How to Create a Watermark in Photoshop

March 16, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | 38 Comments | |
How to Create a Watermark in Photoshop Image

13. Now, we embed the copyright info into the file itself.  In the file menu, choose file info which will bring up the File Info Dialog box. 

Type in a copyright notice (as shown in the screen shot) and your website address (if you have one) as shown. 

Click OK.

14. Flatten the files by clicking Layer > Flatten Image. 

15. Okay, now we’ll create an action to automatically do this entire process in one click. 

Open a new photo, go to the Actions Panel in the Window Menu.

Then click on the Create New Action icon at the bottom of the panel. 

When the dialog box appears, name your action (as shown) Choose F11 for the way to activate it and click the Record button to start the process. 

How to Create a Watermark in Photoshop

How to Create a Watermark in Photoshop

16. Now, go through all the steps of adding the copyright symbol and copyright info (Photoshop is going to record every step as you do it, as seen here in the actions history panel.)  Start at Step 1 and stop after step 7 (you stop after Step seven because you may not want to flatten your file.) 

17. When you are done, press the little black square next to the red circle that indicates you are recording an action.  This completes the action. 

18. Now it’s important to test that your action works.  Open a different photo and click F11, which should add your copyright instantly.  If it adds the copyright watermark you created, you’ve done it! 

How to Create a Watermark in Photoshop

The other wonderful thing I promised, is to teach you how to batch copyright an entire folder of images.  Before you batch watermark an entire folder however, you will have to go back through the process of making a watermarking action and include the flattening of each file in number 8 of the tutorial.  Otherwise, it won’t work.

How to Create a Watermark in Photoshop

19. Then, in the File menu, go to Automate>Batch.   Then, you would choose “Add Watermark and Copyright” in the Action area.  The Source would be “Folder.” 

20. Now, you click Choose under the Source area and choose your folder of pictures you want to watermark.

21. Under Destination, you will choose “Save and Close”. 

22. Finally, click OK and your action will take care of watermarking all of the photos in that folder!  Voila!


Cynthia Farr-Weinfeld of CFW Photography has been an artist her entire life, but photography was the first medium that truly “clicked” with her. She is a commercial photographer based in Portland, Maine, USA. She is the Contributing Photographer for Portland Magazine a glossy publication devoted to the goings-on around her city and state as well as the arts and food& restaurant reviews.

Cynthia has also had work in England’s Digital Camera Magazine, Maine Food & Lifestyle, and most recently, Popular Photography in the US. She is a regular contributor to StockFood - The Food Image Agency, an international food photography stock agency based in Munich, Germany.

Cynthia was chosen for the Pentax Professional Program. She uses a Pentax K20D, multiple filters and Pentax lenses from the macro to the ultrawide range, and a Bogen 3011 tripod to achieve her photographic vision.

Cynthia specializes in Landscape, Architectural, Panoramic, Portraiture and Food & Restaurant photography.

You can see more of Cynthia’s work at and for what she’s been working on the most recently, her blog, Photo Quest, at .

Entry Tags

photos, images, photo, photoshop, image, action, technique, techniques, protect, watermark, tutorial, copyright, stolen, steal, theft

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38 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Portrait Photographers

Pretty easy to follow. well done and thanks!

11:56 pm - Wednesday, March 16, 2011

#2 mike

Why bother to destroy the image

when I see an image i dont want to see a “

Put that info in the metatext instead

11:01 pm - Thursday, March 17, 2011

#3 John H. Maw

While it is good to know how to watermark images I would encourage people to thing very carefully about doing it at all. I made a decision not to do so to images on my web site for a number of reasons.

The images that I put up aren’t that large. 800 pixels on the longest side looks OK on a monitor but it’s not really that useful for anything other than screen use.

My work is primarily commissioned photography, so I’m not selling images that are already on my site. They are an example to show clients the sort of work that I can do. If I watermark them they don’t look as good. It also looks as if I don’t trust my clients. It gives a negative (Oh, a pun) feel to the site.

The fact is that the people who might steal my photos are not ever going to be customers anyway. One extra commission pays me more than I would ever get from the people who might steal from me because they aren’t going to give me any money in the first place.

Everyone has to reach their own conclusion, but my images are simply on my site to allow me to make a living in the way I choose. I will not loose too much sleep over the loss of some income that, in reality, was never going to come my way.

