Stamp on desk

Gabrielle Cristea/500px/Getty Images

As a fantasy author, I often have to send my manuscripts out to people for beta-reading purposes. This can be a vague proposition when you have an unfamiliar person who wants to be part of the process. However, the beta-reading aspect of my work is crucial, so I’m always willing to bring on new people.

Some of these long-time readers have helped me and are people I trust implicitly. Those who are new to the party have not yet achieved this level of confidence. For these readers, I use a watermark.

Also: How to set the following style in LibreOffice and why you should

Before I continue, let me explain (even though I probably know what this is already). A watermark is an image or identifying text that is placed on the background of each page of a document. Watermarks are visible enough to see but not enough to hinder reading the words or images on the page.

Watermarks are a common tool used in business communications, where it is necessary to ensure that those who receive the document know – without asking – who the sender is.

For me, I add my full name as a watermark so that there is no mistake as to who it is or what it is. This does not mean that a watermark will prevent anyone from stealing your work. After all that, Where there is a will there is a way Definitely applies. But a watermark can actually help prevent some theft of your creative work… even if it’s just a mind trick, reminding those people that you care about the work.

Also: How to customize the LibreOffice user interface to better suit your style

Another nice side effect of a watermark is brand awareness. When I send manuscripts to beta readers, agents, or publishers, they are reminded of who wrote the book on every page, without obscuring the text in any way.

LibreOffice makes adding a watermark to a document very easy. Once you place a watermark in a document, it will remain in that document (even if you export it as a PDF) until you remove it.

Let me show you how to add a watermark to a LibreOffice document.

How to add a watermark to a document in LibreOffice

What you will need: To do this, you’ll need to install LibreOffice on your desktop or laptop. Make sure your LibreOffice installation is up-to-date, so you have the latest features, bug fixes, and security patches. I will explain this process in version

On the LibreOffice document page, click Format > Watermark.

LibreOffice format list.

The watermark entry is found in the Format menu.

Screenshot by Jack Whalen/ZDNET

In the resulting pop-up window, type the text you want to use as a watermark. You can then format the watermark by specifying the font, angel, transparency, and color. One word of warning: more artistic fonts don’t always work with watermarks, so try to stick with a font with fewer elements and/or effects. You can test it on different lines by configuring as you like, clicking OK, and then checking the results. If the watermark text is unreadable, all you probably have to do is change the font.

Also: How LibreOffice’s new page number wizard works

I also prefer to set the watermark to around 75% transparency. The default 50% can be a bit distracting to the reader, and 75% is still visible enough, without getting in the way.

LibreOffice watermark configuration pop-up window.

The default values ​​may be fine for you, but you can change them to suit your needs.

Screenshot by Jack Whalen/ZDNET

If you reach the point in your workflow where you need to remove the watermark (for example when I send a manuscript to my publisher), open the Watermark dialog box (Format > Watermark), delete the text you added, and click OK.

And that’s all there is to adding a watermark to a LibreOffice document. This is a great way to add branding and minimal security to the documents you share with others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *