How to Remove Watermarks in Excel & Google Sheets

Written by

Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Laura Tsitlidze

Last updated on August 16, 2023

This tutorial demonstrates how to remove watermarks in Excel and Google Sheets.

remove watermarks in excel

Watermarks in Excel can be created as a background picture, header or footer, or as an object (WordArt). They can be useful when printing a document you want to label as a draft, confidential, etc.

Remove a Background Watermark

The first possibility is that the watermark has been inserted as a background picture. You can recognize that the image is inserted as a background when it’s repeating on the sheet (on each page).

▸ To delete this sort of watermark, in the Ribbon, go to Page Layout > Page Setup > Delete Background.

remove background watermark

There’s no watermark now.

remove background watermark 2

Remove a Watermark From a Header or Footer

If the watermark wasn’t added as a background image, it might be in the sheet’s header or footer.

▸ To check whether the watermark is inserted as header or footer, go to View > Workbook Views > Page Layout.

remove background header and footer

Here you can see that this watermark repeats at the top of each page; this means that it was inserted as a header.

  1. In the Ribbon, go to Insert > Header & Footer.

remove background header and footer 2

  1. In this view, you can see the watermark, but it doesn’t appear directly in the header box. Instead, the image is represented as &[Picture]. To remove the watermark, delete “&[Picture]” from the header box.

remove background header and footer 3

As you can see below, the watermark is removed when you delete “&[Picture]” from the box.

remove background header and footer 4

Remove a WordArt Watermark

Another possibility for adding a watermark is to add it as an object, like WordArt, or a printable background image. If the watermark was added this way, delete it by following these steps:

  1. In the Ribbon, go to Home > Find & Select > Go To Special.

remove background object

  1. In the Go To Special window, choose Objects and click OK.

remove background object 2

  1. Excel considers the watermark an object and selects it. Press DELETE on the keyboard.

remove background object 3

As with the previous methods, the watermark is now removed from the sheet.

Remove Watermarks in Google Sheets

In the past, Google Sheets didn’t provide the functionality for adding a watermark to a worksheet. The closest workaround solution is to create a watermark as a drawing with text (WordArt), as pictured below.

google sheets watermark object

  1. To delete the watermark, first click on the object to select it.
  2. Then click on the three dots in the upper-right corner of the object to display the menu.
  3. Choose Delete.

google sheets watermark object 2

Now the watermark is removed from the worksheet in Google Sheets.

remove background watermark 3

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