Watermarker software is designed to place signatures or logos on top of images in order to assert copyright ownership. This protects an author’s content from plagiarism or theft because it makes it difficult to republish the image without permission. You may choose to use free watermark software or opt for paid-for versions.
Check these out before choosing the best free watermark software
Adding watermarks using photo editor software is great for protecting your still images, but they’re also useful for branding your photos on video. Timelapses and slideshow videos that appear on YouTube are easily reuploaded under other channel names and although the EXIF information may be stripped out, the watermark should still be visible. So take a look below to see how to add a watermark with our favourite and free watermarking softwares.
|Picverse Photo Editor||Windows and Mac||All-round photo editing|
|PhotoMarks||Windows and Mac||Batch watermarking|
|Arclab Watermark Studio||Windows||Multiple watermarks on images|
|Watermark Software||Windows||Fast processing|
|Format Factory||Windows||Photo and Video watermarking|
|uMark||Windows and Mac||Uses barcodes and QR codes too|
|Alamoon Watermark||Windows||Adding text and graphics as watermarks|
|Mass Watermark||Windows and Mac||Intelligent watermark placement|
|Water Marquee||Web-based||Online watermarking|
|JACo Watermark||Windows and Linux||Watermarking freeware|
|Motionbox||Windows and Mac||Pre-made templates|
|Star Watermark||Windows and Mac||Free, online watermarking|
|iWatermark Pro||Windows and Mac||Standalone and plug-in compatible|
|123 Watermark||Windows||Logo and QR code watermarks|
|TSR Watermark Image||Windows||Wordpress and FTP watermark sharing|
|Easy Watermark Studio||Windows||Raw file watermarking support|
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While you can watermark photos with freeware, a special pick that we’d like to highlight from the watermark softwares in the above table is Picverse Photo Editor. Available for both Windows and Mac, it functions as a watermark software but also doubles as a fully-fledged photo editing app in its own right. Though not free it does have a free trial, and it comes equipped with AI-powered tools to tweak images to perfection.
OS: Windows, Mac, iOS
CNET rating: 3.5/5
PhotoMarks is a watermarker software that works across desktop operating systems (both Windows and Mac) and also on portable devices, (iOS only) which means you can use it on images whenever and wherever you are. This watermark tool can be used to layer multiple lines of text over pictures and add text effects like stroke or shadow, making it ideal for photographers and other creators.
- Can export a file without quality loss
- Supports batch editing
- The full version requires purchasing
- The interface might seem a bit old-stylish
Softpedia rating: 2.5/5
If you’ve ever wondered how to put a watermark on a photo without Photoshop®, then Watermark Studio by Arclab may be the watermarking tool for you. Not only does it support multi-layers but other features such as resizing and converting file formats (such as JPEG, PNG, and TIFF) make it simple to export web-optimized pictures.
- Able to resize and convert files to some formats
- Many great watermark designs
- The trial version adds its own watermark
- Managing a batch of files might be hard
A key feature that comes from Watermark Software is its ability to add a QR code as a watermark. For users in commercial work, this is essential for directing customers to company websites. You can also watermark using the metadata from the image to include EXIF settings. Watermark Software is also available as a separate program called Video Watermark for adding watermarks for movies and each is available for free and for purchase.
- Can add a QR code as a watermark
- Supports invisible marks (EXIF)
- Hard to additional guides if needed (because of the program name)
- The full version is not free
CNET rating: 3.7/5, 341 reviews
As far as watermark programs go, Format Factory is relatively comprehensive for free watermark software for Windows 10. Able to process both still photos and videos, it appeals to users who need to work with both media. It’s a flexible watermark app for PC because it also handles audio accompanying video when outputting finished results.
- Has many useful functions apart from creating watermarks
- Might install extraneous software
OS: Windows, Mac
CNET rating: 4/5
uMark is a watermarking program that handles bulk images processing easily. Easily stamp your name, barcodes or QR codes to pictures to make it easier for viewers to navigate back to the original author. It’s also available in eight languages, making it more accessible than other softwares for watermarking images.
- Can add barcodes or QRs
- Supports batch processing
- In the free version, adds the uMark logo
- Might be hard to work with several folders
Soft112 rating: 2.7/5 out of 6 reviews
If you need to add text or graphics to your digital images then Alamoon offers itself both as a free photo watermark software and as a paid-for version. Users that prefer to opt for a logo rather than a simple text watermark can upload and edit their design placement before exporting to multiple major file formats.
- Add text and graphics to images
- Add comments to annotate photos individually
- User interface is dated
OS: Windows and Mac
CNET rating: 4.3/5 out of 3 reviews
An all-in-one software to add a watermark to digital images, Mass Watermark can also resize, add EXIF data, and optimize photos for web use all at the same time. It even has a batch processing function which can process hundreds of photos in a minute. There are even some basic retouching editing tools to perfect images before publishing.
- Web optimized photos
- Ability to resize images
- Basic editing tools could be expanded
- App tools make for a cluttered workspace
Users looking for watermarking software for free can turn to Water Marquee. This free watermark software is online so can be accessed via any kind of device so long as it’s connected to the internet, meaning you can even add a watermark on your smartphone when travelling. There is a full version that provides unlimited photo processing, to any size, and it even includes premium fonts and templates, but once you buy it, it’s yours to keep.
- Access from any browser
- Free version to try before you buy
- Remove restrictions requires purchase
- Not dedicated software
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
SourceForge rating: 4.4/5 out of 9 reviews
This watermark software is freeware as it’s a Java Open Source application. Natively, it supports Windows 7, Linux Mint, and Fedora, but it should be compatible with later versions of the operating system as well. It’s pretty basic, but you’ll be able to add your own text and images as watermarks to photography and review it before saving. Looking for something that’s both software and freeware? JACo Watermark has your back.
