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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Adding a Watermark To Documents Keeps Everybody Honest

I am out of town so I am republishing an article posted to the Technology Tamer's blog that was written by my friend Pam Treme. Enjoy!


A watermark is a word, phrase, or image that appears as a pale background behind text. Watermarks are frequently used when the author of a document has no idea who will use the document, how they will use the document, or where the document might be posted. As an example, I’ve had an original biography copied from my family website and posted to Ancestry.com without even so much as a thank you…a clear copyright violation since my work was entirely original and I gave nobody permission to use it.

Let’s suppose that you’ve written a bio for a family member. You want to make the information available; however, you also want to be credited for all of your hard work and your imaginative conclusions backed up by some solid evidence that you’ve unearthed.

One of the best ways to deploy a document of this nature is to save your Word document to a PDF, which you can post to a website or attach to an email. However, when you do that, it is possible for others to simply take your work and post the PDF elsewhere. Adding a watermark keeps everybody honest because it’s a subtle reminder to everyone who reads the document that it is copyrighted work. When work is copyrighted, the copyright owner (that’s you!) controls where the text gets used.

Had I followed this procedure with my own story, Ancestry.com would never have allowed my story to be published on its website because of the copyright statement appearing in the PDF.

Adding a Watermark:
1. Open Word and type your document.
2. Add a watermark.

For Word 2003: Click the following: Format--Background--Printed Watermark. The dialog appears.
For Word 2007 or 2010: Select the Page Layout tab. Locate and select the Watermark button. A dialog appears. Click Custom Watermark. The dialog appears.


3. Select Text watermark.
4. Add text in the Text field, and check that you have the same selections shown in the sample above, and then click OK. You might want to take a minute to look at the other available options.
5. Inspect your document to see the results. If you’re happy with the results, you can save your document, and then save it as a PDF for deployment.

I wouldn’t necessarily advise placing a watermark on every document you create. However, knowing about watermarking adds to the arsenal

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