10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 17, 2008 6:00 AM by Gerry Hein

    Watermark Removal

    Level 1
      We added watermarks to a set of documents and DID NOT save the originals.

      Now we need to print out a set of these documents without the watermarks.

      Acrobat 7.1.0
      Windows XP Version 2002 SP2

      I found a way to remove our watermarks by going to menu item "View -> Navigation Tabs -> Contents" and selecting EACH PAGE INDIVIDUALLY and deleting the Watermark XObject on each page.

      Is there a batch way or programmable way of Removing Watermarks, as it's going to take us weeks to do this page by page.

      Thanks for any help
        • 1. Re: Watermark Removal
          Patrick Leckey Level 3
          You can set the watermarks to screen only or print only when you create the watermarks. Past that, your solution is the only one available - watermarks are designed to not be removed (if they were easily removed, they wouldn't be much good).
          • 2. Re: Watermark Removal
            Level 1
            Depending on exactly what the watermarks are, it may be possible to remove them using pdfToolbox. Before I promise too much... - can you send me a sample file or two?

            If so, please send them to

            olaf AT druemmer DOT com

            If I can figure out how to remove them I'd let you know.

            Olaf Drümmer
            • 3. Re: Watermark Removal
              Patrick Leckey Level 3
              If they are watermarks added via Acrobat (since this is an Acrobat forum), they would be exactly as described in section 8.4.1 heading "Watermark Annotations" (page 644) in the PDF Reference 1.7.
              • 4. Re: Watermark Removal
                Level 1
                I checked if I could re-PDF the file by printing without comments, but that did not work.

                Olaf, these are secure documents and therefore I cannot send you a sample.

                The watermarks were added in Acrobat though, so they should conform to the PDF Standard as quoted by PDL.

                Thanks again
                • 5. Re: Watermark Removal
                  (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
                  There are many ways to add watermarks, most of which do not make the
                  content "special" in any way. How were they put on?

                  Aandi Inston
                  • 6. Re: Watermark Removal
                    Level 1
                    Good question Aandi.

                    The watermarks were created by using a PDF file as watermark source. Both checkboxes were checked, Show when displaying on screen and Show when printing. Some documents have one watermark on each page, some have two on each page.

                    When I looked into this a while ago, I read about layers and that the watermarks are put on one of the layers in the document. Maybe there is a way of disabling this layer from being displayed.

                    I hope all this helps in coming up with a solution.

                    Thank you,
                    • 7. Re: Watermark Removal
                      Patrick Leckey Level 3
                      It's really not a matter of not displaying a layer. A watermark was designed as a form of document security - it's not meant to be removed easily at all. That's why you have to remove it from the PDE layer, as you are describing above.

                      The watermarks are performing exactly as they were intended. Perhaps in future you should consider modifying your workflow to have a secured "master copy" of your document with no watermarks, then a second copy with the watermarks that you can distribute. That way you never have to worry about removing them. Or just uncheck "Show when printing" when adding your watermarks if that's not something you want.
                      • 8. Re: Watermark Removal
                        Level 1
                        thanks for your insight.
                        I understand those issues quite well and those steps have been in place since I took over this project.
                        I'm dealing with previously created documents we need to deliver un-watermarked.
                        Hope someone can help.
                        I might look at some 3rd party PDF tools.

                        • 9. Re: Watermark Removal
                          Level 1
                          Gerry wrote: "Hope someone can help. "

                          Help was offered but Gerry is not in a position to provide a sample file. I understand the files are confidential but why doesn't Gerry produce a non-confidential example using the same setup and settings that were used to produce the problematic files?

                          To be honest I believe people seeking help should put more effort into resolving an issue, if needed, than those offering help.

                          Olaf Drümmer
                          • 10. Re: Watermark Removal
                            Level 1
                            Great news,

                            I downloaded the trial version of Acrobat 8.1 and watermark removal is a menu item. It worked in removing the watermarks on my old files.
                            Now I have another reason to budget for an upgrade.