Adding watermark to multiple photos could be tremendously time consuming, especially when you got a bunch of photos with different orientations; Portrait, Landscape, and square photos.
But what the heck we need this watermark anyway? Well, adding a watermark to your photos is a step that shouldn’t be ignored. First of all, because it can protect your authentic photos from being illegally used elsewhere. Second of all, because it is an added value to your branding, and it can become a powerful marketing tool that could drive more traffic to your business.
So, if you are asking yourself about a way to automate this task of mass watermarking, then you are in the right place. And YES, it is possible to accomplish this task using simple and easy steps in Photoshop CC. With Photoshop you have an awesome feature called Actions that allows you to record editing steps and apply same actions to multiple photos at once.
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At the end of this step by step tutorial, we will end up with photos just like this, and hope that his is the result you are looking for: If so let’s continue:
Disclaimer: All photos used in this article are downloaded from Unsplash.com website for the sake of this tutorial only, you can find all photos used listed from this link.
What are Photoshop actions and the Actions panel
An action is a series of tasks that you play back on a single file or a batch of files—menu commands, panel options, tool actions, and so on. For example, you can create an action that changes the size of an image, applies an effect to the image, and then saves the file in the desired format.
Actions can include steps that let you perform tasks that cannot be recorded (for example, using a painting tool). Actions can also include modal controls that let you enter values in a dialog box while playing an action. In Photoshop, actions are the basis for droplets, which are small applications that automatically process all files that are dragged onto their icon. To read more about Adobe Photoshop actions go ahead and click this link.
If you don’t want to watch the video tutorial, then you can continue reading the text version below:
Steps to follow:
Step 1. Locate your Watermark Logo
The first thing you need to do is to prepare your logo or signature that you want to use as your watermark. Preferably you must use a PNG image format with Transparent background.
- Open Photoshop, and from File -> Open
- Locate your PNG format logo or signature
- Then hit enter to open your PNG with Photoshop.
Please note that JPG/ JPEG format will not work in any way as a watermark, because it will contain always a background if not colored then 100% white. (See following image)
Step 2. Define your Watermark position:
Once you define your logo or signature, you need to decide how you want to place your watermark based on your branding and visual strategy you have. These are again upon your needs. You can place your watermark in any position you like, but the most common placements are:
- Centered watermark
- Bottom right corner watermark
- Bottom left corner watermark
- Up right corner watermark
- Up left corner watermark
If you want to have a centered watermark, you can skip following step and go directly to Step 4. However, if you want to place your watermark to any corner of your photos then keep reading, and follow carefully all steps to come.
Step 3. Prepare your logo for perfect watermarking
In order to place your watermark Logo to the corners, you should first check that your PNG logo format has enough margins. This will make your watermark alignment perfectly.
In following image, we added blue lines to demonstrate the edges of our watermark logo (1), and displayed in Red colour (2) how the transparent background looks like in a PNG format.
Make sure that your logo, has enough margin, and is 100% transparent. In case your logo is cropped to the edges (to the blue lines), then you should add margin space to your logo, therefore you need to increase the Canvas size. To do so, please follow these steps:
- From your Photoshop menu, go to Image and then Canvas Size. For a quick Shortcut to change canvas size: For PC users Control+Alt+c. For Mac user Command+Option+c
- Set the new Canvas width and height according your need. I would recommend to make your logo as a perfect square with equal sides, in this tutorial for instance we gave it 950×950 px. One done hit ENTER.
Now you will have enough margin space surrounding your logo, and this will make alignment to photo corners looks perfect.
NB: Even when adding enough margin to your logo, once you add your logo to other photos, Photoshop will somehow remove that empty space and instead crop the whole logo to its edges.
Following image shows how photoshop rendered our logo, while we added it to other photos. (1) All margin space is cropped by photoshop
And when we tried to align our logo to photo corners, photoshop gave following unpleasant result. (1) Logo Aligned to Bottom Right corner
So how can we avoid such behaviour from Photoshop ? Is there a trick ?
Yes, don’t worry we got you covered with following tips’n tricks, and for most photoshop versions, steps to follow work just fine:
Go back to your Logo, where you previously added margin spaces and open it with Photoshop again. (Please remember, you must have enough margin, as we already spoke above).
- All you need to do is to add a new layer to your logo. From Photoshop main menu, select Layer, and then New Layer. For quick Shortcut on PC (Shift + Control + n) and on Mac (Shift + Command + n) to Create a new layer. Give it a name and hit ENTER.
So the Trick in here is to fake Photoshop that we do not have any empty transparent space in our logo. Therefore no rendering nor cropping.
- You need to Add a Fill colour to previously created new Layer (Preferably White). For quick Shortcut on PC (Ctrl+Backspace) and on Mac (Cmd+Delete) for Background colour. And Foreground colour on PC (Alt+Backspace) and on Mac (Option+Delete).
- Then decrease the Layer Fill percentage all the way to zero %
- Next, select your newly created Layer, and Add a Layer Style – Stroke. Then change the Stroke size to one pixel, position to centre, and blend mode to Normal, then decrease the Opacity percentage all the way to 1%, this will make your Stroke invisible to human eye, but readable by photoshop.
