Who Says You Can't Create a Watermark in Excel?

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q: My firm’s tech support guy says watermark functionality is not available in Microsoft Office Excel 2003. I can’t see how Microsoft could have left it out. Accountants typically have to be able to circulate a financial report with such words as CONFIDENTIAL or DRAFT printed in light type right behind the numbers. Is my tech guy right?

 

A: Your support person is technically right. Notice he said “watermark functionality.” In other words, hard as it is to believe, the watermark is not a built-in function in either Excel 2003 or 2007, although, oddly, it is available in Word. However, there are workarounds.

 

One involves simply using your printer’s capabilities. Many printers have a watermark feature built in. Check your printer’s documentation to see if yours has that feature. Or you can quickly discover whether it has that function by accessing the printer (Ctrl_P) and then clicking on Properties (see screenshots below).

 

 

If your printer lacks that function, another option is to create a watermark in Word and print as many sheets as you’ll need, put them in the paper tray and print the spreadsheets on them. To do that in Word 2003, go to Format, Background, Printed Watermark. That opens the Printed Watermark screen (see screenshots below). Fill in your options.

 

In Word 2007, go to Page Layout and in the Page Background group, click on Watermark and follow the directions. To view a watermark as it will appear on the printed page, use the Print Layout view.

 

 

SPONSORED REPORT

Why cybercriminals are targeting CPAs

This free report expands on the most commonly found scams, why education and specialized IT knowledge help to lessen security vulnerabilities, and why every firm should plan carefully for how it would respond to a breach.

PODCAST

How tax reform — and Excel — are changing the CPA Exam

Mike Decker, the vice president of examinations at the AICPA, discusses changes being made to the exam as a result of tax reform — and about how Excel will now be available for use on the test.