How to add a watermark to a LibreOffice document (and when you should)

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As a fiction writer, I often have to send my manuscripts to people for beta reading. This can be an iffy proposition when you have a stranger who wants to be a part of the process. However, the beta reading aspect of my job is very important, so I’m always willing to bring new people on board.

Some of these readers have been helping me for a long time and I trust them implicitly. Those new to the gig have yet to gain that level of confidence. For those readers, I employ a watermark.

Also: How to set the next style in LibreOffice and why you should

Before I continue, let me explain (even though you probably already know what this is). A watermark is an identifying image or text placed in the background of each page of a document. Watermarks are visible enough to see but not enough to read the words or images on the page.

Watermarks are a common tool used in business communications, where it is necessary to ensure that recipients of documents know — without question — who the sender was.

For me, I added my full name as a watermark so there’s no mistaking who it’s from or what it is It’s not like a watermark will prevent someone from stealing your work. after all, Where there’s a will there’s a way Definitely applicable. But watermarking can actually help prevent some plagiarism of your creative work… even if only through a mental trick, reminding people that you mean business.

Also: How to customize the LibreOffice UI to suit your style

Another nice side effect of watermarking is brand awareness. When I send manuscripts to beta readers, agents, or publishers, they are reminded of who the book is written by, without obscuring the text in any way.

LibreOffice makes it incredibly easy to add a watermark to a document. And once you place a watermark on a document, it stays in that document (even if you export it as a PDF) until you remove it.

Show how to add a watermark to a LibreOffice document.

How to Add a Watermark to a Document in LibreOffice

What you will need: To do this, you need to install LibreOffice on your desktop or laptop. Make sure you’re installation of LibreOffice is up-to-date, so you have all the latest features, bug fixes, and security patches. I will demonstrate this process in version

On the LibreOffice document page, click Format > Watermark.

LibreOffice Format menu.

Watermark entries are available in the Format menu.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZdNet

In the resulting pop-up, type the text you want to use as a watermark. You can then format the watermark by selecting a font, angel, transparency and color. A word of caution: more artistic fonts don’t always work for watermarks, so try to stick with a font with fewer artifacts and/or effects. You can test it with different fonts by configuring it to your liking, clicking OK, and then checking the results. If the watermark text isn’t readable, perhaps all you need to do is change the font.

Also: How the new LibreOffice Page Number Wizard works

I like to set the watermark to about 75% transparency. The default 50% can be a bit confusing for the reader, and 75% is still visible enough, though not getting in the way.

LibreOffice Watermark Configuration pops up.

The default values ​​may work for you, but you can change them to suit your needs.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZdNet

Should you reach the point in your workflow when the watermark needs to be removed (such as when I send a manuscript to my publisher), open the Watermark dialog box (Format > Watermark), delete the text you added, and click OK.

And that’s it for adding a watermark to a LibreOffice document. It’s a great way to add branding and a little security to the documents you share with others

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