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How to Insert a Watermark in Microsoft Word (Or Remove One)

The humble Microsoft Word watermark says a lot about a document. The most frequently used “Draft” watermark tells everyone that this is an early copy. The “Confidential” mark alludes to something hush-hush.

A watermark is just a faint or washed-out text or a picture behind the text. It can be a branding or a warning.

That it can say a lot sitting behind the main content suggests its importance. It is so easy to insert watermarks in Word. Let’s learn how.

The screenshots below are from Microsoft Office 365.

Insert Watermark in Word

Word supplies four default watermarks like “Confidential”, “Urgent”, “ASAP”, and “Do Not Copy” in text form. If they are all you use, then it’s almost a single-click operation to insert them in your document.

1. Launch Microsoft Word. Select the Print Layout from the three icons at the bottom right of Word.

2. Go to the Ribbon > Design tab.

3. Click on Watermark in the Page Background group to expand the options under it.

Insert watermark in Word

4. Choose any of the default watermarks from the choices Word provides, but do make sure it is appropriate for the document.

5. Word places the faded watermark on the document just behind your text. Again, the watermark is only visible in the Print Layout view.

An inserted watermark in Word

How to Use a Custom Watermark

The default watermarks are there when speed and convenience matter. But there may be occasions when the limited choices on Word don’t work for you. You can use make your own watermark and use it with the document.

Custom watermarks are of two types:

  • Text watermark
  • Picture watermark

Follow the same steps as above but choose Custom Watermark under the dropdown menu.

Insert custom watermark in Word

How to Insert a Custom Text Watermark

Custom watermark ideas can include your organization’s logo, your name, a copyright symbol, or anything that’s relevant to the document.

Here’s how to create a text watermark.

The Printed Watermark Window in Word

  1. The Printed Watermark window opens.
  2. Choose the Text Watermark option. The fields are self-explanatory
  3. Type the text you want to use as a watermark into the Text box. Configure the options for language, font, size, color, and orientation. Select the Semi-transparent box if you want a lighter shade of the text, or de-select it if you want to go darker.
  4. Click Apply and OK when you’re done.

How to Insert a Picture Watermark

You can get really creative with picture watermarks because images used well can say a thousand words. For instance, with casual documents, you can use a funny image or the number of minutes it will take to read the page.

You can even make a pattern that repeats across the whole page. Set it up with these steps.

Use a Picture Watermark in Word

  1. In the Printed Watermark window, select the Picture Watermark option and then click on the Select Picture button.
  2. You can upload an image file from your desktop, search Bing for an image, or source it from your OneDrive folder on the cloud.
  3. Click on Insert if you upload an image from your computer. For the other two online options, just click on Apply to use the watermark.
  4. You can tweak the appearance of the watermark. The “Scale” is set to automatic by default, but you can use the dropdown to select a specific percentage.
  5. The Washout option displays a watermark the way it is supposed to be—faded into the page. You can disable this to bring out the actual image, but it can overpower the text on top of it.

Select and Customize Your Watermark

Just adding your own text or a picture isn’t the only way to customize your watermark. The basic ones are all pale gray. Word also allows you to click the appearance by changing its color, size, and position on the page manually.

But how do you select the watermark when it is in the background?

The watermark is part of the header in the document even though it appears in the middle of the page or repeats across the entire page. All you have to do is open the header by double clicking somewhere near the top of the page.

With the header section open, click the watermark to select it like any other object on the page. Move the cursor over the watermark until the cursor turns into a four-headed arrow.

Select and Customize Your Watermark

Then, you can customize it in four ways after selecting it:

  • Drag the watermark to any part of the page.
  • You can add different watermarks to the different sections in your document.
  • If it’s a text watermark, you can use the WordArt Tools tab to customize the text.
  • If it’s a picture watermark, you can use all the options in the Picture Format tab to adjust the image or apply effects.

Change one watermark and the customization will automatically reflect in all the pages of your document.

How to Remove a Watermark

There are two ways to remove a watermark.

  • Open the Header and Footer area as explained above. As the image or text watermark is now editable, you can select it and hit the Delete key.
  • Go to the Design tab > Click the Watermark button > Select the Remove Watermark option.

