Word Design > Watermark > Remove workmark does not work

Copper Contributor

The initial add watermark only added one to three pages in the document.  Subsequent attempts to remove the watermarks do not work.  I tried the work-around of clicking on the header, but the watermark then disappears and so cannot be hovered-over.  The Info page does not give the version of Word, but it is whatever came with Windows 10 three months ago.


8 Replies



After you have double-clicked the document header area, you should be able to see the watermark. If you don't see it in the current header, try navigating to some other header in the document. You should be able to select and delete the watermark.

@Stefan_Blom I tried double-clicking and single-clicking headers and footers in several patterns on several pages, some with watermarks and some without, etc.  That did not work.  However, if I did the same sort of random clicking on the pages themselves in various places near or on the watermark, an outline would appear on the watermark, flipping back and forth between horizontal and diagonal picture with the text wrapped through/behind/in front (not sure which).  When a watermark did appear like a picture, I was able to delete it.  I had to do this on each page with a watermark.  When the watermark was first added, it was added to the first three pages, but skipping the ToC pages.  The page after the one with the last watermark (the page where watermarking stopped), was a page where I had added a picture, as if it stopped adding watermarks when it hit a page that had a user-inserted picture.



Those are parts of my webpage on Sections because Watermarks are parts of headers which are a part of sections.


All Watermarks in Word are images in a header (or footer). Whether or not the Remove Watermark will remove it depends on whether or not it was inserted in the page using the Insert Watermark command and on which version of Word was used for the insertion. The current method of insertion adds a tag to it so that Word recognizes it as a Watermark.


The troubleshooting part deals with putting different watermarks on different pages and with watermarks that will not delete.


With your watermark that you want on all pages and only shows up on three, a workaround would be to find it in the header of one of the pages that does have it, copy it, and then paste it into the header of the pages that do not have it.


Word does not come with Windows. It is a separate software program usually bundled as a part of Office or Microsoft 365. You can find your version of Word using File > Account > About Word (in Windows versions of Word).

A possible contributing factor is that this is a report that is regularly updated, and the first version was done with an earlier version of Word.
Yes. Earlier versions of Word did not necessarily mark Watermarks the same way.
File > Account > About Word appears to give me the version of Word installed (2303 in my case), but how do I determine the version of the document format? Loading an existing document with a newer version of Word does not seem to update the document format. Is there a command or tool to update existing documents to match a later version of Word? Not using watermarking is not a big deal, I'll just put bold text in the headers and avoid that feature, but non-backwards-compatibility in general can cause problems unless there are feature to support configuration management.


Hi Steve,


There is no method I know of to tell which version of Word created a document. Any document that was created (or last edited) in an earlier version of Word will display Compatibility Mode in the title bar. Under File > Info you can update such a file to the current version. That will not, though, change whether or not something has been marked as a Watermark.


Again, I urge you to review the part of my Sections chapter on troubleshooting Watermarks.



Maybe the watermarks were not true watermarks, but just images or text boxes positioned Behind Text on some of the pages. 


Or maybe the document contains more sections than you think and not all sections have visible headers/footers, which would complicate matters a bit.