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Establish ownership of your photos by creating a simple visible watermark

With the ability to copy an image off the web as easily as right-click and save, a simple and quick way to protect your images is visible watermark. When it comes to watermarks, however, you either love or hate them. They tend to look ugly and can ruin an image, but they’re a necessary evil if you want to protect your photos from being used by someone else. It’s a controversial subject — we don’t really like them — but there are plenty of people who take no issue with using the simple identifiers.

More: DxO One update lets you easily slap a watermark on photos before you share them

Watermarks don’t have to look awful, however, assuming you go about implementing them in a subtle manner. Placing a watermark can be a simple or elaborate process, depending on how involved and fancy you want to get. You could use a photo editor and slap some text over it, for example, or overlay a faded icon atop the image in question. Whatever your fancy, here are a few basic ways to add a simple watermark to your photos.

The fast and easy way

The easiest way to add some form of copyright to your image is to use the text tool in any photo-editing program (heck, even Paint will do the job) and tag your name on it. You can do it discreetly by writing it in a corner, in small font size, or plastering it over the entire photo. Draw a box around it, color it, use a funky font — it’s entirely up to you. This method might not be attractive, but it’s the fastest and easiest way to add a watermark. For a cleaner approach, read on.

You can overlay some text over an image to create a watermark using Microsoft Paint, but we didn't say it'd be pretty.

You can overlay some text over an image to create a watermark using Microsoft Paint, but we didn’t say it’d be pretty.

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