Excel: How To Insert a Watermark

Can't figure out how to add a watermark to your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet?

Don't worry, you're not alone. There actually aren't any sort of built-in watermark capabilities in Excel, but there's a handy workaround that lets you fake it. The trick is to put your watermark in as part of a header, and then it will print behind everything on every sheet.

Click the 'View' tab on the ribbon, and then click on the 'Page Layout' button (in the 'Workbook Views' group). Now click at the top of the worksheet where it says 'Click to add header'. Click the 'Design' tab on the ribbon that will now have appeared, in the 'Header and Footer Tools' group.

Next, click the 'Picture' icon. This will open a dialog box that will let you choose a photo to use as your watermark. Once you've selected your photo, you'll see it inserted into the header with the code '&Picture'. Don't worry - it's your photo that will show up in printouts, not this code.

If you want to have your watermark show up a little lower on the page, just insert some spaces before it in the header. Yes, that's a tad on the sloppy side... but this is a bit of a hack. It works! I promise.

Once you've followed all of these steps, you'll be able to see your watermark in this Page Layout view, or when you actually print out the document. It will appear behind everything, just as a normal watermark would.


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