General discussion

Microsoft Word XP, Watermark problem

Mar 11, 2007 11:00PM PDT

i have a word document, in which i had a watermark added. i have unticked the option to remove the watermark, however it is still there. Any ideas of how to remove it?


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Reply to: Microsoft Word XP, Watermark problem
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Removing watermark...
Mar 12, 2007 12:33AM PDT

"i have unticked the option to remove the watermark, ..."

Now-where is that option ? Should you have 'ticked' instead of 'unticked' ? How did you create the watermark ?

If you are referring to "printed watermarks", I would remove it where you created it : Format>Background>Printed Watermark. And then put a dot at 'No watermark' with the radio button on the first choice.

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update of problem
Mar 12, 2007 7:48PM PDT

my appologies for the confustion on the first entry.

i have selected no watermark, yet it is still there. i then thought that maybe it could be word art. i checked the page formatting and there is nothing in there to say word art has been applied. the watermark on the page can't be selected.

if you add a normal watermark in, it places it over the top of the original watermark, which can still be seen underneath.

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Please help by answering the questions in greater detail
Mar 12, 2007 10:08PM PDT

It would be more helpful if you were to please be a lot more specific in the description of your issue.

I'd like to repeat the previous question regarding your statement, "i have unticked the option to remove the watermark". What option is this exactly? Please be explicit, as it is not obvious what option you refer to.

Also, "i checked the page formatting and there is nothing in there to say word art has been applied" - someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never seen anything in Word that indicates that WordArt has been applied to a document, even when it has. Where in Word does it say that WordArt has not been applied?

More importantly, what kind of a watermark are you referring to? Is it an image / graphic / piece of regular text?

Also when you say, "if you add a normal watermark in...", what is a 'normal watermark'? How are you adding this? What version of Word are you using?

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Copy all, paste to new document?
Mar 12, 2007 9:52PM PDT

Or does that copy the 'watermark' also? Then try 2 partial copies.


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Mar 12, 2007 10:25PM PDT

i'm using Office XP, and the watermark is regualar text.

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Watermark problem.
Mar 23, 2007 1:50AM PDT

Tell how you inserted the watermark, to make sure that what you mean by "watermark" is what it is to MS Word and to most of us.

In Word XP, did you go to Format>Background>Printed Watermark, and then choose picture or text, with choices of orientation, e.g. horizontal/diagonal, semi-transparant ....? To remove the watermark, all you need to do is to put a check at "No watermark".

If you are in the same place, and you still cannot resolve the problem, then do a repair reinstall, or go to Help>Detect and Repair, or find and remove it....A fresh copy will be created upon rebooting.

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the watermark that isn't a watermark
Mar 23, 2007 2:03AM PDT

In my case, I had the word "DRAFT" scrawled across the background of every page. While this looked exactly like a "watermark", the text was generated using WordArt placed in the document header rather than using the watermark feature of Word. I did not create the document and it took me a while to figure it out... I believe this was the exact problem of the person that made the original post of this thread.

Incidentally, I believe use of WordArt to create watermarks was a common 'trick' used prior to the watermark feature of Word.

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it was Word Art
Mar 22, 2007 4:57AM PDT

I just had the same problem. My watermark was not in fact a watermark but instead was WordArt put in the document header. If you open header/footer, you will be able to click on the text box and delete it...

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These answers are correct, but when they don't work...
Jul 11, 2013 4:40AM PDT

These answers all should work... except when they don't: it often appears that there is nothing to select or that when you do select the watermark in a header... it does not appear that it is selected. Moreover, sometimes "delete" or "backspace" to not work. Having had this occur many times my solution set is:

First, try going to the Page Layout ribbon, Watermark drop down and select "remove watermark." If it works, good for you. If it doesn't, join the crowd.

Watermarks are stored as part of the header in each section and may vary from section to section in Word. You will know if you have multiple sections if some pages have watermarks and some do not. If you show hidden characters and there are rows of double dotted lines (Word's representation of a section break) then you have to work each section with a water mark. Removing watermarks should be easy as indicated above. Unfortunately, often as not, its not to be. So:

1. Double-click inside the FIRST PAGE of each section containing your offending watermark. This opens the header. You think all the "header" stuff is in the text-box. Its not, the water mark you can not get rid of is halfway down the page where you see it... and below the headers end-of-text box indicator... but its actually in that header. So, to delete it, you have to open the header and then work what appears to be below the header.
2. Move your cursor over some of the letters in the watermark until it turns into a 4-way arrow (NOTE, it may NOT turn into a 4-way arrow and that is NOT unusual... just not the way it should work... so even if it doesn't turn into a 4-way arrow, put your cursor over the offending watermark anyway.
3. Click to select the watermark (you MAY see selection handles around the watermark graphic when it's selected) (NOTE, it may NOT show selection handles around the watermark or otherwise appear as if its selected... gotta love MS WORD... if not, do not give up hope and with courage proceed after clicking once on the offending watermark... in most cases while Word does not indicated the watermark is selected it really is and the rest of these instructions will work).
4. OK... 3 different things to try in this order:
4.a Press the DELETE key to remove the watermark. Ah-ha you say, that didn't do it. Hey, this is MS Word. If it were easy you wouldn't be here.
4.b. Try the same thing, select by clicking on it and then pressing BACKSPACE key. Ah-ha you say... still doesn't work and this guy doesn't know what he is talking about! Maybe, and that is when the non-worthy quite. But remember, MS WORD is your problem... not me. Soooooo....
4.c. WHEN THE WM DOES NOT APPEAR TO SELECT OR DELETE: Try again to single click on the offending water mark (to select it), right click (Mac users control-click) to get a contextual menu... but you must first select the graphic even it it does not appear selected in order to get the correct contextual menu, and select <CUT>. For me, this has always worked EVEN WHEN IT DOESN'T APPEAR TO WORK... be of stout heart and...
5. Save and close your document. Count to "3". Open it back up. If I'm worth your time, your water mark will be gone regardless of what you thought was/wasn't happening.

For me, this has worked every time on multiple platforms, various OS's in both the corporate and a home environment. Yes, there are a couple of steps you have to take on faith because at different times they may not appear to be doing anything (like when you try to select the watermark, or you say cut... but its still there... follow through).

Two more thoughts... if none of the above works (in which case you may not be doing something exactly right.. but instead of getting (more) frustrated, try either of the following "inelegant solutions":

A. Go into the header and select the watermark and change the text fill to "no fill" or white: if on white paper/background it will work but this is really ugly because remember, you didn't really get rid of it, you just made it not show under certain (white paper) conditions).

B. MS Word also has under the MS Suite "logo" a Prepare>Inspect Document feature that when run, will identify if there are watermarks and offer to remove them. Problem is, it will remove headers and footers at the same time... but usually it is not too difficult to replace them (especially if you remember to copy and paste the text you need somewhere else so you can simply copy it back).

Hope this helps.

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It was the header
Jan 12, 2016 7:12AM PST


I don't care that this post is 2 years old, I would have gone crazy trying to figure that one out.

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