Just like moving or resizing a watermark, deleting one removes it from every page of your document.

A Few More Tips on Word Watermarks

There are a couple of more things you can do with watermarks to speed up your productivity in any documents that follow.

1. Save a watermark to the gallery and reuse. You can customize a watermark and select it. Then from the Watermark menu in the design tab, just select Save Selection to Watermark gallery. Give the watermark a name, and click OK.

Save Watermark Gallery

Try this out: On a blank Word page, insert your own text and customize its size and appearance. Select and save it to the watermark gallery.

Select it under General in the gallery of watermarks and apply it to any other document. 

2. Insert watermark in Word on just one page. Word automatically places a watermark on all pages of your document. If it’s an overkill, just apply the watermark to the first page of your document.

Place your cursor on the right page. Go to Design > Watermark > Right click the watermark you want >SelectInsert at Current Document Position. The watermark is displayed within a text box which you can then move, rotate, or resize.

Insert watermark at current document position

Use Watermarks for Both Work and Personal Use

A watermark can be just one of those little things that amp up the professional look of your document. But as we suggested above, don’t let that stop you from using it on personal documents.

It is one of those overlooked features in Microsoft Word

10 Hidden Features of Microsoft Word That’ll Make Your Life Easier

10 Hidden Features of Microsoft Word That’ll Make Your Life Easier

Microsoft Word wouldn’t be the tool it is without its productive features. Here are several features that can help you every day.
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that make makes your life easier.

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6 Ways to Remove DRM From Ebooks You Own

Many ebooks come with digital rights management (DRM) protection. Thankfully, it’s possible to remove DRM from ebooks. Several different tools make the DRM removal process simple and straightforward. And here are the ways to remove DRM from ebooks.

What Is DRM and Why Is It Bad?

In theory, DRM prevents the unlicensed copying and distribution of ebook files, thus safeguarding the commercial interests of the various parties involved.

However, DRM is a nightmare for consumers. It can prevent you from reading an ebook on all of your devices, even if you’ve bought it legitimately.

For example, if you buy an ebook on the Kindle Store, you will only be able to read it on Kindle ereaders or the Kindle app. You’ll face issues, therefore, if you decide to switch to an ereader from a different manufacturer or if you want to use an alternative ereader app on your smartphone.

The solution is to use a DRM removal tool. Don’t worry; doing so is not illegal. Here’s a rundown of some of the best DRM removal apps available today.

1. Calibre

calibre drm removal

Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux

Calibre is the best app for organizing and managing your ebook collection. You can use it to edit a book’s metadata, convert an ebook into different formats, and even download news and magazine articles onto your ereader device.

Download: Calibre (Free)

Thanks to the presence of plugins, you can also use Calibre to remove the DRM from any ebook you own

How to Remove the DRM on Every Ebook You Own

How to Remove the DRM on Every Ebook You Own

No one likes DRM. We all understand why it exists, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to embrace it. Therefore, this article explains how to remove the DRM from every eBook you own.
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epubor drm removal

Available on: Web

Epubor is a free online tool that removes the DRM from your ebooks. The service only works with ebooks from the Kindle Store. If you want to remove the DRM on ebooks from some of the other ebook stores

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Where to Buy Ebooks? The Best Online Ebook Stores

There are plenty of places to buy ebooks online other than Amazon’s Kindle Store. Here are the best online ebook stores.
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, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

To use Epubor, you will need to know your Kindle e-reader’s serial number. You can find it by firing up your Kindle and going to Menu > Settings > Device Options > Device Info. When you enter the serial number into the tool, omit any spaces and hyphens.

Next, you need to connect your Kindle to your computer using a USB cable. You can then drag-and-drop the ebooks from your Kindle directly into the web app’s interface. If you wish, you can drag several books and remove the DRM in bulk. Alternatively, you can download the desktop Kindle app, sync your ebooks, and drag them into Epubor directly from your hard drive.

DRM removal will begin automatically. When the process is complete, you will see a Download button appear. Click on the button to save the DRM-free books onto your computer.

