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What is Watermarking Software?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

Watermarking software is a type of computer program that allows a person to edit and mark a picture or image with a word, phrase, or other indicator in order to identify the source of that image. This is typically done in commercial photography, or to display images on the Internet and ensure that others do not try to take credit for the work. Watermarking can also be used to identify an image as belonging to a certain website or to otherwise convey information on an image without completely obscuring the work. Watermarking software can come in a number of different forms, from purchasable programs with image editing options, to freeware that allows simple watermarking and little else.

The Internet has made it easier than ever before for an artist to demonstrate his or her work and create an online portfolio for others to view, purchase, and otherwise enjoy the artist’s work. One of the problems with creating portfolios of artwork or photography on the Internet, however, is that other people can easily download and use an artist’s images and potentially take credit for the artist’s work. By placing a watermark on an image, the artist is able to easily establish an image as belonging to him or her, and more easily prevent others from using the work without permission.

Watermarking software.
Watermarking software.

Watermarking software is typically designed to make this process easier and faster. Such programs may also include some basic image editing tools as well. These types of watermarking software can even be powerful photograph or image manipulation programs that allow for easy watermarking in addition to providing other editing tools. The watermark “stamped” onto the image is usually of a fairly low opacity to allow the image to still be viewed and appreciated, but to also convey contact information for a photographer or copyright information.

How an artist places a watermark on a piece of art typically depends on what that watermark is intended to do on an image. Sometimes an artist will use watermarking software to place a watermark completely across a picture to ensure the image cannot be used by anyone else. Other times a watermark could be more subtle, or only located in a corner of the image to provide useful information but otherwise not obstruct viewing of the image. Some watermarking software will also allow a user to save certain watermarks or patterns of watermarking to quickly and easily watermark numerous images over a long period of time.

Discussion Comments


A real problem with watermarks is that some people steal the images anyway and display them with the watermark. Also, some people have gotten good at simply removing the watermarks and eliminating all the information identifying the image as belonging to you.

In addition to a watermark, then, another way to protect your image is to grab your favorite image editing software package and simply embed a message in it when you save the file. That message can contain your copyright information and whatever you want in it. If you are not sure how to embed that text message, look at your your manual and find out how.


One problem with watermarks is that some people are very skilled at removing them and stealing your photograph, anyway. If you get a watermarking program, you want to make sure the manufacturer is aware of that practice and has taken steps to fight it. It is also good to get such software from a company that updates often so as to add more image swiping tools to your arsenal.

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    • Watermarking software.
      By: Mircea Maties
      Watermarking software.