Watermark Brush in Photoshop Elements

You can create a Watermark Brush with Photoshop Elements. It's quick and easy to set up and once you have it created all you have to do is click once on any photo to Watermark it.

Click on the video below to watch and then go through the steps of the written tutorial below the video.

A Watermark is a subtle symbol built right into your photo that shows that it belongs to you. Many times it's simply a Copyright Symbol with your name or the name of your company. Here's an example:

It helps prevent others from using your photos without your permission. A legitimate concern when you put a photo out on the web. Whether it's on Facebook or somewhere else.

If you preview this tutorial it looks pretty long. Don't let that scare you away!

Creating the Brush is actually completed in the first 3 Steps. The rest of the steps explains how to use it on your photos. It's really pretty quick. I just gave lots of details and pictures so you can understand Exactly how to do it.

So let's get started!


Go up to the File Menu and choose New > Blank File….

In the Dialog Box that appears type a name in the Name Field. I called mine "Watermark".

Change the Width and Height Fields to Pixels by using the drop-down menus to the right of the fields. For the Width Field I used 1000 pixels which is pretty wide.

The reason I make it so wide is because if you have to resize it when you use it on a photo, you don't want to have to enlarge it because it might look distorted. It's better to reduce it when you resize it.

For the Height Field put in 200 pixels.

Since this is for the Web it doesn't need to be high resolution so I'm just using 72 pixels per inch.

Click OK.


Click on the Horizontal Type Tool in the Toolbox to select it.

Move your cursor over into the Working Space and click and drag diagonally from upper/left to lower/right to create a text box on a new Type Layer.

Make it almost as wide as your document, but don't worry too much about its size, you're just creating a text box. When you let go of your mouse you will have your text box and your cursor will be in the upper/left corner of it.

Now you can start typing. Don't worry about the Font or Type Size at this point.

First put the copyright (©) symbol in. On a PC you need to type Alt+0169 and use the numeric keypad to type the numbers. On a Mac press Option+G. Now add a space and type your name or company name or whatever you want. If your type goes to a second line and you want it all to be on one line, just keep typing and we'll fix it in a minute.

Select your type by pressing Control+A if you're working on a PC. If you're using a Mac press Command+A. Go up to the Options Bar and choose a Font you want your signature to be in. I'm going to use Arial. Click the Green Checkmark located to the far right of the Options Bar to commit to your Font choice.

OK, if you ended up with two lines of Type let's see how we can get it all on one line. We need to choose a smaller Font size.

Click once anywhere on your Text with the Type Tool to put your cursor within your Type. Now press Control+A(PC) or Command+A(MAC) to select your Type again.

Go up to the Options Bar again. The third field from the left edge of the Options Bar will have a number in it with the letters "pt" after it. Pt stands for Point and is the unit of measurement for Fonts.

Click on the tiny triangle to the right of that field and you will see different Font Sizes to choose from.

If you currently have 60 pt chosen, select 48 pt and see if that makes your Type small enough to fit on one line. If not, go to the next smallest size which in our example would be 36 pt. Keeping going down until all of your Type ends up on one line. Click the Green Checkmark to the right to accept.


Press Control+A(PC) or Command+A(MAC) to select the Type Layer. You'll see blinking dash lines or "Marching Ants" appear around the edges of your document window, indicating a Selection.

Go up to the Edit Menu and choose Define Brush from Selection…. A Dialog Box will appear.

Photoshop Elements watermark brush

Give your Brush a name in the Dialog Box. I'm going to call mine watermark. Click OK.

You have now created a Watermark Brush that you can use on any photo that you open in Elements!

Close your document without saving it. Don't worry, you really did create a new Brush, you CAN click Don't Save. We will Save it in the next step.


Start this step by creating a new folder on your computer that you can save your new Brush into. I named my new folder Watermark Brush.

Go to the Toolbox and select the Brush Tool by clicking on it.

Photoshop Elements watermark brush

Go up to the Options Bar and click on the little arrow in the upper right of the Brush Presets. You should find your new signature Brush at the bottom of the Preset List.

You might expect to see the name we gave it in Step 3 (which was watermark). But that's not how it works.

Instead it's called some number. That number is the diameter of the Brush. You will see the name you gave it if you hover your cursor over it.

Photoshop Elements watermark brush

Click on the Double Arrows to show the pop-up list. Go all the way to the bottom of the list and choose Save Brushes...

Photoshop Elements watermark brush

In the Dialog Box that appears navigate to the New Folder you created at the beginning of this step and give it a name in the Save As field.

Since this saves the whole set and not just the new brush, I named mine BasicWithWatermark so this new set will be all of the Basic Brushes with the addition of the new Watermark Brush.

There is a way to save just the Brush but it gets pretty complicated and I find that this works fine.

Click Save.


Now whenever you want to use your Watermark Brush you can first make sure the Brush Tool is active and then go up to the Options Bar. Click on the Brush Preview or the tiny arrow next to it to display all the Brushes and then click on the Double Arrows and choose Load Brushes from the pop-up list.

Navigate to your New Brush Set and click Load and you will see it in the Brush Preview (at the bottom of the list).


Open a photo in Elements that you want to put your watermark onto.

Now go to the Layers Panel. It should be over on the right side of your window. If you don't see it go up to the Window Menu and choose Layers.

Click on the Add a New Layer icon, it's the square with the curled up corner. That will add a new blank Layer named Layer 1 above the Background Layer for you to put your signature onto.


Go to the Toolbox and select the Brush Tool by clicking on it.

Make sure your Foreground and Background Colors are set to the default colors of Black and White. You can do that by pressing the letter "D" on your keyboard. The Foreground and Background Colors are represented by the two overlapping squares at the bottom of the Toolbox. The Foreground Color is the square on top and the Background Color is the square under it. Whatever color your Foreground Color is, that's the color your Brush will paint with.

You can switch the colors by pressing the letter "X" on your keyboard. It acts as kind of a toggle for switching your Foreground and Background Colors.

Make your Foreground Color Black if you are placing your signature over a light area of the photo and make it White if it's going over a darker area.


Now all you have to do is click once on the area of your photo where you want your signature and Voilá, you have a Watermarked photo!

As soon as I click my Watermark with the Brush Tool I press the letter "V" to switch from the Brush Tool to the Move Tool. If you keep the Brush Tool active, you'll keep seeing the outline of your Watermark whenever your Cursor is in the Active Work Area and it can be confusing and distracting.

At this point you can resize, rotate, and tone it down if you want..

To resize and/or rotate your signature go up to the Image Menu and choose Transform > Free Transform. A Bounding Box will appear around your signature. To resize click and drag on any of the handles at the four corners of the Bounding Box.

To rotate it hover your cursor just to the outside of any of the corners of the Bounding Box. When you get the curved arrow icon, then just click and drag up or down to the angle you desire. Click on the Green Checkmark to apply your changes.


Go back to your Layers Panel and make sure you have the Watermark Layer selected by clicking on it once. In the top-right part of your Layers Panel is an Opacity field. Click and drag the slider for the Opacity field to the left to lower the Opacity of your Watermark to whatever looks good for the area that you have it placed in your photo.

You probably don't want it too dark or it might distract from the photo, but you want to leave it dark enough to read. Now you can go up to the File Menu and choose Save for Web….

In the Dialog Box choose JPEG and Maximum and click OK.


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