How to Watermark Photos (Step by Step Tutorial)

In today’s article I’m going to explain how to put a watermark on your photos, or in other words, add a signature to your image.

What is this signature for?

Well, it serves so that anyone can know the authorship of the image and, in theory, so that it is not “stolen”, because it is almost as easy to remove the mark as to put it. Although the main and most justified reason is advertising.

But don’t get obsessed and put in the middle of any photograph a signature that covers the whole center of interest and doesn’t let you see anything. Many times we become so obsessive that the only thing we achieve is to spoil the photo. Keep all these things in mind when inserting your signature.

This is just a tip. Today I’m going to tell you how to do it step by step, I’m going to make it very simple, just as they had to explain it to me, that some people find these things more difficult than others 😉 So you can not say you do not know how to do it.

I’m going to explain (with images) the steps to add your watermark in Photoshop, although you can do it on-line with any editor. The advantage of doing it in this program is that you can do it once and automate it to save work the rest of the times and it will always look the same.

The other way you will have to do it every time and it is easy that it does not always look the same, either because you do not remember or because you put a font that is only specific in that editor, for example. The good thing about this is that if you do it this way, you can also “customize” the signature so that it harmonizes with the rest of the image and does not stand out so much (see image below). As you can see, everything has its advantages and disadvantages.

Watermark with online editor
Watermark with online editor

How to watermark your photos, step by step.

Now yes, let’s see step by step how to insert the watermark with Photoshop, check that it works and record the action to do it with the rest of the images automatically.

1. Create file

To do this go to File > New. Once the dialog box is open name it and set it to 800×600 pixels and the Background Content Transparent and press “OK”.

1_Watermark with online editor
Watermark with online editor

2. Insert text

Select the option of Text in the menu on the left and type the name.

2_Select text
Select text

To change the color select the text with the mouse and go to the change color option. Choose the color you want for your watermark and press “OK”

3_Change color
Change color

Choose the font you want. You can also add a second line (this is optional) to put your business name, website… or whatever you are interested in. Add the text on the second line with a Enterchange the font size to differentiate the name from the rest and use if you need the combination “ALT+↓” to separate the second line from the first.

4_Second line
Second line

3. validate

Once you have it to your liking validate by clicking on the icon that you have indicated in the image with a red circle. Now you have the signature done. The next step will be to make some adjustments so that the fingerprint or signature looks good when inserted.


If, for whatever reason, you did not set the transparent background when creating the document, disable the eye in the checkbox “Background” to make it transparent.

4. Cut

Go to menu > Image > Crop and a dialog box will open where you have to click on the option “Based on… Transparent pixels” and activate all checkboxes of the option. “Separate”. (See image). When you click “OK” the image will be adjusted to the part containing information.


5. Save

In the menu choose File > Save As and a dialog box like the following will open. Name the file and save. It is important that you always have the file saved in the same place so that you can automate this action. You will see why later.

9_Save as 2nd part

6. Place

Open the image in which you want to insert your watermark and go to the menu: File > Place. Find the created file in the folder where you have saved it and click on “Place”.

Insert watermark
Insert watermark

Your signature will be in the middle of the image, as in this example:

12_Place 3rd part
Signature inserted

Now you can reposition the signature where you want with the mouse by dragging…

Reposition with mouse
Reposition with mouse

… or automatically. To do this use the combination “Ctrl+A” to select the whole image and the buttons shown in the following image will be activated. With them you can place your signature at the top, at the bottom or in the corners with one click. Choose the place where you want the mark to be and press “Ctrl+D” to deactivate the selection.

14_Automatically position with buttons
Automatically position with buttons

With “Ctrl+T” you will activate the free transformation and by dragging with the mouse from a corner you will be able to make the signature bigger or smaller, as you prefer. Once you have done this, validate at the top right on the icon that I underline in the following image.


How to automate the watermarking process.

You already have your watermark (or watermark as it is also called) created, now what we are going to do is to record this step so you can do it automatically with all the images you want.

1. Delete layer

To do this, delete the “Signature” layer (or whatever you named it) by dragging it to the trash or right-clicking on it: delete.

2. Create new action

Go to menu > Window > Actions

17_Open actions

Create a new action on the shaded icon in the following image:

18_Create new action
Create new action

A dialog like the following will open. Name it and click on “Save”..

Naming and recording

With this gesture you activate the recording so that Photoshop remembers the steps you take from now on.

3. Place mark water mark

Replace your watermark by clicking on the menu; File > Place > select the document you want to sign and click on “Place”.. It will always fetch the file to the same place of the recording, so it is important that it is saved in the same location.

Validate and as it will have appeared again in the center, to put it back to where you want it go to. menu > Selection > All and align to the border with the buttons of the second figure.

20_Select all
Selection all
21_Align edges
Align edges

To deselect go back to menu > Selection > Unselect. or with the combination “Ctrl+D”

Once you have done this modify the size to your liking with. “Ctrl+T” and dragging from a corner with the mouse. Validate the changes and with “Control” and the arrows you can move the mark to separate it from the edges. When it is right where you want it, stop the recording by clicking on the button shown in the following figure.

22_Stop recording
Stop recording

To check that it is well executed, delete the signature layer and press play to execute it. Now you can open another image, select the Signature action (or whatever you have named it) and press play to run it.

23_Apply to another image
Apply to another image

And the watermark will be inserted into the new image:

New image with watermark
New image with watermark

You already know how to put your watermark (I have inserted a text, but this can also be applied with your logo or an image you want). Remember that it is not always good to abuse it, it can cause indigestion or as we talk about water… drowning 😉

I hope you found it useful, if so, in return I would ask you to share it so that other people can also find it useful. thanks and see you next time!

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