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Watermark background

I’d like to add a watermark to my message which says “confidential” as an extra visual reminder.

Does Outlook hold such an option?

Outlook does not hold such an option, but you can create the watermark in a picture editing application and then set it as the background of your message.

Creating the watermark image

There is no need to get anything fancy, you can even use a combination of Word and Paint to get something nice quite quickly;

  1. Open Word and choose;
    • Word 2007 or Word 2010
      select the Page Layout tab and use the Watermark option
    • Word 2003 and previous
      Format-> Background-> Printed Watermark-> select Text watermark
  2. Once you’ve created your watermark in Word, resize your screen or zoom the document so that the entire watermark is visible.
  3. Press the Print Screen (PrtScn) button on your keyboard.
  4. Open up Paint.
  5. Paste the image.
  6. Use the selection tool to select the watermark and move it to the top left of paint.
  7. Resize the canvas in Paint via the small resize squares at the right side and bottom of the image to remove the edges.
  8. Save the file as a png, gif or jpg-file
  9. To get you started, I’ve already created a Confidential background which you are free to use and can be downloaded here.

To set it as your background in your message;

Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010
Create a new message-> tab Options-> button Page Color-> Fill Effects…-> tab Picture

Outlook 2003 and previous with Word as the email editor
Create a new message-> Format-> Background-> Fill Effects…-> tab Picture

Outlook 2003 and previous with Outlook as the email editor
Create a new message-> Format-> Background-> Picture…

Setting a background picture in an Outlook email message.
Use the Page Color Fill Effects option to set a picture as a background.

Extra Tip

You might also want to set the message’s sensitivity to Confidential. Open the “Message Options” or “Properties” dialog while composing and at the top you can set the sensitivity level. A quick way to bring up to the Properties dialog is by using the keyboard shortcut ALT+ENTER (don’t confuse this with CTRL+ENTER or you’ll end up sending the message).

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