Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta 2: Watermarking

One of the biggest disappointments in the Lightroom feature set to date has been the very poor watermarking feature. While Beta 1 included a few more things, it was still no replacement for LR2/Mogrify which any hard-core Lightroomer has had to resort to. (ok, I thought about calling us Liters, but that didn’t sound right either)

With Lightroom 3 beta 2, watermarking has finally grown up, pretty much copying feature for feature from LR2/Mogrify. LR2/Mogrify still wins if you need to add different borders around your image and even place watermarks in the logos, but most of us are going to be quite happy with the new built-in watermarking tool.

To use the new watermarking tool, simply go to the Export dialog box from clicking on the Export button in the Library module or go to the Edit menu and select “Edit Watermarks”.

The image above shows the watermark selection and editor from within the Export dialog box. Once you select the Edit Watermarks, you will be taken to the Watermark Editor.

The Watermark editor will let you create text or graphical watermarks. I think most people will probably stick with the graphic one since the text version only allows for a single font and style to be used so if you have a multi-line and/or multi font/style text logo, you will not be able to recreate it in the text mode.

For graphical watermarks, you can use either a JPG or a PNG file. I recommend using a PNG so you can use transparencies instead of being stuck with a box shape for your logo. You can also set the opacity level (transparency) and determine the size within the image. I like using a proportional size of about 30% myself with a 2×2 Inset just to bring it away from the edges a little. Finally, you can select where on the screen you would like it to go.

The following image is an example of the type of output you can get using the new Lightroom 3 beta 2 watermarking tool.

While this new watermarking tool will mean a lot of people don’t need to go to third-party tools, it could still use a little improvement. My suggestions would include the following:

  • Allow for the use of Photoshop .PSD files
  • Provide multiple effects settings based on image orientation
  • Provide some basic border controls
  • Allow for custom rotation angles
  • Ability to use filenames as watermarks

Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to have this new ability and I personally won’t need another tool now. I suspect this is where the Lightroom watermarking will most likely end up and if you need more advanced watermarking, you can use LR2/Mogrify.  Check it out and have some fun with it, you now have no reason not to watermark your images.


Kerry Garrison lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two dogs. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms.

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5 Responses

  1. Shawn Fields says:

    now, how do we keep photoshop cs5 from taking them off?!

  2. wolfnowl says:

    Thanks for this!

    BTW, I’ve added you to my ‘Ligtroom Links’ page:


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