3. ePUBee Kindle DRM Removal

epubee drm removal

Available on: Windows, Mac

ePUBee has made a name for itself as one of the best online ebook converters

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5 High-Quality Online Ebook Converters for Every Format

Ebooks with their multiple formats can be confusing. These faultless online ebook converters will serve your every need.
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. However, because you cannot perform an ebook format conversion if the book in question is DRM-locked, ePUBee has also developed an accompanying desktop app to help you remove DRM from your ebooks.

Like Epubor, this tool only works if you want to remove DRM from Kindle ebooks. Books from other stores are not supported. In total, six ebook file types are supported. They are AZW, AZW3, AZW4, TPZ, MOBI, and PRC.

To the use ePUBee app, you will need to authorize it with your Amazon ID. Some people may be uncomfortable with the security and privacy implications of doing so. You will also need to download your Kindle books onto your hard drive using the official Kindle app.

Once you’ve synced your ebooks, just drag-and-drop them into the ePUBee app as needed.

Download: ePUBee (Free)

4. Other ePUBee DRM Tools

Available on: Windows, Mac

ePUBee has developed two other DRM removal tools. One is for removing DRM from PDFs, while the other lets you get rid of the DRM on EPUB files.

Like the Kindle DRM tool, both of these apps are free to download and use.

Download: ePUBee EPUB DRM Removal (Free)
Download: ePUBee PDF DRM Removal (Free)

5. Any eBook Converter

any ebook convertor drm removal

Available on: Windows

If you want a single tool to remove the DRM for ebooks that you’ve bought from lots of different stores, you might need to pay for the privilege.

One of the best apps for the job is Any eBook Converter. It can remove DRM restrictions on books from the Kindle Store, Adobe, Nook, and Kobo. In total, 24 different ebook formats are supported. They include EPUB, PDF, MOBI, AZW, TXT, KFX, PRC, HTMLZ, and DOC. The app supports bulk removal.

In addition to its DRM removal capabilities, Any eBook Converter also has a few other useful features.

For example, you can edit an ebook’s metadata (including the title, author, publisher, data, identifiers, and language. You can also convert your ebooks into different formats, allowing you to read them on whichever ereader device/app you use. Editing and conversion can only be performed after you’ve removed the DRM restrictions.

Download: Any eBook Converter ($30, free trial available)

6. AzwSoft eBook DRM Removal

AzwSoft drm removal

Available on: Windows, Mac

A free (though less polished) app for removing DRM protection on ebooks from lots of different stores is AzwSoft eBook DRM Removal. It works with Adobe ADE DRM, Kindle AZW/MOBI DRM, and Nook DRM. And, unlike Any eBook Converter, the tool is also available on macOS.

AzwSoft eBook DRM Removal supports all the major ebook formats, including EPUB, PDF, AZW, AZW3, MOBI, and PRC. Several less common niche formats are also supported.

The DRM removal process is fairly similar to the other apps we’ve looked at. You need to drag-and-drop the respective ebook files into the app’s main window, then click the Start button to begin. The DRM-free ebook output is automatically saved on your computer’s hard drive.

Download: AzwSoft eBook DRM Removal (Free)

What’s the Best Way to Remove DRM From Ebooks?

The apps we’ve discussed here should be able to remove the DRM on almost any ebook you own. But what’s the best way to remove DRM from your ebooks?

We rate Calibre the highest; having a single app that can take care of all your ebook management needs is advantageous. However, from a DRM removal standpoint, Calibre is the hardest to get up and running. If you’d prefer a more straightforward solution, the Epubor web app is the winner. And for people who need to perform DRM removal regularly, a desktop app might be preferable.

To learn more about DRM, check out our analysis of whether DRM is a threat to your computer’s security

Is DRM A Threat To Computer Security?

Is DRM A Threat To Computer Security?

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How to Remove Smart Tags from a Workbook in Excel

Excel Logo

Smart tags can be very useful in Excel to quickly change the action a spreadsheet performs on your data. They appear automatically as you work in Excel, but each smart tag can be removed if you do not use them.

What Are Smart Tags?

A smart tag is a small button that appears as data is entered or selected on a spreadsheet. This button provides actions based on the data in the cells. The image below shows the Paste Options smart tag that appears when data is pasted.

The Paste Options smart tag

When the smart tag is clicked, different paste options are provided.

Paste Options provided after pasting

All smart tags work in this way. The options you see will be dependent upon the smart tag and the data in the cell(s).

They provide a quick way to change the action that Excel performed on your data. Excel has a few available smart tags: Paste Options, AutoFill, Flash Fill, error checking, and Quick Analysis.

Smart tags are only temporary. They appear immediately as you select, type, or paste data into a cell. They disappear as soon as you perform another task.

How to Remove Smart Tags in Excel

If you don’t use smart tags, you can remove them. Removing smart tags will stop them from appearing in Excel until they’re switched back on again. This change affects all workbooks and not just the one that’s currently open.

Each of the smart tags in Excel has its own individual setting that’s required to be disabled. This is great because you can disable specific ones that you don’t use without having to remove them all.

Let’s look at how to remove each smart tag. All smart tags can be removed from the options window in Excel. To open this window, click File > Options.

Paste Options and AutoFill

To remove the Paste Options button, click “Advanced” and uncheck the “Show Paste Options Button When Content Is Pasted” box.

Prevent the Paste Options from appearing

This setting removes the smart tag for both the paste and autofill options.

Flash Fill

By default, Flash Fill is set to occur automatically. As you type, Flash Fill might offer suggestions on your data entry.

Flash Fill automatically offering suggestions

If Flash Fill performs the action, the smart tag appears so that you can undo the suggestions.

Undo Flash Fill behaviour

If you don’t want this automatic Flash Fill behavior to keep happening, you can turn it off. From the “Advanced” category, uncheck the “Automatically Flash Fill” box.

Stop automatic Flash Fill happening

Error Checking

Excel runs some basic error checks as you write formulas, and if they believe you made an error, a green arrow and smart tag appear.

Error checking smart tag

This doesn’t necessarily mean you made an error. Excel is querying the formula because it might be inconsistent or unusual in the way it was used.

From the “Formulas” category, uncheck the “Enable Background Error Checking” box.

Prevent background error checking

Quick Analysis Tools

The Quick Analysis options smart tag appears when you select a range of values on your spreadsheet. It offers a quick way to create a chart, apply a Conditional Formatting rule, or use other analysis features.

Access quick analysis tools through the smart tag

If you don’t use this feature, you might find it frustrating and want to remove it. In the “General” category, uncheck the “Show Quick Analysis Options on Selection” box.

Stop Quick Analysis options from appearing on selection


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How to Remove Shadows From Photos

If you shoot a lot of photos in natural light you’ll know the kinds of problems that can cause.

When it’s cloudy the light is flat and your shots look boring. And when the sun’s out it casts deep, ugly shadows over large parts of your photos.

Fortunately, this second problem is easy to fix. You can do it in Photoshop, and sometimes in more simple editing apps. Let’s look at how to remove shadows from photos.

How to Remove Shadows From Photos Using Adobe Photoshop

Shadows are often a problem when you’re shooting in very contrasty conditions, especially in bright sunlight. Since it’s harder to recover detail from overexposed areas, it’s better to expose your shot for the brightest parts, such as the sky.

shadowy photo

This will often leave you with dark shadows in the foreground. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to fix them. Here’s how to do it in Photoshop.

First, hit Ctrl + J on Windows, or Cmd + J on Mac, to create a copy of your image on a new layer. This will enable you to remove the changes if you need to, simply by deleting this layer.

fix shadows photoshop

Go to Image > Adjustment > Shadows/Highlights. You might find the default settings do a good enough job straight away. If not, click Show More Options to tweak them.

shadows sliders photoshop

First, under Shadows, adjust the Amount slider. Move it to the right to brighten the shadows, and move it to the left to darken them.

Move the Tone slider to the left to reduce the range of shadows that you can adjust, and move it to the right to increase it. For instance, setting it to 10 will see only the darkest areas of your image changed, while setting it to 90 will see some of the mid-tones also being brightened.

