This illustrated beginner's guide shows how to record a Photoshop action placing a text watermark on an image, at a certain distance from its upper left corner. By changing one of the steps, the action can stamp the watermark on any other corner. The action works the same on images of any size and shape.
Let's start with an image - for example a snowy cityscape, shown here opened in Adobe Photoshop CS3. It's already been processed and reduced to web-friendly display size. We'll use it to exemplify the steps of recording our automated action.
First, we create a new action to record. Click the Actions button (1), followed by the Create new action button (2). Enter the name of the new action, for example watermark (3), and click the Record button (4) to start recording it.
It's time to add the watermark's text. Click the Horizontal Type Tool (1), move the text cursor anywhere on the image, click and type your desired watermark text. In this tutorial we're using the highly unoriginal photo by me (2). When you're done, click the Commit any current edits button (3). The new text layer will appear in the Layers window (4).
To make sure the watermark will always be placed in the same position, let's first move it to the top left corner. Select the Move Tool (1) and click anywhere in the Layers window outside the two layers to make sure none of them is selected. Now select both layers: click the first one, then, holding down SHIFT, click the second one (2)**. Finally, click the Align top edges and Align left edges buttons (3) to make the top and left edges of the watermark and the photograph identical.
Now, we want to distance the text equally from the two corner edges. We measure the distance between the top edge and the text as the distance between the top edge and any lowercase letter that doesn't have ascenders, such as o. To measure this distance, zoom in on the text: choose the Zoom Tool (1) and drag a rectangle around the text. Now choose the Ruler Tool (2), hidden underneath the Eyedropper Tool button - click it and hold to see the small selection menu. Click and drag the cursor to measure the distance between the top edge and the letter o (3). This distance in pixels* is displayed as the height of the ruler (4), in our case 5 pixels.
Finally, let's position the text at an equal distance from the two corner edges. With the Move Tool (1) select only the text layer (2). If, for example, we want to position the text at 10 pixels distance from each edge, we'll need to move it down by 5 pixels and right by 10 pixels - to take into account the distance we painstakingly measured in the previous step*. When the text is in the right position (3), we can zoom out by right-clicking the Zoom Tool anywhere on the image and selecting Actual Pixels.
The watermark is in position, but it's kind of generic. We can customize it - with the Horizontal Type Tool (1) selected - by changing its font family, font style, font size, antialiasing method or text color (2).
For example, we can set the watermark color to white (2). The color can be selected in three ways (1) from the dialog that appears when clicking the Set the text color button.
We can also select a nicer blending for the watermark. The layer blending options are opened by right-clicking the text layer in the Layers window. For example, we can stroke the text with a black (1) border of size 1 pixel (2). This way, we ensure that the text will be readable on both light and dark backgrounds.
We might prefer a transparent watermark that doesn't hide any part of the image (2). The text layer's transparency can be adjusted from the Set the master opacity for the layer slider (1).
Click the Stop playing/recording button (1) and it's done! To run the watermark action at any time in the future on an opened image, select it in the Actions list and click Play selection (2).
Even easier, to apply the watermark to a set of photos, open the File › Scripts › Image Processor... dialog. Select the location of the images to process and where they should be saved after processing (1). Tell it to run the recorded action, watermark (2). Click Run to watermark all the images in the folder.
We're done! The photo is watermarked and the process was saved to use on others.
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