- Open-source watermarking freeware
- Free to all and functions well
- Hasn’t been updated for years
- Image manager could be cleaner
OS: Windows, Mac
A little more slick in design than many others in this round-up, Motionbox can be used as a free photo editing software to add a watermark but can also apply automatic subtitle captions to video content. There are plenty of templates and themes to work with for users that want to match their brand or content style.
- Modern, easy to use interface
- Extra features such as automatic subtitles
- Not dedicated watermark software
- Free trial but purchase required for full use
OS: Windows, Mac
CNET rating: 2.5/5
Watermarking is all about promoting brands and/or protecting intellectual property and you don’t want to be limited by the platform from which you’re working, which is why Star Watermark is available for both Windows and Mac. A simple user interface makes this easy to use, and there’s even a separate option for watermarking PDF files, as well as image files.
- Two paid-for versions with additional features
- Image alterations are accurate
- Trial version only allows 2 watermarked images
- Technical understanding of pixel size required to resize
OS: Windows, Mac
MacUpdate rating: 4/5 out of 41 reviews
iWatermark Pro is perfect for photographers because it’s compatible with all major picture file formats and even works with raw files. Aimed as a watermarking software to work within other image editing softwares, iWatermark Pro can be loaded in Lightroom, Photoshop®, Picasa, Photos, and many others.
- Windows and Mac compatible
- Use as plug-in in other image editing software
- Can be a little too technical for beginners
- No free trial
Softpedia rating: 4/5 out of 5 reviews
Complemented by a slick, contemporary interface, 123 Watermark makes it simple to add watermarks thanks to its in-built guide, perfect for beginners. Change the opacity of layers to make an invisible watermark, or simply add a watermark that stands out to put others off. It can even upload to Dropbox, Onedrive, and Google Drive for fast transfers.
- Easy to navigate
- Built-in tutorial guide
- Last update was 2020
CNET rating: 4.5/5
Purposefully marketed as easier to use than Adobe® Photoshop®, TSR Watermark Image is designed to make adding watermarks quick and easy. There’s an in-built one-click upload to Wordpress and FTP for easy web transfer and there’s even a 90 day free trial for those who want to try before they buy.
- Free to use
- Change opacity of watermarks
- Windows OS-only
- Last update more than five years ago
CNET rating: 4/5
Easy Watermark Studio comes with a free, lite version and a fully paid-up option for users that need to use this more regularly. As a software for watermarks it operates flexibly, compatible with raw files, and even animated GIFs - perfect for social media use. The latest version includes a batch processing option, too.
- Interface looks dated
- Limited file format output
- No Mac version
How we chose the winning watermarker software
We had some strict guidelines to follow for all the watermarking software looked at in this article. The software had to be easy to use, powerful enough to process batch files quickly and be stable and free from bugs. Below is a short run-down on how we chose the winner:
- Up-to-date release versions
- Compatible on wide variety of systems including Windows and macOS
- Simple but effective graphical user interface
- Consistently provided a good result
- Stable operation, not showing glitches or problems when processing larger files
- Single and batch processing-capable
Frequently asked questions
Why do you need watermark software?
To protect your photographs from plagiarism and outright cyber thieves. It’s imperative to do this when publishing photos on the internet because it’s so simple to republish images. Including copyright metadata in your image files is fine, but this can be stripped out using computer software and shouldn’t be relied upon for fully protecting your intellectual property. Generally though, if you watermark a photo with freeware it’s likely to have fewer features and process images a little slower. Either way, in this guide we’ve rounded up the best watermarking software for you to choose from.
How can I add a watermark to my photos?
- In any watermarking software listed above the first step is to load your desired photo/s into the software of choice.
- Next select the watermark function and either type your desired text or upload a logo/graphic.
- Now alter the watermark, changing its size, colour, transparency and position on the photo. You may want to tile the design so the watermark appears across the entire photograph.
- Once you’re happy with the placement apply the watermark to all of the uploaded photos (if working on a batch process).
- Export the images, paying attention to convert or resize the exported photos to your desired output (i.e. web-optimized sizes and formats for online use).
How can I add a watermark to my video?
The process for adding watermarks to video is similar to the photo option above. For an in-depth look at how to do this, and to watch a video which demonstrates how to do this in Movavi Video Suite take a look here:
Is it illegal to remove watermarks?
A watermark isn’t necessarily a proof of ownership, because anyone could download your images or videos and place their own watermark on it. However, if the watermark is placed on there by the copyright holder of the intellectual property and someone else were to purposefully remove some or all of it by way of cropping or cloning the image, this infringes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and is seen as unlawful and the offender could receive a fine if found out. Copyright is something that changes between territories and countries, so if you’re in doubt search for your local copyright law online to make sure. The World Intellectual Property Organization's website is a good place to start.
How do you put a watermark on a photo without Photoshop®?
Standalone watermarking software is widely available, choose from any of the watermark programs from this list and you’ll be able to use it without owning Photoshop® – some even work within Photoshop® as a plug-in though, should you wish to do that.
How can I create my own watermark?
It’s as simple as entering the text into your watermarking software and letting the program do the rest. However, you could also make a logo or other graphic in an image editing software and then upload it to the watermarking application for more unique stamps.
What is the best free watermark software for Windows 10/8/7?
The best free watermark softwares are applications that run reliably, are simple to use, and give accurate results - even across batch processed images. We’d recommend: Picverse Photo Editor, PhotoMarks, Arclab Watermark Studio, and iWatermark Pro for their good user interfaces and compatibility with multiple file types.
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