and choose Custom Watermark on the Watermark tab;

Step 2: Choose Picture Watermark or Text watermark based on your need;

Step 3: Press the OK

For more information, please refer to this post



Roche has been an active PDF user for 6 years and tried different types of professional PDF tools (both online and desktop version) since at his bachelor degree. Now, Roche works as a columnist for SwifDoo PDF over the course of the last one year, and provides useful and practical solutions pertaining to various PDF topics for users from different features.