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Add Watermark to PDF Documents: Tip for Lawyers

Add a watermark to a PDF document to make it instantly more manageable. Learn more.

In a busy office, managing documents can be challenging. Drafts get mistaken for final copies. Embargoed content gets published. Confidential documents are leaked.

The consequences of document mishandling can be incredibly damaging. If sensitive information is accidentally exposed, you can be fined or reprimanded for failing to protect confidentiality. Client relationships might suffer. 

How watermarks can help

Fortunately, there is a way to prevent document mishandling and discourage leaks.

We recommend using watermarks—non-editable content that appears behind other elements on a page—on PDF documents you share both internally and externally.

A watermark can be an imprint, scribble, piece of text, or even an image with transparency.   

Text snippets with the words Draft, Confidential, and Embargoed are some of the most commonly used watermarks. They help prevent mishandling by clearly informing the recipient of the document’s status.

But any image or text can be turned into a watermark. Many organizations and individuals create custom watermarks for documents so that they are able to trace their path. PDFpen user Mark explained this in detail:

“In the past, I’ve needed to send out my CV as a PDF to different agencies, but then they would broadcast fax my CV to facilities where I might already be working, irritating the agency with whom I’ve already contracted. Custom watermarking the PDF allows me to attribute to which agency the CV came from.”

By applying a custom watermark containing the company logo and a username, organizations discourage recipients from leaking documents and make it possible to identify the source of a leak if it does occur.

Add watermark to PDF using PDFpen 

PDFpen version 10 and later supports the application of watermarks. You can:

  • Create text and image-based watermarks
  • Apply to:
    • All pages
    • A range of pages
    • A selected page
    • Even pages
    • Odd pages
  • Choose the opacity and angle (rotate 45° or 90° degrees)
  • Add watermarks to hundreds of pages at once

What PDFpen users say about the watermark feature

“You may have some documents that are not in final form or are confidential and need to have their pages marked accordingly, and others that need to display some sort of corporate or organization brand. PDFpen gives you watermarks to satisfy that need.”
– Michael E. Cohen, Take Control of PDFpen

“My favorite new [PDFpen] feature is the watermark function. I am kind of particular about the typography in my watermarks and now I can import and create my Futura based all-caps watermarks to my heart’s content.”
– David Sparks, MacSparky

“It took 2 or 3 minutes to apply the watermark to all several hundred pages of the score, but it [PDFpen] only required the one instruction and then got on with things at its own pace.”
– David Ward, Finale Forum

Add watermark to PDF using PDFpen

PDF watermarking is just one of the methods you can use to protect sensitive legal documents. PDFpen has other features, which can be used in combination for effectively securing PDFs. These include password protection, redaction, and third-party metadata removal. Try our PDF security features for free. Download a 30-day trial of PDFpen.

Learn more about securing PDFs: