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How to Add a Watermark to a Worksheet in Microsoft Excel 2013

00_lead_image_watermark

Recently, we showed you how to add a watermark to a document in Word 2013. You can also add a watermark to worksheets in Excel 2013; however, you must add them manually using the header and footer tools. We will show you how.

Open your worksheet in Excel and click the Insert tab on the Ribbon.

01_clicking_insert_tab

In the Text section, click Header & Footer.

01a_clicking_header_and_footer

NOTE: If your Excel window is smaller, the Text section might be condensed to a drop-down button. If that’s the case, click the Text button and select Header & Footer from the Text section that drops down.

02_selecting_header_and_footer

The Header & Footer Tools Design tab displays. To insert a picture as the watermark, click Picture in the Header & Footer Elements section.

03_clicking_picture

The Insert Pictures dialog box displays. Select the location where the desired image file is located. We selected an image from our hard drive, so we clicked Browse next to From a file.

04_clicking_browse_from_a_file

Navigate to the location of your image file, select it, and click Insert.

05_selecting_picture_file

While the header is still open, the picture is represented by “&[Picture]”. Depending in the size of the image, you can insert blank lines before &[Picture] to center the image on the worksheet.

06_clicking_outside_header

To view the picture behind the contents of the file, click on any cell outside of the header. You’ll notice that the image displays behind the text and graphics in your file, but it is full color and possibly very dark.

07_picture_inserted

You can easily make the image appear faded. Open the header again so the Header & Footer Tools Design tab displays again. Click Format Picture in the Header & Footer Elements section.

08_clicking_format_picture

Click the Picture tab on the Format Picture dialog box and select Washout from the Color drop-down list. Click OK.

09_selecting_washout

The picture becomes faded behind the text and graphics.

10_washed_out_watermark

You can also use text as a watermark by entering the text in the header (preceded by blank lines, to center the text on the worksheet), selecting the text, and filling it with a light gray.

11_text_watermark

To remove the watermark, simply open the header again, select the text or the picture marker (&[Picture]), delete it, and click in any cell outside the header to save your change.

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 04/17/13

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