When you’re happy, click OK to save the changes.

fixed shadows photoshop

How to Remove Shadows From Photos Without Photoshop

You don’t need expensive software to remove shadows in contrasty images. You can also do it in GIMP, the free photo editing app. Just go to Colors > Shadows-Highlights and drag the Shadows slider left or right to make your changes.

remove shadows in gimp

Google Photos often fixes the contrast in your photos automatically. If not, you can do it manually by going to Edit > Basic adjustments > Light then using the Shadows slider.

And in Apple Photos you can carry out the same adjustments using Edit > Light > Options > Shadows.

In fact, virtually all basic image editing apps will be able to carry out this simple fix. Where there’s a Shadows slider, it’ll work in the same way as we’ve described.

For harsher shadows, and more complex edits, you will need Photoshop, GIMP, or another full-featured photo-editing app.

How to Remove Harsh Shadows on Faces

Harsher shadows on a person’s face, or on the wall behind a subject, are harder to fix. They can be a problem when you’re shooting in hard light like bright sunlight, or with a flash pointing front on.

It’s difficult to remove these shadows completely, but you can reduce them to a level where they become a less distracting part of your photo.

harsh shadows face

We’ll do it by using the Mask tool to paint in some selective shadow adjustments.

Load up your image in Photoshop. In the Adjustments panel, click Levels. This will create a new adjustment layer above your image.

adjust levels photoshop

Click the middle tab below the Levels graph and drag it to the left until the shadows have reached the level of brightness you’re looking for. Don’t worry if other parts of the image are too bright—that’s only temporary.

Now, with the Levels layer selected, click the Mask button. Invert the mask by pressing Ctrl + I on Windows, or Cmd + I on Mac. Your image will revert back to its original dark level.

Select the Brush tool, and set the color to white. In the Options bar at the top, set the Hardness of the brush to a low figure, around 5 to 10 percent. Also, set Opacity to around 30 to 50 percent. Experiment with different brush sizes as you go.

paint out shadows photoshop

Now start brushing over the shadows in the image. Where you brush, the shadows will brighten. Where you don’t they will stay the same.

Because we set the opacity quite low the effect will be subtle. Brush over the same area several times to build up the effect.

remove harsh shadows

If you accidentally brighten areas you want to be dark, change the brush to white and repaint over those areas.

How to Avoid Unwanted Shadows

Rather than trying to fix unwanted shadows in your photos, you’re better off trying to avoid them in the first place.

Nailing the exposure is one of the most important things in photography. Our article full of photography tips for beginners

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7 Key Photography Tips for Absolute Beginners

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explains the principles of the “Exposure Triangle”—understanding that is the first step to getting it right every time.

It isn’t easy, though, because you often don’t have control over the light you’re shooting in. But there are a few things you can try:

  • When you’re shooting on a phone turn on Auto HDR mode. This will help to reduce contrast and shadows whenever the conditions call for it.
  • Some mirrorless and other dedicated cameras also have an HDR mode. If yours doesn’t, try using the Exposure Bracketing option instead. This shoots three separate images at different exposures so you can pick the best (or merge them all in Photoshop).
  • If possible, use an off-body flash so you can control the direction of the light. A flash attached to the camera will produce harsh shadows and glare on the subject.
  • When you have to use a front-on flash hold a sheet of white paper or card below it or to the side. This bounces the light off the ceiling or wall to create a more flattering effect. Alternatively, hold white tissue in front of the flash to diffuse it and make the light softer.
  • When shooting faces in harsh sunlight, hold a piece of white card or paper angled towards the face to reflect the light and soften the shadows.

And if your snaps still come out darker than you’d like, it’s easy to learn how to lighten underexposed photos

5 Easy Ways to Lighten Dark Underexposed Photos in Photoshop

5 Easy Ways to Lighten Dark Underexposed Photos in Photoshop

We all shoot underexposed photos from time to time. If you’re shooting in low-light or high-contrast conditions it can be unavoidable. Fortunately, it’s easy to fix in Photoshop.
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. Our guide has all of the information you need.

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