How to Watermark a Photo Without Photoshop [4 Ways]

As a graphic designer or photographer, there’s nothing worse than finding out that someone duplicated your image without permission. In order to prevent this, especially in this digital age, more and more people are adding watermarks to their images. Photoshop is one of the most popular ways to do this, but what if you don’t want to use Photoshop?

Below, we will discuss four ways you can watermark a photo without using Photoshop. Keep reading to learn all about a few of the best options out there!

How to Put a Watermark on a Photo Without Photoshop

Most professional photographers and graphic designers watermark the photos or images they share publicly to avoid people duplicating their work without permission. Over the years, Photoshop has been the number one program artists have used to add these watermarks. But, what if you don’t want to use Photoshop to watermark your work?

Whether you want to avoid paying the premium fee associated with a Photoshop subscription or you simply don’t like the way Photoshop deals with watermarks, you’re looking for a way to mark your images without using this program. 

Luckily, there are many other programs you can use to add watermarks. Some of your options include:

  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Microsoft Paint
  • iWatermark
  • GIMP

Below, we will discuss what types of watermarks you can add to your images in each of these programs so you can make the best decision for your unique artistic needs.

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is part of Adobe Creative Cloud, meaning a subscription to Lightroom is usually included in your Photoshop subscription. While it may not be the most feasible option if you want to avoid paying the Photoshop subscription fee, it is a viable option for someone who just doesn’t like the way Photoshop does watermarks.

Many photographers and graphic designers prefer using Lightroom to add watermarks to their photos instead of Photoshop. While the two programs work very similarly, Lightroom offers a more customizable and streamlined approach to watermarking.

You can add a text or graphic watermark to your photos in Lightroom and adjust the opacity and placement to align perfectly with your brand. Not only can you easily add your watermark to a single image, but you can also create a preset that will allow you to watermark batches of images at the same time. 

Microsoft Paint

If you work on a Windows computer, you’ve almost definitely heard of Microsoft Paint before. This is a very simple drawing and photo manipulation app that comes pre-installed on all Windows computers, and if you need to add a simple text watermark to your photos in a pinch, it’s still a great choice.

To add a watermark in MS Paint, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Microsoft Paint on your computer.
  2. Open the “File” menu, then select “Open.” Select the image you’d like to add your watermark to. Note that MS paint cannot read advanced photo formats, so be sure to save the image as .PNG or .JPG beforehand.
  3. Once the image is on your screen, select the font tool and click on the spot on the image where you’d like to add your watermark.
  4. Choose your font, text size, and color, then type out your watermark.
  5. Save the watermarked image to your computer.

While MS Paint definitely does not offer a lot in terms of customization, it will work fine in last-minute situations.


The iWatermark app is a great option if you want to watermark photos from your smartphone. This application is available for a wide variety of devices, including:

  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Mac computers
  • Windows computers

iWatermark allows you to add either text or graphic watermarks to your photos, whichever fits in more with your brand. You can even watermark batches of images simultaneously, just like in Lightroom! In addition to all this, you can use the app to add an invisible QR code to your images, which contain all your information as the artist.

This app does come for a small fee. However, it’s typically considered to be worth the cost for all the customization options you get.


When looking for alternatives to Photoshop, especially for watermarking purposes, many photographers and artists turn to GIMP. GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation Program, has a very similar interface to Photoshop. However, unlike Photoshop, it is completely free to download and use.

You can use GIMP to add text or graphic watermarks to your photos with the program’s layers and opacity features. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Open the image you want to add your watermark to in GIMP.
  2. Open the “File” menu, then select “Open in Layers.”
  3. Choose your watermark from the file selection window.
  4. When your watermark appears on the screen, click and drag it to your desired location.
  5. Navigate to the “Windows” menu and hover over “Dockable Dialogs.” Select “Layers.”
  6. From the Layers window, select the layer that has your watermark.
  7. Click and drag the opacity bar until you reach your desired opacity.

One of the best things about GIMP is its wide array of available plugins, which add even more functionality to the program. Something many photographers and artists look for is a program’s ability to add watermarks to a batch of images all at once. 

While this is not possible using just GIMP, plugins make it feasible. Downloading the Batch Image Manipulation Program, or the BIMP plugin, will allow you to watermark multiple photos simultaneously.

Adding Watermarks Without Photoshop

Not everyone enjoys the complexity of programs like Adobe Photoshop, and not everyone can afford the high monthly cost that comes with using the program. While most photographers and graphic designers do use this program to add watermarks to their images, rest assured that there are other ways.

If you want a free alternative to Photoshop, consider using GIMP or Microsoft Paint to watermark your images. If you want a lower cost option, go with iWatermark. Or, if you just don’t like the watermarking process that Photoshop uses, you may want to switch to Adobe Lightroom.