How to Add a Watermark an Image in Windows, macOS or Linux

This guide will show you how to add a watermark to a digital image using a free and open source image editor that works in Windows, macOS and Linux.

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, the 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 or macOS.

Here are the before and after images:



  1. First things first, downloaded GIMP and install it on your computer. No matter which operating system you’re using, the installation is a breeze.
  2. Now open your image in GIMP by selecting File -> Open…

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

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  6. 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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  8. 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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  10. Type the text you want to appear as your watermark.

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  12. Click Close.

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  14. 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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  16. 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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  18. Now open the Layers Dialogue. Click File -> Dialogues -> Layers.

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

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  22. 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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  24. Click File -> Save As.

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

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

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

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  32. Now you have a watermarked image that you can post on the web.

GIMP is also super helpful for stuff like removing the red eye from a photo.

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7 thoughts on “How to Add a Watermark an Image in Windows, macOS or Linux”

  1. 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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