[multiple methods] How to Remove Watermark from 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 document, and the process is relatively easy.

[Quick Steps] Remove watermark in MS Word

First, lets do the demo using visuals. If you don’t have time and want to quickly remove 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.

How to Remove Watermark from Word in Windows?

Removing watermarks from Microsoft Word document 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 logo positioned behind the content is a watermark. 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.

select design from the menu

Step 2: Select ‘Watermark’ 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.

How to Remove Watermark from Word in Mac?

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

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

select design from the meny

Step 2: Select ‘Watermark’ 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 Windows, Mac, and Linux

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.

Easy steps to Remove Watermark from MS Word

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

double click header or footer to open header section

Step 2: Move the cursor over the Watermark and left-click the Watermark. 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 Microsoft Word document. This method works on all the operating systems.

This method does not require Microsoft Word. So you 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 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 watermark from each doc manually. You want to automate the process by using a script, here is a code written in VB to remove watermark from Word document.

Dim section As Word.section
Dim range As Range
Dim shape As Shape
Dim string As String
For Each section In ActiveDocument.Sections
   With section
      Set range = .Headers(wdHeaderFooterFirstPage).Range
      For Each shape In range.ShapeRange
         string = shape.Name
         If InStr(string, "PowerPlusWaterMarkObject") > 0 Then
            shape.Visible = msoFalse
          End If
       Next
       Set range = .Headers(wdHeaderFooterPrimary).Range
       For Each shape In range.ShapeRange
          string = shape.Name
          If InStr(string, "PowerPlusWaterMarkObject") > 0 Then
              shape.Visible = msoFalse
          End If
        Next
    End With
 Next

Remove Watermark from the Specific page

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 Word First Page

Simple 3 steps to Remove Watermark from document first page

Watermarks are applied to all the pages of the document. Lets 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). 

image 25 - [multiple methods] How to Remove Watermark from MS Word Document

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 is bad news for you. The watermark feature in a word document is only supported on the Desktop 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.

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