How to watermark an image using GIMP

You’ve taken a bunch of pictures with your digital camera and you want to post them on the web. Of course, you don’t want other people stealing your work so you decide to add a watermark to your images. In this tutorial I will show you how to add a watermark to an image using GIMP, and open source image editing package.

The screenshots in this tutorial show GIMP running on Ubuntu Linux, however the steps are exactly the same if you’re running GIMP on Windows. Windows users can download the Windows version for free here.

Here are the before and after images:



  1. First, open your image in GIMP.

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  3. Now click on the Text Tool. It’s the button with the letter A.

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  5. Click on the little arrow to the top right of the foreground/background colours tool to make white the foreground colour. I also chose to increase the font size to 22px.

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  7. Now click within your image, somewhere near where you want your text to end up and you are presented with the GIMP Text Editor.

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  9. Type the text you want to appear as your watermark.

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  11. Click Close.

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  13. I wasn’t happy with the positioning of the text so I clicked the Move Tool. It’s the button that looks like a plus sign (+) with arrows on the ends.

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  15. Use the mouse to grab your text and drag it to the desired location. You must click directly on one of the letters, not the background behind the text.

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  17. Now open the Layers Dialogue. Click File -> Dialogues -> Layers.

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  19. You will notice that your image now has two layers. The top layer contains the text you just entered.

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  21. Make sure your text layer is highlighted, then move the Opacity slider to the left as far as you need to in order to achieve the desired opacity of your text.

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  23. Click File -> Save As.

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  25. Give your newly edited image a different name than your original image and click Save.

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  27. GIMP will now prompt you to export your image before saving it as a JPEG. Click Export.

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  29. Now you choose the quality of your new image. I chose the default of 85 and clicked Save.

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  31. Now you have a watermarked image that you can post on the web.
{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Jeroen March 24, 2009, 5:30 am

    Bedankt voor de goede uitleg.
    Ik was hier naar op zoek, werkt goed en makelijk zo.

    Groeten Jeroen

  • Khalil Sawant March 28, 2009, 10:34 pm

    Thanx, simple job well done :)

  • Jeroen March 29, 2009, 10:15 am

    Great verry nice prog. is Gimp.

    it is so easy on this way

    Thanks :-)

  • Robert July 18, 2009, 10:38 pm

    Thanks a lot. I knew there had to be a way to do it. Thanks for showing me the way.

  • Uncle B August 20, 2009, 7:36 am

    Great Stuff! Thank You!

  • Anonymous August 20, 2009, 6:25 pm

    I would also suggest using various layer blending modes, in particular, overlay and grain merge.

  • Twisted August 21, 2009, 4:19 pm

    Add a step 16. Before clicking save on step 15, click on advanced options and add a copyright comment to the image as well.

  • Sternchen April 25, 2010, 12:01 pm

    Das ist KEIN Wasserzeichen, dass ist einfach Schrift einf├╝gen!!!

  • mickey mouse June 30, 2010, 9:12 am

    so how do i do this for 500 images
    Lots of beer and 24hrs i guess?

  • John October 14, 2010, 7:29 am

    This simple tutorial was just right. Thanks.

  • Vickie January 12, 2011, 10:12 am

    Thank you for sharing this info! This seems a lot easier than some of the youtube tutorials. Thank you again!

  • MaryT January 12, 2011, 4:30 pm

    I have downloaded the most up to date version of GIMP. I wanted to watermark my photos and was able to follow step by step until step 9. I cannot open to “Layers Dialogue. I click on File but I do not see Dialogues or Layers. I tried going into the Layer section but Dialogues is not on there. Can you please help me.

  • Hihiho January 31, 2011, 11:50 am

    ich muss sternchen recht geben, wie soll ich das bei mehreren 100 bildern machen? da werde ich ja nie fertig? oder gibt es da noch nen trick? stappelverarbeitung?

  • Suzanne February 28, 2011, 2:20 pm

    On mine, “dialogs” is it’s own section on the top nav (not under File). From there – click Layers

  • Christina April 25, 2011, 4:19 pm

    Thank you that helped so much. Now i can have sheer elements in my scrapbooking pages.

  • Luke Venediger March 28, 2012, 5:49 pm


  • James May 13, 2015, 6:53 pm

    Thank you so much, I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but couldn’t find an article as comprehensive as this one ;-)

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