6:04 pm - Tuesday, March 22, 2011

#4 Pixel Alchemist

I tend not to put watermarks on my web Images. As I do feel they destroy the feel and look of the image.
However I do make sure there is a copyright notice clearly stated in the “photo comments” or tag line.
With the Graphic tools/ programs available today, if people are going to steal then they are going to and be able to remove any Watermark off an image. It is very easy to do.
there are also other ways to help protect your images from download in the first place. either via flash elements or clever web coding.

1:21 am - Wednesday, March 23, 2011

#5 mitrovi

Mike you’re a real genius,
if you have your copyright just in the metadata I open your photo in Lightroom and with 1 single click change yours with mine. I can even change the date.
if you’re not interested, just dont do it then!

7:58 am - Sunday, March 27, 2011

#6 Bionic Beauty

Thank you for the excellent tutorial! I have also had my images thieved more times than I care to count.  I do tend to watermark in the “corners’ sometimes for my craft creations on Etsy, but on my blogs, I watermark over any nail polish swatches particularly… nefarious people on eBay are always lifting polish pictures.  Funny, right?

Anyhow as a newbie to Photoshop (I’ve always used Gimp), I truly appreciate your step-by-step walk-through.

3:36 am - Saturday, July 9, 2011

#7 Tony Lowe

Many Thanks, appreciate you taking the time to do this. As a newbie i need all the help i can get.

9:59 am - Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#8 gme

Watermarks don’t have to be ugly, and they don’t have to give a negative feel. I use watermarks to get my business out there. If someone sees that my name is on their friends photo on facebook, and they like it, maybe they’ll check out my site. I know plenty of photographers who do the same thing.

2:35 pm - Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#9 Susan


Thanks for the tutorial. Very simple and easy to follow. I could successfully make the watermark and copyright, but my Action (using F11) did not work for a new photo. It says that the photo is locked.
Can you help solving this problem?
Thanks a lot.

5:12 am - Sunday, February 19, 2012

#10 Henry Rivers

So often now they are edited out anyway. If you are going to use a watermark make you use a small one and tile it across the image ... this will make it much harder to remove.

So often now they are edited out anyway. If you are going to use a watermark make you use a small one and tile it across the image ... this will make it much harder to remove.

an example of a poorly watermarked image:

2:13 pm - Saturday, March 24, 2012

#11 jiovanni

I followed the steps here for the watermark and I get problems.
The ‘C’ has moved to a different spot when I apply the action.
It’s like 1cm above where it should be beside the text. I then created the watermark with text first then ‘C’ and that left me with the same problem. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. All the images I’m applying to are the same size etc. Can I do something differently to fix it?

11:57 am - Friday, March 30, 2012

#12 pati

Thanks so much for this easy-to-follow tutorial. Well done! Exactly what I was looking for.

2:27 pm - Wednesday, May 23, 2012

#13 James

I experienced the same problem as Jiovanni in comment #11, everytime I used the function key the copyright symbol would shift. I tried doing the steps over again several times and nothing helped. I’m curious if there is some way to solve this problem. As far as a watermark ruining your image/picture I totally disagree. If the watermark is made light enough it can almost appear that it isn’t even there. Plus I keep all my work backed up without the watermark so it isn’t damaged in any way and only protected in the copy that is available on the internet.

3:02 pm - Friday, June 8, 2012

#14 Valerie

Thank you so much! Your instructions were spot on and super easy to follow!

8:06 pm - Monday, August 6, 2012

#15 Barb

Loved the tutorial, but Step 18 has me stumped. F11 on my keyboard doesn’t do what you say it does. Any suggestions?

5:57 am - Tuesday, August 21, 2012

#16 Industrial Photographer

Thank you for the simple and useful tip. Will be implementing the same for all my photography work.

