Group objects to create a copyright watermark

Grouping objects in Word can be tricky if you don’t know the rules. The catch is that all of the objects you are grouping must be floating objects. Some objects are inserted as inline objects by default in Word and others as floating objects.

Thankfully, it’s a pretty simple matter to convert each object to a floating object, and then group them.

A common customer request is to create a copyright watermark for a photograph you want to share. We’ll create the watermark with WordArt, place it on the photo, and then group the watermark and the photo so they are a single object.

watermark on a photo 

Insert the photo in your document

Open a blank Word 2010 document (this procedure won’t work if any of the objects or the document is from an earlier version of Word).

On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Picture, and then select the photo you want to use. Click Insert.

Click the photo to select it. This is important because the Picture Tools Format tab doesn’t appear unless the photo is selected.

On the Picture Tools Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Position.

Select any one of the With Text Wrapping options to convert the photo to a floating object. I like to choose an option that doesn’t change the position of my photo on the page.

Insert the watermark in your document

Click where you want the WordArt to appear on your photo.

On the Insert tab, in the Text group, click WordArt. Click the WordArt style you want for your copyright text. I used Fill – White, Drop Shadow.

Replace the sample text with your own copyright information. You can move around the watermark and even rotate it to get it positioned where you want it on the photo.

While the WordArt text box is selected, on the Drawing Tools Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Position, and choose a With Text Wrapping option as you did with the photo.

Group the photo and the watermark

While pressing Shift on your keyboard, click the photo and the watermark. Both objects are now selected.

On the Picture Tools Format tab, in the Arrange group, click Group, and then Group again. The photo and the copyright now function as a single object.

Note After you’ve grouped the objects, you can continue to make changes. In this example, you can change the rotation of the WordArt, change the style of the WordArt, or apply artistic effects to the picture. You can even change the position of the objects within the group.

For more about grouping objects in Word 2010, see Group or ungroup shapes, pictures, or other objects. For more about inserting watermarks in documents, see Insert a watermark or change a watermark.

leslie h. cole