Why Should You Watermark Your PDF  Documents?

Watermarking is one of the oldest methods of protecting files. Papermakers from Italy were already practicing watermarking by designing their documents with Greek symbols. They used these symbols to represent their business.

Now, watermarking is one of the most known ways to protect files and photos online. You can use an Add Watermark to PDF Tool which lets you place watermarks and images for files that you want to secure.

What is Watermarking?

Watermarking is the act of placing a text or a logo on a document. Centuries ago, a watermark could only be seen if the paper is held high facing the light, or if the paper is still wet. Back in those days, papers were watermarked while they were wet, hence the term watermark.

A watermark is easy to apply to documents of different file types and is used mainly to protect these documents. By putting a logo or a text in the file, you’re making people know that you own the rights to a specific document. Watermarking a document sends the message that the file content cannot be used or replicate without proper authorization.

Another use of watermarking a document is to promote and market your brand by letting others know that you own the file. This is because the watermark itself usually represents the owner of the document or the copyright. If not a simple symbol, the watermark can be as intricate as a patterned design or copyright logos. Having complex designs gives more protection to the document.

What an Effective Watermark Does in the Online World

There are several reasons why documents are watermarked these days. Watermark is one of the trusted ways to secure files that contain proprietary and highly confidential information.

You can protect your documents from online thieves by making an effective watermark design. If you want to copyright a document, you make an effective watermark by placing a symbol atop the image or a document. It sends a message to the online audience that the file cannot be used or altered without the owner’s permission. An effective watermark prevents virtual thieves from using your files without your consent.

A watermark may also be used in categorizing a document. It indicates the current state of a document with watermarks such as “Void,” “Draft,” or “Original.” Having these labels ensures your files are handled properly, organizing these by classification as you finish your work.

It can also be a reminder to the receiver of the file to treat the document with utmost confidentiality by simply watermarking it with “Confidential.” This way, the recipient is expected to be more careful with the file by not leaving their device unattended. You can personalize a watermark to include the recipient’s details.

Watermarking is also used for marketing purposes. Just like an artist signs his or her work, putting a digital watermark in your work increases brand awareness. Whenever you permit netizens to share your work, your brand will always be part of the art they share. Using watermark as a branding tactic promotes marketing your work to a broader audience if your work goes viral.

Aside from the marketing use of a watermark, it also helps limit the replication of the document. Netizens may take ownership of a file without a watermark by simply downloading or taking a screenshot of the file. Protection with a it also makes it easier for the copyright holder to prove ownership if the watermark represents the owner.

The watermark identifies your ownership and can help determine the unauthorized distribution of the file, even if your file is shared or replicated without your consent. A watermarked file can track where the leak is coming from by following the recipient. This also makes netizens more careful with the document they share for fear they might be traced back to them.

If you are selling your documents online, watermarking your work is an intelligent way to keep your files secure. It enables potential buyers to view your work while preventing thieves from stealing or altering your work.

You can also watermark the photos and files you upload online. Uploading files online does not permit online audiences to reuse your photos. Therefore, watermarking photos that are near and dear to you can protect the things you find sentimental that you share in the digital world.

When is a Watermark Ineffective?

Having a watermark is not enough to protect your file. There are other factors to guarantee its effectiveness. First, a visible design plays a role in preventing unauthorized use. A less visible watermark is not that effective as it can be easily removed or edited. Hence, it’s best to use a it with a semi-transparent design covering a big part of the file.

The positioning of the watermark is also a factor in a watermark’s effectiveness. If a watermark is small and placed in a plain area of your file, it may be quickly taken out by those who want to take your document. Online pirates remove watermarks in documents they believe they can make appear like a whole file. Small watermarks can be easily cropped and photoshopped out of the file. Placing the watermark in a complex or detailed part of the document makes it difficult for virtual thieves to keep your document intact.


Watermarking has been used for centuries by those aiming to promote their businesses and market their brand. In the digital world, where document theft is rampant, it has been deemed as one of the most effective ways to secure files posted online.

To effectively secure your files, choose to watermark the subject of your file. You can also opt to watermark a huge portion of your file to protect the watermark from being cropped out of the file. To retain the quality, use a semi-transparent design so the original file is still visible.

Stealing photos online can be as simple as saving the file and redistributing it. As much as we hope to make the online world safe from file thieves, we have to be smarter in posting and protecting our files.

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Ayesha Jafar

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Ayesha Jafar

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