5:35 am - Sunday, September 9, 2012

#17 Smitha Thomas

Thanks you very much. Your tutorial was very easy to follow and helped a lot

6:19 pm - Tuesday, October 2, 2012

#18 ralph

I think you are wasting your Time and effort here.
There are automated and powerful tools like Mass Watermark that can do the job easily for you.It can watermark 100s of images with few clicks and within minutes.There are additional options like adding EXIF Info,Resizing,Optimizing and even direct upload of watermarked images diretly to your Picasa/Flickr web albums quickly and easily.Its completely a professional tool check it out

5:51 pm - Wednesday, October 17, 2012

#19 Barb

Actually, I do have EXIF info in my photos, but it gets stripped by Google Plus and Facebook, so it’s not much use. That’s the only reason I want the watermark on the photos. I normally display them using PhotoShelter, so the watermark is done automatically for their site. I will check out Mass Watermark. Thanks!

11:29 pm - Sunday, October 21, 2012

#20 Smart eDesigners

Many many thanks. Will try to use this.

6:04 am - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

#21 Greg

Thanks for the tutorial.
Excellent, and easy to follow instructions. All good but using F11 didn’t work for a new photo, it just nothing happening, I did try over & over again it just doesn’t work for me.
I use CS5 and wonder if I have to do something extra / different? 
Just wondering if you could help solving this problem?

Kind Regards

7:25 am - Monday, November 5, 2012

#22 vertika

thnks a lot!!
only one time effort required ..

7:24 pm - Monday, November 19, 2012

#23 Desiree

The only thing I changed and seemed to work better is instead of using the shape tool to make the copyright symbol, I used (on the mac) the alt(option) key held down while typing the letter g.  Then it seems to recognize all the letters as one unit.

5:01 am - Saturday, January 5, 2013

#24 fatimasheikhhai

All good but using F11 didn’t work for a new photo, it just nothing happening, I did try over & over again it just doesn’t work for me.

5:45 pm - Thursday, February 7, 2013

#25 lika

i wasn’t able you perform step 7 (add layer style) because when i click on Bevel and embossed as well as any other i get a message saying could not complete you request because of a program error. What should I do?

12:31 am - Sunday, March 10, 2013

#26 Lika

I have a problem with completing step 7 because when I try to click on Bevel and Emboss I get a message Could not complete a request because of a program error. Can anybody help me with that? Thanks
I have Photoshop 7.0

12:50 am - Sunday, March 10, 2013

#27 coreyb

Wow, this is by far the easiest tutorial I have ever read.  Typically I have to go back and reread at least a couple of sentences to “fill in the blank”.  Not this one.  Wow just wow.  Thank you so much for sharing this….off to see if you have any other tutorials!!!

8:09 am - Sunday, April 7, 2013

#28 Shikher Gupta

Great Thanks.
A little help needed, while saving in batch it asks me after each file about JPEG Options (Baseline, Progressive and Quality) is there a option to automate this also?

9:32 am - Tuesday, April 30, 2013

#29 ishita

I’m not able to blend the layers as you suggested.
help please?

6:36 pm - Sunday, June 9, 2013

#30 Flip Flop

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4:49 pm - Sunday, July 7, 2013

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4:00 am - Tuesday, September 10, 2013

#32 Logabex

Nice tutorial, hope this could help you, as well.

9:27 am - Monday, October 14, 2013

#33 carlo

what version of photoshop is this?

10:12 am - Thursday, February 13, 2014

#34 Ana

Incredibly helpful. Thank you so much!
I am a visual artist, this requires me to submit images of my works on a regular basis to a diverse range of clients/organizations, for a wide array of uses. I take most of my documentation photographs and I’m becoming increasingly worried about beginning to find them on t-shirts/mugs…  Only one question. At the very end, do I hit flatten image, or will that undo all the work?

Thank you,


9:10 pm - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#35 Linda J. Prieto

Nice photoshop tutorial. I try it and success to create watermark in photoshop. Thanks a lot…

11:08 am - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

#36 Tresa

I have been dreading figuring out how to do this, but you made it so easy and it was actually fun following your terrific instructions! I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to do this. You are GREAT at giving instructions! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

1:26 am - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

#37 Eugen Fernea

Nice tutorial, but it seems Photoshop is not the best tool for the job.

It is probably better to use a specialized software like MiraFX STILL which lets you add text, vector or raster watermarks to hundreds of images at once in just a few minutes.

Check out this tutorial. It shows how to do it in three simple steps.

7:37 pm - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

#38 Clipping Path

Really good working hand work.I like it very much and thanks to you for posting such an informative article./

6:14 pm - Thursday, November 5, 2015