Watermark Not on All Pages in Word? How to Fix It

Adding watermarks to your documents is a great way to show their importance while ensuring some document security. However, watermarks only work if they are on every page of the document. While this should be easy to do, trying to figure out how to use watermarks in some word processors can still pose a challenge.

Microsoft Word applies the same watermark to every page in a document unless you specified something different. As such, you can add your watermark to all pages by selecting the Watermark menu item and then selecting your watermark. If this does not work, it is likely your page header settings are hiding it. A slight modification to those settings will fix the problem.

However, if you want a different watermark o each page, Word will let you do that too. The process is just as simple as well. Therefore, by reading further, you will learn the many ways you can add watermarks to your Word documents as well as how to remove them.

How to Ensure Word Applies Your Watermark to All Pages

When you have important information to document, you want to ensure that those documents are appropriately flagged. This could be because the documents contain sensitive customer information, company secrets, or any other information that requires copy protection. Luckily, you can use watermarks to achieve those goals.

Watermarks are logos, text, or graphics intentionally superimposed onto some other image or text. Their presence makes copying difficult since they tend to leave noticeable artifacts. They also allow you to broadcast the significance or importance of the document’s information without taking up any additional space.

These marks are so important that most full-featured word processors come with watermarking tools built into them. For example, Microsoft Word comes with presets for draft, confidential, sample, and other common document watermarks. It also lets you create custom watermarks either as text or imported images.

Adding a Watermark to Your Document

Microsoft even made the process as simple as possible. As a result, you can apply a watermark to your document just by:

  1. Select the “Design” menu
  2. Click “Watermark” in the “Page Background” section
  3. Select a preset watermark from the drop-down list or the “Custom Watermark” option
  4. For custom watermarks, select either image or text watermark in the popup window
  5. Specify the image or text you want to display along with your desired formatting options
  6. Select “Ok” to confirm your selection

If you are using an older version of Word, you will find the “Watermark” option under “Page Layout” instead. Either way, Word will apply your chosen watermark to every page in your document automatically.

Troubleshooting Watermarks in Word

If your watermark only shows up on some of the pages or none of them, you either had a previous watermark and there is a conflict, or you ran into a bug. Both situations are easy to fix.

Conflicts with Other Watermarks

You should only have one watermark per page. If you have multiple, they could conflict with each other, resulting in one or all of them becoming hidden. Therefore, you should ensure that there are no other watermarks in your document by selecting “Remove Watermark” from the menu before you add your new one.

 If you need additional marks, you should follow the instruction in the next section on adding separate watermarks for each page.

Resetting a Broken Watermark

Word inserts watermarks by attaching them as image objects to an empty paragraph in your document’s header. Therefore, if the problem persists and you know there are no conflicts, you can try resetting this paragraph.

  1. On a page that shows your watermark, double-click the header, or select “Insert>Header & Footer>Header>Edit Header” from the menu.
  2. With the “Header/Footer” view active, select everything by pressing Ctrl-A.

Selecting the paragraph should reset it and the attached watermark. After which, your watermark should show up on every page.

How to Add Watermarks to One but Not All Pages in Word

Most of the time, you want the same watermark on every page of a document. However, there will be times when you need to emphasize some pages over others for various reasons. Fortunately, Word provides an easy solution.

To add a specific watermark to a page, you can take the following steps.

Custom Watermark

For a custom watermark, add it to the Watermark Gallery:

  1. Insert your watermark as the default watermark for the document as above
  2. Open the Header view by double-clicking the document header and then select the watermark
  3. Select the “Design>Watermark>Save Selection to Watermark Gallery” menu option and follow the prompts
  4. Close the Header view
  5. Select “Remove Watermark” from the menu and move on to the Preset Watermark section below

Preset Watermark

To use a preset watermark:

  1. Go to the target page and select the “Design>Watermark” menu option
  2. Right-click on your desired watermark and choose “Insert at Current Document Position”

You can use these steps to apply different watermarks to your even and odd pages or just your first page just by selecting the appropriate options under the “Header & Footer” view.

How to Remove Watermarks from Pages in Word

Removing watermarks from your Word documents is just as easy. Although, you will get the best results if your watermark is in the Watermark Gallery. The steps should work regardless, but they can leave ghost images without the precaution.

  • Removing All Watermarks – To remove all watermarks from your document, you just select “Remove Watermark” from the “Design>Watermark” menu option.
  • Removing from a Single Page or Section – Navigate to and open the page or section header with the watermark then select and delete the text or picture watermark icon. You must do this for each watermark you want to remove

If neither of these options works, you can remove the watermark by selecting “No Watermark” from the “Custom Watermark” menu option. If that does not work, you can go to each page header and delete the watermark objects manually.


Word offers several simple ways to add watermarks to your documents. There are simple ways to fix them if they go awry as well. However, it only offers a means to create text-based watermarks. If you want to use an image, you can use a third-party solution such as PlaceIt to create the watermark and then insert the image into Word.