[multiple methods] How to Remove Watermark in MS Word Document

A Watermark is an identifying image or text that appears on the page background underneath the primary content in a document.

Watermark is used to protect the copyright of various things like currency, government documents, or any data that you don’t want to be claimed as their own by others.

The objective of a watermark is to discourage counterfeiting. Sometimes people require to remove Watermark from Word documents, and the process is relatively easy.

[Quick Steps] Remove watermark in MS Word

First, let’s do the demo using visuals. If you don’t have time and want to quickly remove the watermark follow these simple 3 steps.

Quickly Remove Watermark in Windows

Followed these 3 steps to Remove Watermark from Word Document in windows
1: Open document; 2: select design tab; 3: select watermark; select remove watermark;

Quickly Remove Watermark in Mac

Followed these 3 steps to  Remove Watermark from Word documentin Mac
1: Open document; 2: select design tab; 3: select watermark; select No Watermark;

[Detailed steps] Remove watermark in MS Word

Microsoft Word has slightly different versions for Mac and Windows users. I have compiled two different versions for Mac and Windows users that I tested personally.

Remove Watermark in document in Windows

Removing watermarks from Microsoft Word documents doesn’t require any expertise. If you have basic knowledge of MS Word, you can do it yourself by following the steps.

A document containing a background picture, mostly a logo positioned behind the content is a watermark or draft watermark in unfinished documents. To remove a watermark from a Word document, you have to:

Step 1: Open the Word document that contains Watermark. Select the Design tab from the top menu page layout tab.

select design from the menu

Step 2: Select the Watermark option from the dropdown menu.

select watermark from the dropdown

Step 3: A menu pops up with different options, select ‘Remove Watermark’. Once you see the watermark is removed in the preview, you can select ‘OK’ to close the ‘Insert Watermark’ pop-up

select remove watermark from the drop down with red cross

Congratulations, Now you have removed the Watermark from your document.

Remove Watermark from documents in Mac

The first two steps are universal to remove watermark from Word doc. If you are a Mac user, You can follow the following steps to remove the watermark.

Step 1: Open the Word document that contains Watermark. Select the Design tab from the top menu page layout tab.

select design from the meny

Step 2: Select the Watermark option from the dropdown menu.

select watermark from the drop down menu

Step 3: A window pops up with multiple options, select ‘No Watermark’. Once you see the watermark is removed in the preview, you can select ‘OK’ to close the ‘Insert Watermark’ pop-up

select no watermark from the popup window and select ok

Alternate Method to Remove Watermarks in Word

Alternatively, you can remove the Watermark in just three small steps and skip going through the menu part entirely. This method is tested on Windows and Mac and works the same way.

double-clicking the header area highlights the watermark are.

Step 1: Double click on the Header or the Footer section of the document( top or bottom empty area). It opens the header and footer area and highlights the Watermark area.

double click header or footer to open header section

Step 2: Move the cursor over the Watermark and left-click the Watermark area. Press the delete (Del) key to delete the Watermark.

select the watermark and press del to remove

Step 3: Press the escape (ESC) key or select ‘Close Header and Footer’ to close the header and footer option.

close the header and footer section by clicking close header and footer

Remove Watermarks Using Text Editor & Without Using MS Word

There is another method to remove Watermark from the Microsoft Word documents. This method works on all operating systems.

This method does not require Microsoft Word. So, if you don’t have a copy of MS Word, installed you can use this trick.

But you have to be very careful while using this trick. Make sure you create a backup copy of your word document before proceeding with the steps.

Remove Watermarks from doc without using MS Word and Using Text Editor

Step 1: Open the Word Document in a text editor and save the file in XML format. 

Step 2: Now, open the XML file in notepad or any text editor. Windows users mostly use Notepad or Notepad++. If you are on Mac, you can use Atom, Sublime text and for Linux, you can use Vim, Emacs, or Vi.

Step 3: After opening the file in a text editor, search for the phrase watermark phrase.

  • For Windows, you can use ctrl + F to open search window
  • For Mac you can use cmd + F to open search windows
  • For Vi users on Linux you can type / search term

Step 4: Remove all the occurrences of the watermark phrase in double quotes. Make sure to remove only the phrase and not the complete code. See the gif file as an example.

Save and close the file. Open the file in Microsoft Word. You shouldn’t see the Watermark in the document anymore. You can save the file in Word document format now and enjoy your file without Watermark.

Source code to remove watermark from Word Document

If you have multiple documents with watermark, its time consuming to remove the watermark from each doc manually. You want to automate the process by using a script.

The code is written in VB to remove the watermark from the Word document.

Remove Watermark from the Specific page in Document

Until now the steps we have seen would remove the watermark from all the pages of the document. There is another hack you can leverage to remove the watermark from the specific page.

Remove Watermark from First Page of Document

Simple 3 steps to Remove Watermark from document first page

Watermarks are applied to all the pages of the document. Let’s see how can we remove the watermark from the first page of the Word document.

Step 1: Select ‘Layout’ from the top menu and click from the menu ‘Break’. Now select ‘Continuous’ (insert a section break and start the new section on the same page). 

Step 2: Double click on the Header section or the Footer section of the document( top or bottom empty area). Check the option that says ‘different first page.’

check option different first page from the option

Step 3: Now delete the Watermark on the pages separately and press escape or select ‘Close Header and Footer’ to close the header and footer section.

close the header and footer section by clicking close header and footer

Remove Watermark from Word in Mobile

Now, if you are wondering, ‘How to Remove Watermark from Word in iPhone and Androidthere are workaround but the watermark feature in a word document is not supported in mobile version. You can log a ticket to Microsoft and ask for Watermark feature support in word mobile

If anything is unclear in this article, you can watch the video.

About Ayesha Khalid Jahangeer

Meet Ayesha, the writer from the city of gardens!
She makes boring information fun with her creative mind and ability to use words strategically for making the piece un-boring and amusing. She prefers writing on fashion & home décor when she’s at work (in front of her laptop).
When she’s not writing, she’s either improving her living area’s outlook, trying new eyeliner or watching Netflix.