Remove Watermark in Excel

Updated on January 2, 2024
Article byTwinkle Sethi
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

How to Remove Watermark in Excel Sheet?

Once you have learned how the watermark is added to the file, we have the following ways that we can use to remove a watermark from every Excel sheet of the workbook:

  1. Remove Watermark by Deleting Background in Excel
  2. Remove Watermark with ‘Header & Footer’ function in Excel
  3. Remove Watermark with the ‘Go to Special’ function in Excel

In the below examples, we will show how to remove different kinds of watermarks in MS Excel:

You can download this Remove Watermark Excel Template here – Remove Watermark Excel Template

#1 – Remove Watermark by Deleting Background

If the watermark is an image that repeats many times on each page, then that watermark is added as a background. We can delete it in the following way:

In this case, there is a sheet background applied to the worksheet. The sheet background can be removed as follows:

Remove Watermark Example 1
  • Now, on deleting the background, we see below that the watermark gets deleted. Compare the below screenshot with the screenshot above. We will see that the watermark sign is removed from the background.
Remove Watermark Example 1-1

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Suppose the watermark is an image repeated on every page but only once. Then, in this case, that watermark is inserted as ‘Header & Footer’ in Excel. A header and footer image can be removed as follows:

Below are the steps to remove the watermark with the header and footer function:

  1. Click on the “Page Layout” view by clicking on “View” and selecting ‘Page Layout.’


    Remove Watermark Example 2

  2. Then, click on the “Insert” tab and select “Header & Footer” in the “Text” section.


    Remove Watermark Example 2-1

  3. Now, delete the “&[Picture]” text in the “Header & Footer” section. Then, click anywhere else on the spreadsheet, and the watermark will disappear.


    Remove Watermark Example 2-2

  4. Now, on deleting the “&[Picture],” we see below that the watermark gets deleted.


    Remove Watermark Example 2-3

  5. Click anywhere else on the spreadsheet to see that the watermark has been removed.


    Remove Watermark Example 2-4

    Note: We might have to click in each section of “Header & Footer” to view the text, as large images can hide it.

#3 – Remove Watermark with ‘Go to Special’ Function

If we have a watermark that is a WordArt object, then it can be removed as follows:

In this case, we can use the “Go To Special” function to find the WordArt (object) and then press the “Delete” button to remove the watermark.

  • To view the watermark, click on the “Page Layout” view by clicking on “View” and then selecting “Page Layout.”
Example 3
  • Now, go to the “Home” tab, click “Find & Select,” and select “Go to Special.”
Example 3-1
  • A ‘’Go To Special’ dialog box appears.
Example 3-2
  • Checkmark the ‘Objects’ option and then click ‘OK.’
Example 3-3
  • We see that the WordArt watermark has been selected.
Example 3-4
  • Now, press the “Delete” button to remove this selected watermark and click anywhere else on the spreadsheet to see that the watermark has been removed.
Example 3-5

Note: This method will also remove other objects like pictures and shapes. So, we should use it with caution. When creating Word Art watermarks, one should use semi-transparent colors and use a light gray fill for the art.

Things to Remember

Watermarks are used for informational purposes and are not always recommended for removal. It is best not to remove the watermarks if they indicate that the document is confidential, a draft copy, or for internal organization purposes.

MS Excel cannot create or print watermarks. But, it does have a background feature to show a graphic or text that will appear behind the worksheet. However, it will not appear on the “Print Preview” or printed excel sheetsPrinted Excel SheetsThe print feature in excel is used to print a sheet or any data. While we can print the entire worksheet at once, we also have the option of printing only a portion of it or a specific table.read more.

  1. We can add up to three headers in Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, or 2019. These headers visible in “Page Layout” or “Print Preview” views can behave like spreadsheets’ watermarks.
  2. Watermarks could be inserted as text or pictures in MS Excel.

Usually, headers and footers contain basic information about spreadsheet-like page numbers, file paths, etc. But, MS Excel provides more predefined headers and footer options to choose from and even allows creating own ones. As a result, we can make our documents look more informative, professional, and stylish. Unfortunately, headers and footers are not visible in the normal worksheet view and are displayed only on printed pages: “In Page Layout view and Print Preview in excelPrint Preview In ExcelPrint preview in Excel is a tool used to represent the print output of the current page in the excel to see if any adjustments need to be made in the final production. Print preview only displays the document on the screen, and it does not print.read more.

While using the watermarks as Word Art, just like in example 3 above, will also remove the other objects like pictures and shapes. So, this option should be used with caution and only when mandatory.

Some watermarks are available separately in Page Break in ExcelPage Break In ExcelPage breaks are used to divide an excel worksheet into multiple different pages, it is totally up to user to define the format of the page breaks, as the worksheet is printed it is printed in that page breaks, page breaks are available in the page layout tab in page setup section and when we click on it we have the option to insert a page break.read more. To exit this, we can use the “View” tab at the top of the window, then click the “Normal” option in the “Workbook Views” section. This option is used with “Page Break” only when taking a printout of the sheets with a watermark because, in the “Normal” view, the header and footers are not visible. They are visible only in the “Print Preview” or “Page Layout” view. Watermarks can also be repositioned and replaced.

Excel watermarks do not support the process of pasting a block of text from Microsoft Word or notepad as a text watermark. Instead, the text for the watermark can be created in a custom graphic in a standard picture file format like a PNG, JPG, or BMP. Then, we can import it into the Excel worksheet header. “Microsoft Paint” is a preferred and commonly used graphics program.

We can also edit some basic graphics settings for watermarks, consisting of vertical centering for the page, setting brightness and contrast, and even scaling or sizing the watermark on the worksheet page. These settings do not apply to watermarks that are used as a background.

This article is a guide to Remove Watermark in Excel. Here, we discuss removing watermarks in Excel by 1) deleting background, 2) header & footer, 3) Go To Special function along with practical examples and a downloadable Excel template. You may learn more about Excel from the following articles: –