Watermarking Digital Images Part 2

Adding a text watermark to your digital images is a good way to keep them protected from misuse. This article provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to create text watermarks using Photoshop or similar photo editing software.
Published: Feb 16, 2006
Author: Stacy Reed
Related OS: Windows / Macintosh
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Adobe Photoshop Extended CS6
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In part one, I talked about why watermarking digital images is important and how you can apply watermarks using a cool software tool called Watermark Factory.

Now I want to show you how you can create watermarks in Photoshop in just a few quick steps.

With Photoshop open, hit CTRL+O to open your image file and select the Text tool or hit the T key.

Click on the image where you would like to place your watermark and type away. You might want to include your name and copyright information, you might want to date it or you could type in the URL of your Web site. Whatever you choose to type, make sure that it covers a significant portion of your image so that it cannot be easily cropped out later.

Photoshop gives you a lot of choices when it comes to formatting your text. You can change the color, size, font type and you can even add layer effects. Experiment a little to find a solution that works for your needs. I suggest using white for most images, but if the image itself is very light, a darker watermark will work much better.

Once you have placed the formatted text where you want it, you will probably want to lower the opacity level below 50%. I find that I prefer my opacity level around 20-30%

See, wasn't that easy? Now you can save the image as a PSD file in order to preserve the layers, or you can save it as a JPG or GIF for Internet use, in which case Photoshop will automatically flatten the layers. Just hit CTRL+SHIFT+S to save the file without overwriting your original. Choose a file name and the format type, then click the Save button and you're done!

Now, what happens when you want to apply the same watermark to a number of images of the same size? Some programs like Watermark Factory make quick and easy work of text watermarking a batch of files, but Photoshop gives the user a much broader range of possibilities. This is where actions come in handy.

Open the files that you would like to watermark and create a new document with a transparent background. Type the text you want and format the size and color. Then, hit CTRL+C to copy it. Select the first image to receive the watermark and move your mouse to the Actions tab. (Go to Window > Show Actions if it isn't already open). Click on the Create new action button.

Title it if you want, then click Record.

Keep in mind that all of the images will receive the same watermark treatment. Then when you are satisfied with the placement, opacity and configuration of your text, go to the Actions window and click on the black box to stop recording the action.

Then, select each image in turn and apply the action by clicking the Play selection button. Photoshop will automatically do the work for you. All you have to do then is save each file.

Tip: If you think you might do more watermarking at a later date, save the text you created on the transparent background as a PSD document to preserve the layers.

Watermarking is an easy way to make sure that your images are protected if ownership ever comes into question. So far, I've shown you a couple ways to create visible text watermarks, but did you know that it is possible to create invisible watermarks too? In part three I will show you some cool software applications that make embedding invisible watermarks a snap.

About Stacy Reed

Stacy Reed is Tucows' resident software librarian and editor. She has been reviewing PC and mobile software as well as web services for over a decade. Helping developers improve and promote their products is only one of her areas of expertise. Stacy is also an advocate for Open Source, Creative Commons and freeware, taking special interest in educational resources, social media, cloud sharing, and mobile technology.

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