- Finally, save your Logo file as a PSD, give it a name and hit enter.
Step 4. Create watermark photoshop action
Now that you have worked around your Logo, its time to go a bit deeper and create an action to perform batch watermarking. First of all, go ahead and select one random photo from your batch, and Open it with Photoshop. After that follow this steps to create Actions task.
- From the “Play” icon click to Open Actions window.
- If you don’t see it, go ahead from Photoshop main menu and select Window and then Actions.
- Then click on the “Create new action” plus button.
- Enter an Action name (e.g. “batch watermarking”) and hit “Record”. Photoshop will start recording all of your actions inside it. You can close the Actions panel to save some space on the screen – Photoshop will continue recording your actions.
PS: For future and better organised work flow, you may optionally create a set or group for your own actions by clicking on the Folder icon located on the left of the “Create new action” plus button. This may be useful, if you want to create a huge amount of actions, not only batch watermarking action alone.
- You can now see a red circle icon (1), which mean that Photoshop is recording every action you are doing, so you should be careful here.
- First action to record is adding your watermark logo to photo. To do so Go to File > Place Embedded.
- Locate your watermark file you saved earlier as PSD format, select it and hit Place or Choose depends on Photoshop version.
- Once you hit Place button, your logo will show up with a bounding box. You can resize your logo as you wish. However make sure you do it proportionally by holding shift key and drag down to the desired size. When happy, just hit the Enter key to embed it.
At this step, let’s agree to have your watermark located on the bottom-right corner of your photos.
- So select both layers, watermark logo and background photo.
- Then using your alignment buttons at the top, click align bottom and then align right.
- Your watermark logo will now be positioned perfectly on your photo and with a safe margin. Meaning that Photoshop did not removed any empty transparent background at all and your watermark is clearly separated from the edges of the photo with some free space around it.
If you want to position your watermark elsewhere than bottom right, you can do so by clicking align buttons accordingly.
- Now that you are happy with your watermark positioning, you can safely Stop recording your Actions. To do so, just click on the square icon next to red circle icon.
- Your Watermark Action is ready. You can now close your window without saving, don’t freak out everything is under control. You don’t need this file anymore, because you have already recorded all steps and actions.
Step 5. Begin watermark batch processing
Now that you are satisfy with your watermark positioning, and have recorded your Actions , which is the main important part of this Tutorial. You can next test watermark batch processing.
Before jumping to detailed steps, firstly, make sure that all your photos are in the same folder, and nothing else except those photos you want to watermark.
- From Photoshop main menu, select File > Scripts > Image Processor. It will then open a Dialog Box.
You can learn more about Image Processor on Adobe’s official site. They have other tutorials on how to use batch processing.
- From the pop-up window and first step is to select Folder that contains your photos. Click the Select button, navigate to the folder that you want to use, and click OK (in Windows) or Open (in Mac).
- Now that you have already selected the Folder that contains your photos.
- Next you can choose where to save processed photos. If you left default as Save in same Location, Photoshop will create a sub folder automatically for you.
- Then select your desired File Type, Quality and if you wish to resize final processed photos (I do not recommend to use this, especially if you have different photos, portrait and or landscape).
- In preferences, Check “Run Action“
- And then from Vignette selection, Select your previously recorded action in this tutorial we named it “Batch watermarking”
- Finally, hit “Run” button, to start the batch processing.
Upon you hit the Run button. You will see photo windows opening and closing simultaneously like crazy. And that’s because Photoshop is doing its magic, so basically Open Photo, Apply watermark, Resize it, Position it, and then Save each photo separately.
Once Photoshop stops the process. Go to your folder, you will notice the newly created subfolder named JPEG. You can now check your photos. All of them should be watermarked by now. If not check your Action steps, and follow back.
As you can see from following image; watermark is applied nicely to all photos regardless of its orientation (landscape, square and Portrait photos).
Step 6. Troubleshooting - Watermark logo is cropped out
Watermark Logo is cropped and isn’t aligned perfectly on photos?
Even if you follow Step 2, For some reasons you may face some issues with the alignment of your logo, and this could happen in some Photoshop versions. So basically, Photoshop removed all transparent space, cropped your logo and aligned it with no margins (as we already covered above see following image).
Step 7. Alternative Step
Watermark Logo is cropped and isn’t aligned perfectly on photos?
There is another Trick to fix this. As you recall in previous tasks you have set the Layer background Fill to 0%.
- Now you can change that, and keep the Layer background Fill at 100%, and instead decrease the Opacity to 1%. Then keep following other steps
Also, another workaround that is also fixing this issue:
- From your left menu, Select your brush tool (For quick shortcut press B to select the brush tool),
- Reduce the brush size to 1 pixel, and opacity to 50%.
- Make sure you have White colour selected, then draw one spot on each corner of your layer this way will ensure our logo’s safe borders, and photoshop won’t make any cropping nor rendering. Then keep following other steps.
PS: the red dot used in following image is for illustration purpose only.
That’s it for now, in this tutorial you have just automated your watermark process. So next time you got batch of photos, all you have to do is to follow from Step 5. And until you need to change something specific you don’t have to do anything else here.
We hope this article helped you learn how to Add Watermark to multiple photos automatically with Photoshop. If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more video tutorials.