How to add a PowerPoint Watermark and Lock it in place


This hints and tips post explains what a PowerPoint watermark is and a step by step guide for adding a Watermark in PowerPoint as well as how to lock a watermark to PowerPoint slides.

Why add Watermarks to PowerPoint?

There are a several reasons for adding a Watermark in PowerPoint :

  • PowerPoint Draft Watermark: Add watermark to the background of PowerPoint slides to indicate they are still in Draft. Useful for example if your presentation contains sensitive material or data that you do not want relied on.
  • PowerPoint Confidential Watermark: Add a Confidential watermark to slides to ensure they are not accidently forwarded when they shouldn't be, or
  • PowerPoint Author Watermark: Add a watermark to PowerPoint presentations to ensure the author of the document gets the accreditation due. Whatever the reason, you want to make sure they are added correctly.
  • PowerPoint Watermark Image: Similar to the Author Watermark, you may want to add add an image watermark to PowerPoint to reflect ownership or licensing of an image such as a photograph.

In this article we provide a step by step guide for how to add a watermark to all PowerPoint slides slides or a subset of slides. Also how to lock a PowerPoint watermark to a slide so is it cannot be removed.

How to Add a Watermark to All PowerPoint Slides?

You can insert a PowerPoint watermark to all your slides, or to selected individual slides.

To insert a watermark to all PowerPoint slides in your presentation, it's best to add the watermark to the documents Parent Slide. The Parent slide is the thumbnail at the top of the Master Thumbnail view. (Learn more about Parent slides).

To add a watermark for PowerPoint to the Parent Slide in the document, you need to open the Slide Master view. To Open the Slide Master view, Navigate to the View tab on the top ribbon then select Slide Master.

When you have the PowerPoint Slide Master view open, select the Parent Slide - the first/ top slide.

To add a text watermark to PowerPoint slides so they appear on all slides in the presentation;

  1. Insert a Text Box - from the PPT Productivity Format Toolbar, the insert tab, or use keyboard shortcut Alt+shift+X (Alt+Q if you are using the PPT Productivity pre-assigned McKinsey Keyboard shortcuts).
  2. Type the text you would like to use at the watermark. For example, Confidential, Draft or perhaps your initials or company name.
  3. Format the text box according to your font, color and size preferences.
  4. Set the position of your text on the slide
  5. Now send the text box to back, so it’s behind your slide content. To send the text box to back, use the Send to Back function on the Format Toolbar, keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+] or right mouse click and select Send to back
image showing how to add a watermark to PowerPoint slides
How to add a PowerPoint Watermark to slide presentations

If you want to add an image as a PowerPoint watermark rather than a text box, follow the steps above but insert the image rather than a text box. You can also add image effects such as color, artistic effects or, as in the example below, transparency. To add image effects to a PowerPoint image watermark, select the image and choose the desired effect from the selections in the Picture Format menu on the top ribbon.

image showing how to add an image as a watermark to PowerPoint slides
How to add an image watermark to PowerPoint slides

How to Lock a PowerPoint Watermark to Slides

To prevent users from editing or removing a watermark in PowerPoint you can use the PPT Productivity shape locking feature. PPT Productivity is a timesaving add-in for PowerPoint with features to boost your productivity.

To lock a watermark to PowerPoint presentations,

  1. Save the file then select the image watermark on the slide. If the watermark is a text box, first convert the text box to a table cell or to an image before locking.
  2. Navigate to Slide Master Tab - if you are not already in Slide Master view, navigate to the Slide Master tab on the top ribbon
  3. Select 'Lock Shapes' from the top ribbon. The file will close briefly then re-open. Once re-opened the PowerPoint watermark will be locked to the Master Slides to prevent editing or removal.
How to Lock a PowerPoint Watermark to Master Slides

If your PowerPoint Watermark is a text box, before locking the shape you need to add it to the slide as a background image or a table cell.

 To convert your textbox to an image,

  1. Select the text box, then use Ctrl + C to Copy the text you want to add as the watermark to your slide background.
  2. Right-click on the slide, and select from the Paste options, paste as a picture
  3. The copied textbox will now be pasted onto your slide as an image.
  4. Send the image to the back (Ctrl+Shirt+]) then delete the original text box from the slide

How Can I Add PowerPoint Watermark to Selected Slides?

To add a watermark to PowerPoint slides so they appear on only selected slides in your presentation;

  1. Open the Slide Master from the View tab
  2. Select the specific Child Slide Masters that require the watermark
  3. Insert a Text Box or the image for the watermark
  4. If you are using a text box, type the text you would like to use at the watermark. For example, Confidential, Draft or perhaps your initials or company name.
  5. Format the text box or image according to your font, color and size preferences.
  6. Set the position of your text box or image on the slide
  7. To add to more than one Child Slide Master, copy the text box or image and then paste to selected Child slide Masters
  8. This has added your Watermark to the foreground. To send the PowerPoint watermark to background (so it’s behind your slide content), use the Send to Back function on the Format Toolbar, keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+] or right mouse click and select Send to back.

Alternatively, you can also use PPT Productivity's status stamps to denote status on selected slides. The status stamps appear like a stamp or sticker on the slide (eg top right or top left). The status stamps are great for indicating that selected slides are still in draft for example. Read more about status stamps for PowerPoint.

Want to create polished presentations faster? With PPT Productivity, boost your team's productivity with faster formatting, easier editing, collaboration tools and more! If you're not yet using PPT Productivity, download our free 30 day trial today. We offer free one-on-one training and flexible licensing to suit individuals, teams or enterprise.
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Hints and Tips     PowerPoint lock shapes, PowerPoint watermark, PowerPoint Lock objects, Add a Watermark to PowerPoint, Adding watermarks in PowerPoint