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Can I Remove a Watermark from a Picture?

Tips On Removing Watermarks From Photos


Watermarked Photo

Many photos are watermarked for copyright protection. How hard is it to remove these watermarks? Should you even try?

© S. Chastain

Question: Can I Remove a Watermark from a Picture?

Recently the question of removing watermarks has come up in the discussion forum.

"I have several pictures on a CD that have a watermark on them and I would like to know how to remove them." [Join the Discussion]

"Can someone tell me how to remove a watermark using Photoshop? I have several pictures with watermark and want to remove them without leaving a mark." [Join the Discussion]

Answer: People generally put a watermark on a picture to acknowledge the creator and because they don't want the images to be altered or used without permission. A watermark is intentionally hard to remove. Graphic design, digital art, and photography are valuable skills and the artists should be recognized and compensated for their time and their work. If you want to use someone else's photos or images, you should purchase them or ask permission.

Some graphics software will also put a watermark on your images when the software is used in trial mode. In this situation, you should purchase the software to remove the watermark limitation.

If the watermarked photos are your own and you somehow lost access to the originals, you're going to have to do some time-consuming and tedious work with the clone or healing tools in your photo editing software. Some of the tips in my article on Removing a Date from a Photo might help, but given the sensitive nature of this query, that's about the best help you're likely to get on the subject.

There are other types of watermarks, also known as digital signatures or digimarks, which are not always visible, but they prevent unauthorized use of a graphic. These types of digital watermarks are designed to be impossible to remove.

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