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Home Photo Editing Lightroom How to Add Watermark in Lightroom

How to Add Watermark in Lightroom

Whether you love them or hate them, watermarks on photos are used to display who owns the photo. Adding a watermark also gives a pretty clear indication that the image is copyrighted. Creating a watermark in Lightroom is relatively easy.

Protecting your photos by adding a watermark in Lightroom is not foolproof. In this age of social media and internet sharing, people and businesses often have no regard for who owns the copyright to photographs.

At least if you do take the time to add an attractive watermark this is most effective. By doing this you are sending a message to anyone wanting to share your photo or use it themselves. You’re indicating that you own it, and also letting people know who to contact to get permission to use the photo.

In this article, I’ll take you through the process of how to add a watermark in Lightroom. Watermarking in Photoshop is also an option, but I’ll look at that in another article.

Lightroom watermark added to photo of Thai woman.

Two Different Types of Lightroom Watermarks

There are two different types of watermarks you can add to an image in Lightroom. You can add a text watermark or a graphic watermark.

With a text watermark, you can include information such as your name and/or website. Graphic watermarks allow you to add your logo to an image. 

Logos can be saved as PNG files with a transparent background. Using this technique it’s possible to incorporate your logo more subtly than if you save and use it as a jpeg file because the background will be visible. Using Photoshop, watermarks can be saved as PNG files to be used in Lightroom. 

How To Add a Text Watermark in Lightroom

screen grab of many images.

Using Lightroom it’s easy to add simple text watermarks. Start at the top menu and choose Edit>Edit Watermarks. If you use a Mac you’ll achieve the same by going to Lightroom Classic>Edit Watermarks in the top menu.

From here you need to choose what style of watermark you want to add, a text watermark, or a graphic watermark. Here we’ll be looking at adding a text watermark.

In the new window that appears you’ll see all the options, you have to input your text and design it. If the window is too small, click and drag on an edge to enlarge it so you can see all of the available text options. 


Beneath the main image window, you’ll find the text input dialog box. Type the text you want to use for your watermark here. The most common watermark I use is simply my name and the © symbol. To create this you hold the Alt key and type 0169 and the © will appear on a PC. On a Mac, hold the Option key down and press G.

Customizing Text Watermarks

A simple text watermark is often all you may want on an image. Taking a moment to customize the look and location of your watermark is recommended as the default settings will not be best suited to all images. You want to add a watermark that’s attractive and does not clutter the photo you add it to.

Font Options

To the right of the image window, you’ll see a dialog box with a list of options for designing your watermark in Lightroom. 

Start at the top of the list by choosing a font that your watermark looks good in. Think about how easy the font will be for people to read, even when the photo is viewed as a thumbnail. There’s not much point in using a font that’s fancy but difficult to read.

In the drop-down menu beneath the font options, you can choose the style for your font. Depending on the font you have chosen you’ll have more or less choice here. For this example I have chosen to use the Regular style of the Rubik font.

Here you can also choose the color of your text. Think about the watermark style and how the color works together with the colos in the photo you are placing it on. Make sure to choose a color that fits well with the photo.

adding text watermark.

Adding a Shadow with the Watermark Editor

Placing text over images can sometimes mean it’s difficult to read. When you have contrasting areas your watermark is overlaid on light or dark text may blend in too much with images. Please try to be aware of this as you add a watermark to images.

In the watermark editor you have the option to add a shadow to your watermarks. This can help make your watermark easier to read. A dark shadow added to a light colored font makes the watermark clearer when it’s placed on a light background. When your watermark text covers both light and dark areas of an image using a shadow can make sure it’s easier to read.

In the shadow dialog box you have four options to configure its character. You can control the opacity and make it as bold or as subtle as you like. The Offset slider determines how for from the text the shadow reaches. The Radius governs the size and softness of the shadow. Adjusting the angle of the shadow of the watermark in relation to the text is done with the last slider.

adding a drop shadow to text illustration.

Watermark Effects Dialog Box

The last choices you have to make are about the opacity, size, and position of your watermark. 

You need to think about these options together as they depend on the image and the watermark style. 

Decreasing the opacity of your watermark means it interacts more with the photos it’s placed on. By reducing the opacity means you can see some of the image that’s behind the text.


Pick a size that works for you. Think about how easy your watermark will be for people to read when the photo is displayed very small. Consider how the watermarks are going to impact how people see the photo. You probably don’t want to use include the watermark so big it interrupts your images too much.

Position the watermark using the Anchor and Inset options. Using the vertical and horizontal sliders you can move your watermark so it’s not positioned hard against the edges of your frame. You can also choose to rotate your watermark using the arrow icons.

position text of watermark in lightroom.

For this example, I have enlarged the text of the watermark and positioned it centrally. This is not how I would use it!

Saving Your Watermark in Lightroom

Once you have your Lightroom watermark looing the way you want, it’s time to save it. You can just hit Save at the bottom right of the window to save the image with the watermark. 

This saves your new watermark design as a preset. Give it a name and you can then quickly and easily add it to other images in Lightroom. You may want to include information in how you name it about the text and the positioning of the watermark. This will mean it’s easy to add it to other images later without having to view it first.

saving the watermark in lightroom screen grab.

How to Add a Graphic Watermark Using Lightroom

Starting with the same step you’d take to add a text watermark, open the watermark dialog box. Next, you’ll choose the Graphic option for your watermark style.

This will open up a search window where you need to locate the image file you want to use as your graphic watermark. You will need to have prepared this in advance. Locate the image you will use and click Open.


Customize Your Graphic Watermark in Lightroom

This works very much the same as it does for customizing text watermarks, but with fewer options. You can create a watermark for Photoshop and use it as a graphic watermark in Lightroom. In Photoshop you will have more control than you can using Lightroom on its own.

Essentially you have to set the opacity, size, and position of your graphic watermarks so they will look good when placed on your photos. If I add graphic watermarks they are typically fairly plain and mono-color. This is a matter of personal style as you can make your watermarks are colorful and large as you like.

Once you’re happy with your watermark save it the same way you save a text watermark in Lightroom.

Applying Watermarks to Images in Lightroom During Export

Once you’ve finished in the watermark editor you can easily add the saved presets of your watermarks as you export images from Lightroom.

screen grab of export dialog box.

Bring up the Export dialog box and configure the options for how you want to export your image from Lightroom. Near the bottom of the list of options, you will see the panel for Watermarking. 

Use the drop-down menu to select the watermark you have created that will best suit the image or images you have selected. If you have multiple images selected to batch export, the watermark you choose will be added to all of them. Make sure to choose the right watermark that will suit all of the images when you are batch exporting.

It’s Easy to Add a Watermark in Lightroom

Once you have added one, you can always add more watermarks to your collection and save them as presets in Lightroom. Edit watermarks and save them as presets so the same text or logo appears in different corners of your images. This gives you quick options when working with different images.

When you edit watermarks, think about your personal photography style and design them to best fit with this. 

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KevinLJ
Kevin bought his first camera in the early 1980s and started working in the photography department of a daily newspaper a few years later. His whole career is focused on photography and he's covered a multitude of subjects. He loves to photograph people the most. During the past decade, Kevin has begun to teach and write more, sharing his passion for photography with anyone who's willing to learn.

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