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Creating a Watermark

In Excel there are a couple of ways you can create a watermark for use with a spreadsheet. Unfortunately, you must set up your watermark as a graphic; you cannot specify text to be used as a watermark. With this understanding, you can then create a background image to be used with your worksheet. The image can be any graphic image desired. You should follow these steps:

  1. Choose Sheet from the Format menu. This displays a submenu.
  2. Choose Background from the submenu. This displays the Sheet Background dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Sheet Background dialog box.

  4. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate and select the graphic image you want to use as your watermark.
  5. Click on OK.

The image is imported and fills the background of your worksheet. Note that the image is repeated over and over again--it is tiled in the background of the worksheet.

You should note that you are given very little control on the appearance of the image you use as a background. In order to make it appear as a real watermark--lightly shaded and not distracting to the main text in the worksheet--you may need to play with it and adjust it a bit in your favorite graphics program.

You can also use special programs you may already be familiar with, such as WordArt, to insert special attention-grabbing text in your document. You should understand that if you do this, the WordArt object actually floats above your spreadsheet. Thus, it won't necessarily appear in the background like a true watermark. It may come in handy at the bottom of a worksheet that doesn't occupy an entire sheet of paper, however.

One other thing to check, which has very little to do with Excel, is the capabilities of your printer. If you have a new "business oriented" printer, it will often place standard watermarks on the copies it produces. You can check this out by looking at your printer properties in the Print dialog box.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2698) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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