Some photographers use a subtle watermark to ‘sign’ their artwork. Others use it as part of their branding, promoting their website. Many believe a watermark helps to discourage people from stealing their photographs. All Lightroom versions allow you to add a text or graphical watermark to photos as you export them, so we’ll look at text watermarks this week, and graphical watermarks next week.
You can design and select your chosen watermark in the Watermarking section of the Export dialog.
In Lightroom Classic’s Export dialog, check the Watermark checkbox and then select Edit Watermarks from the pop-up to create a watermark preset.
With Lightroom Desktop (cloud-based), select Custom Settings in the Export dialog and enable Include Watermark, and then click on the cog icon to access the watermark settings.
On mobile, enable the Include Watermark switch in the Export Options, then tap Customize to design your watermark.
To design a text watermark, select Text at the top of the dialog, and then enter your text in the text entry field. To add a © copyright symbol, hold down Alt while typing 0169 on the number pad (Windows) or type Opt-G (Mac).
Text watermark options
Use the options in the Text Options section to choose the content and style of your watermark:
Text—You will have different reasons for watermarking. You may decide to use your name and copyright symbol, business name, website, social media handle, or any combination. You may find text is less distracting in all capital letters rather than a mix of upper and lower.
Font & Style—On the desktop, Lightroom can access many of the fonts installed on your system. The mobile apps are more limited, so for consistency, you may want to choose one that’s available on all of your devices. You can also choose a bold or italic variant.
Color & Drop Shadow—Neutral tones are less distracting than color, so Lightroom only offers black or white. These can be toned down to shades of gray using the Opacity slider. Adding a drop shadow to a white watermark can help it remain legible on a light area of the photo.
Alignment—The alignment buttons (LR Classic only) apply to the text alignment within the bounding box and they only come into effect when you have multiple lines of copyright text.
When you’re happy with your watermark, save the settings by pressing Done. To start over, click Cancel to return to the Export dialog without saving your changes.
To apply your watermark to photos as you save or share them, enable the Watermark checkbox (LR Classic) / Include Watermark switch (LR Cloud) when exporting. Note that watermarks don’t display on shared web galleries.
Once you’ve decided on the content of your text watermark, you can set the size and position on the photo. The settings are very similar, whether you’re using Lightroom Classic or the Lightroom Cloud ecosystem.
Opacity—Depending on the purpose of the watermark, you may want to reduce the opacity to fade it into the photo, making it less obvious.
Size—The Proportional (LR Classic) / Size (LR Cloud) slider is relative to the size of the photo, so it automatically adjusts for horizontal and vertical photos.
Anchor & Inset/Offset Distance—You set the position of the watermark by anchoring it to one of 9 points on the corners, edges or center of the photo, and then add additional spacing using the Inset (LR Classic) / Offset (LR Cloud) sliders. Traditionally, artists have signed their work in the lower left or right corner, inset slightly from the edges of the frame.
Rotation—By rotating the watermark by 90°, you may find it’s less distracting, as your viewers will be less inclined to stop and read it.
Next time, how to use graphical watermarks!
For extensive information on Lightroom Classic, see Adobe Lightroom Classic – The Missing FAQ.
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