Print A Watermark On A Spreadsheet

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. Is there a way to print a watermark on a spreadsheet? I know I can add one in Word, but I can’t seem to do it in Excel.

A. Oddly, although Microsoft lets you print a watermark in Word, it offers no solution in Excel. However, there is a way to do it, and while it takes several steps, it’s not too difficult. (To learn how to do it in Word, see the December 2003 Technology Q&A column.)

Begin by opening the WordArt toolbar in Excel ( View, Toolbar, WordArt ) and then click on the left-most icon (a right-leaning A ) that reads Insert WordArt when you pass your cursor over it.

That opens a selection of styles in the WordArt Gallery . Pick a style and click on OK .

Replace the word WordArt and type the text of your watermark—for example, DRAFT . Click on OK .

If you want the word to be in another color or you want it to be somewhat transparent—that is, less color dense so the underlying data on the spreadsheet will show through—right-click directly inside that text and click on Format WordArt.

The Format WordArt screen that appears defaults to the Colors and Lines tab and the color defaults to black.

You can play with the various formatting options offered in the screen, but I would suggest the following: Set Transparency to at least 70% and click on No Fill and then on OK . Finally, right-click anywhere in the watermark text, and from the shortcut menu that appears, select Order and Send to Back .

You now have a watermark, and you can adjust its size by clicking in it and with your mouse pulling on the corner boxes that appear. You also can move its location on the spreadsheet, again with your mouse.

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