Adding Captions and Watermarks to Photos With Preview

If you want to add some text to a photo, you can do it with the Preview app that comes with your Mac. You can add some large text to create a funny or inspirational image to post to social media. Or, you can add a watermark to protect your images before uploading them to the web.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Adding Captions and Watermarks to Photos With Preview.

Hi, this is Gary with On this episode let's take a look at adding captions or watermarks to images using Preview.

Say you want to add a caption or watermark to a photo. So, I'm going to start off here in the Photos app and just drag out to the desktop a jpg image. You could, of course, start with a jpg image already as a file but I just wanted to show that in case you are starting from there.

Then I'm going to open this up in Preview which is the default app for opening up a jpg file or most image files. If not I could have always just opened up the Preview app and then used File/Open from in there to grab it or dragged and dropped on to it.

So I've got my image now to jpg and I want to add some text to it. Now we want to turn on the markup tools and it is this little markup toolbar button here at the top. Once we turn that on we now have a whole set of tools here, including the ability to add text. This little T here is the text button. I tap that. It creates a piece of text and then I can drag that anywhere around on the screen.

Now to edit what that text says I can double click inside and I can type something and I can even put another line like that. I tap away and I can go back and drag this. I can edit it again. I can then use these tools here to change the font, for instance, and I can make it bold if the font has that. So let's go to something like Arial and we can bold it. I can change the size. I can center it in that box or justify it. I can change the color of it as well.

Than I can also, with it selected, change other things about it. Like, for instance, here I can change the background color of the box it is in. I can also change the border color. So you can do that if you want.

The only thing you can do here, this is changing the line styles, and if you are drawing lines instead of text you can use this. But you can use the drop shadow there and now you will notice that it has a slight drop shadow under it. It is a bit hard to see. There we go. You can see the drop shadow which helps a lot when the colors are kind of about the same. So we can see if we can change this to a color that's similar. Now we can see that it is a lot easier to see with that drop shadow under it because without it it would be almost invisible.

What happens when I save this out? I'm just going to do a regular save and I've got the original file right here. So let's close it. Then open it again. We can see now that the text is on it but it is no longer editable. It has been permanently placed on the image which is what you would expect because this is a jpg and a jpg isn't some sort of multi layered document that can include things like text.

So this is now just an image again. I can't edit it anymore. However I can still use File/Revert to and browse all the versions and I can see that I've got in versions on the Mac, I've got the ability to go back to the previous version of the document. So there we go. I can go back to that one and I can restore it. Now I've restored it here with that text gone. I just can't edit it. I have to be able to revert to a previous version or use the current one that has the text imbedded on there.

Now if I wanted to put some sort of watermark then it would make more sense to create something that had a little bit smaller font. Then put that down in the corner or some such but the result is the same. When I'm done and I save I'm going to get this jpg here where that will be permanently imbedded into the image.

So now when I share this somewhere, upload this to a social network or a photo sharing site or webpage it will have my watermark or my caption or whatever it is permanently imbedded in the jpg image.

Now since the markup tools from Preview are part of the markup tools used by other apps like say in Mail, you can be ready to email an image like this. You can use the markup tool inside the Mail app for the same thing. So just before you send the image off to somebody you can go ahead and set the font and things like that, put some text, and do whatever you want with it.

So you could, for instance, just if you want to send somebody a sample you could just put a watermark or a caption of some sort right in the middle of the photo there. Hit Done. They're going to get a jpg image that is just a plain jpg that has this imbedded into the photo here. So you can be sure that they don't use it or they get the message if it is something not to be used or something where you need to be given credit.

Comments: 14 Responses to “Adding Captions and Watermarks to Photos With Preview”

    Glen Fisher
    4 years ago

    I am adding text to pictures already in iPhotos. When I save after adding text it is not saving back to iPhoto. Do I have to do that manually and if I do I have two of the same picture. Thanks. great lesson.

      4 years ago

      Not sure what you mean. How are you adding text in iPhoto?

    4 years ago

    Thanks for this information. Another “I didn’t know” feature of Apple apps

    4 years ago

    Is there a way to place a markup on multiple photos in the same place. Maybe a copy/paste function?

    I would use this to place a title, location and date on numerous photos of participants in a sporting event.

    Tim Ricke
    4 years ago

    This video is a real help when I add personal quotes to photos instead of using pages. It’s much faster. Thanks Gary!

    4 years ago

    I wanted to name lead in pictures for a jpg folder..I wanted to keep it a simple jpg so it is around for the next generation. Thanks bunches.

    4 years ago

    Gary as usual Great Video. You never fail to make your video’s so easy to comprehend. This watermark feature I sincerely appreciate!

    4 years ago

    Where exactly do you find the watermark?

      4 years ago

      Not sure I understand your question. You can place the text anywhere you want on the phone Mage, as I show in the video.

    Douglas Mattingly
    4 years ago

    I added a title to a photo and moved it to the lower left corner. When I reopened the photo in Preview, the original red color was gone, replaced with gray. Also, when I closed Preview and went back to Photo and opened the original from there, the title wasn’t there at all. I am doing something wrong?

      4 years ago

      Not sure what happened with your color. I’d experiment and play around with it. To save to Photos, you’d need to export it as a file, then drag and drop that file back into Photos. You aren’t editing the Photo in your Photos library, you are editing a copy.

    4 years ago

    Can I use preview to make a watermark stationary? Or add to a PDF of a contract I do not want reused but faint enough were can be read?

      4 years ago

      Stationary watermarks are a different thing altogether. Usually they are part of the paper, not the printing. As for documents, it sounds like you want something different, like copy protection, not graphic marks on the document.

Comments Closed.