If you are someone who works on PDF Files, you must have seen how PDFs have watermarks. These watermarks are sometimes irritating as they disrupt the look of the document and also prevent the readers from viewing all the content of the document. Thus, we sometimes need to remove these watermarks for better access to the documents. There are various online and offline ways to remove watermarks from PDF files. Let us learn about them here.

Definition of a Watermark

A watermark is mostly some text, an image, or a pattern placed on a document. It can be in front of or behind the existing content of the document. Sometimes, we see files that have the word ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ written in bold letters. These have watermarks on their pages that contain sensitive information.

Watermarks are like stamps that are integrated into documents. They are fixed and can’t be moved, changed, or deleted by anyone reading the file. A DF can have more than one watermark too, different for different pages of a document.

Why do some PDF Files need a watermark?

  1. One most common reason behind putting a watermark is to prevent unauthorized use of a document. Watermarks make documents difficult to read and thus increase the security of the document.
  2. PDF watermarks are used to claim ownership of content. This can avoid copyright issues, issues of theft, and misuse of content.
  3. Watermarks are also used to show the authenticity/legitimacy of a document. The watermarks differentiate original documents from duplicate ones.

How to remove watermark from PDF File Offline (for free)

Sometimes, when you don’t have access to the internet or don’t want to use online tools, there are 2 offline ways to remove watermarks from pdf for free. These are by using Windows and Mac.

Using MS Word to remove watermark offline

  • Right-click on the PDF File you want to edit and choose ‘Open with’ and then ‘MS Word’.
  • A window will pop up with a warning- “the resulting Word document will be optimized to allow you to edit the text, so it might not look exactly like the original PDF,” Tap on OK to open your PDF document in an editable word format.
  • After the document opens, click on the Design option at the top of the word file and then select ‘Watermark’. Select Remove Watermark to remove all watermarks on the document. One can also delete the watermarks manually, that is one at a time.
  • Once you are through, go to ‘Save As’ in the main menu and choose PDF to save the edited file in PDF Format.

Using professional software to remove watermark from PDF offline

Dedicated software like Adobe Acrobat is one of the best means to remove a watermark. This program has created PDF format so there is no doubt that it can easily edit such documents as well. However, these softwares are mostly paid for and you need to buy them to use them. Free trials are available but they last a limited time. Steps to use Adobe Acrobat are-

  • Install Adobe Acrobat Pro on your Windows/Mac device.
  • Open the application and import the watermarked PDF file to the workstation.
  • Tap on the main menu at the top of the screen and select Tools and then the Edit option.
  • The editing toolbar will be reflected. In that toolbar, select the watermark option and then choose remove.
  • A message will pop up to confirm if you want to permanently remove the watermark or not. Click on Yes and the watermark will be removed.

Removing Watermark from PDF Files Online (for free)

2 simplest means to remove watermark from PDF Files online are by using Google Docs and by using online editors.

Using Google Docs to remove watermark from PDF Files Online

  • Log in to your Google Drive from Windows or Mac device.
  • Upload the watermarked PDF file to your device.
  • Right-click on the uploaded file and select Open with and then Google Docs.
  • Once the file has opened in Google Docs, the watermark itself becomes editable. Delete the watermark manually.
  • Save the document as a PDF and you will have a new PDF File without the watermark.

Note- This method can be used for PDF Files under 2MB in size.

Using Online Tools to remove watermark from PDF Files Online

There are many tools available online for free that help in removing watermarks from PDF Files. These include pdfFiller, about which we are talking today-

  • Go to the official website of pdfFiller.
  • Import the watermarked PDF File from your device or any other source.
  • Once the document is added, a new screen will come up for editing it. Click on the Edit watermark button on the right side.
  • On the panel that comes up, uncheck the box along the watermark to remove it and select the close button.
  • On the next screen, click on Done to save the changes you have made.
  • Download the PDF File on your Windows or Mac device.

FAQs about removing watermarks

1. Can watermarks be removed from encrypted PDFs?

It depends on the type of encryption password used for the PDF. If the file is locked with an open password, then you can’t view or edit the PDF. But if it is secured with a permission password, you can access it and then remove the watermark.

2. What are the reasons that watermarks can’t be removed from some PDFs?

PDF you are trying to edit might be a scanner image of a PDF document and not created on Word or PDF software.

PDF File might be password protected from making any kind of changes to it.


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