Creating Watermarks in Adobe Lightroom

Copyright theft is an increasingly frequent problem, especially in online publishing, so it’s wise to take every precaution you can to protect your work. Adding copyright watermarks isn’t foolproof but it does help to deter casual theft.

Step 1 – Adding a copyright watermark is very similar to adding an identity plate, and can in fact be used in conjunction with an identity plate for additional security; or you can uncheck the Identity Plate option to turn it off and just use your own edited version.

Step 2 – If you’re in the Print Module, you can find the Watermarking option on the Page panel just below the Identity Plate options. Check the Watermarking box and change the option from None to Edit Watermarks. This will open the watermark editor where you begin the watermarking process.

Step 3 – Bear in mind you can also access the Watermarks Editor from any module by selecting either Lightroom > Edit Watermarks (Mac) or Edit > Edit Watermarks (PC). Whichever operating system you use, it still calls up the same watermark editor and you can begin to think about what kind of watermark you wish to create.

Step 4 – The default watermark that is created will be the name under which you registered your copy of Lightroom, plus the copyright symbol ©. Oddly the Watermarks Editor is much more extensive and versatile than the Identity Plate editor; the latter may well be updated at some point.

Step 5 – You can choose your Watermark Style from the top right of the editor. You have two options to choose from. You can use a purely text-based watermark using whatever fonts you have on your computer, or you can choose to use a graphic such as a JPG or PNG file. This might be in the form of a logo or name style that you have created separately.

Step 6 – If you choose to create a Text watermark, you can enter the text you want to appear on the image by clicking in the text box in the lower left corner of the editor and replacing the default text with whatever you choose. It will use the fonts you have on your computer but be aware that OpenType fonts are not supported.

Step 7 – You can alter the look of the text by changing its Text Options to a new font and style. You can also add a shadow whose Opacity, Offset, Radius and Angle can all be changed. Under Watermark Effects you can alter text Opacity, Size and Horizontal and Vertical position and Rotation.

Step 8 – Alternatively, if you wish to use an image or graphic, click on the Graphic button on the top right of the editor. A browser window will appear and you are prompted to choose an image file to use as your watermark. We have a simple white icon saved as a PNG file which has a transparent background. Click Choose to use your graphic.

Step 9 – The PNG file you chose now replaces the text. You can alter its Opacity and its Size. Just like the text, you can alter Horizontal and Vertical positioning and choose which corner the graphic is anchored to. When you are happy with the watermark, click Save. You will be asked to save it as a Preset, which we named ‘Watermark 1’.

Step 10 – Back in the Print Module, if you now go back to the Page panel, next to Watermarking, you can choose the option Watermark 1 as your preferred preset from the menu selector. The watermark you just created will appear on your image and it is ready for print.

Mark Frost

Mark started work as a commercial artist during the good old days of Letraset, spray mount and having to process your photos at a local chemist. Having discovered his passion for photography, Photoshop and the wonders of digital image manipulation, he has not looked back. He is well on his way to owning more cameras than he’s had hot dinners.

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