Adding an overlay label to a page such as "Draft", "Confidential", etc.

Copper Contributor

I have Word 2013. You used to be able to add these labels across a page. Now we have "watermarks". So when I access the Watermarks pulldown menu on the Design page, what I see above the options, e.g.,, more watermarks, custom, remove, are samples of how these "watermarks" would look on a printed page. The samples include: SAMPLE, CONFIDENTIAL, DO NOT COPY, etc. However, when you use one of these watermark options, you don't these samples (SAMPLE, CONFIDENTIAL, DO NOT COPY) are not what print over the page. What actually prints is a "Watermark", which is obscure, barely visible. How do I superimpose SAMPLE, CONFIDENTIAL, DO NOT COPY, something else across the page, that actually looks like I want it to be there and not some scribble that the eraser didn't quite remove?

2 Replies


First, when you print the page, it is darker than it appears on screen. Try it and see if that suffices.

Second, by their nature, Watermarks are supposed to be background. They are not intended to overwhelm the text.


A watermark, in Word is an image (perhaps a textbox with text) that is in the header.

When creating a custom text watermark, there is a checkbox to fade the image. You can uncheck that.


You can create your own using WordArt. Perhaps bold text in the margin! The following screenshots are from such an image in the header.







If you want something on top of text, that has to go on each page.

Take a look at DateStamp with dialog Add-In  which puts an annotated date stamp on top of text




That lets you type choose text or type in your own to be on the stamp.

While the name and timestamp are inserted by the Add-In, they are text in a text box and could be removed.