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How to remove watermark in Microsoft Word

Watermarks are a simple way to keep images and videos from being plagiarised. This concept works fairly well for documents as well if the document cannot be edited. You will find that, unlike images and videos, a watermark applied to a document e.g., a DOC or DOCX document created in Microsoft Word is easy to use.

remove watermark in Microsoft Word

Remove watermark in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word can watermark the documents that are created in it. It has a special built-in feature for the job. The watermark isn’t as permanent as one you would apply to an image if you share the document in DOCX or DOC format. This is because these formats are directly editable in Word. Anyone with the app can remove it fairly easily.

Note: This article is not meant to help plagiarise documents. Use the methods described here to remove watermarks from documents that you own the editing and publishing rights to.

1. Disable watermark

The first method you should try for removing a watermark is the build-in feature in Microsoft Word.

  1. Open the document that has a watermark in Microsoft Word. 
  2. Go to the Design tab and click the Watermark button.
  3. Select Remove Watermark.

2. Disable from Footer

A footer (or a header) can include an image which is what is sometimes used to apply a watermark instead of using the specific feature. This will only work if the watermark is text i.e., it should not be an image.

  1. Open the document in Microsoft Word.
  2. On the Home tab, select the Header and footer button.
  3. Select the remove footer option.

3. Edit file properties

This is a more complicated work around if you’re unable to edit the watermark or if the document is locked from editing.

  1. Open the document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Go to File>Save as and save the document in XML format.
  3. Right-click the newly saved document and select Open With… from the context menu.
  4. Open the document in Notepad.
  5. Use Ctrl+F to open the Find bar.
  6. Look for the phrase used to watermark the document.
  7. Delete it (make sure you do not remove the quote marks around it).


Watermarked documents can be used for their intended purpose i.e., you can see what’s in them, you can read a watermarked document, and it’s printable. A watermark will prevent others from claiming it as their own in most cases. A watermark doesn’t necessarily have to be used as an anti-theft tool. It can also be used to mark a document that is still a draft or if it’s confidential. 

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