Watermarking Photos With Automator and Pixelmator

If you want to watermark your photos before sharing them using a logo or other graphic, you can build a semi-transparent image in Pixelmator and then use an Automator Quick Action to easily apply that watermark to any image file. A special Pixelmator watermarking action helps to make it a one-step Automator workflow.

Video Transcript
What a lot of people like to do before sharing a photo online is to place a watermark on it. An imprinted signature, a copyright notice, just so the photo can be identified as theirs and if it's stolen by somebody it's not as easy to pass off as their own. So you have a photo like this and I just want to imprint my name on it before I share it. You can do that, of course, using any image editing app. You can do it in Preview using Markup and to put some text over it. You can even do Markup in Photos and put text over it. But what if I want to put a logo or graphic of some sort. It's a little tougher and it's very tough to have it just done kind of semi automatically. You do have to create a workflow. I'm going to show you a simple little workflow that once you get going it's pretty quick to add a watermark.

We're going to use Pixelmator for this which is an image editing app you can get in the Mac App Store. We're going to create an Automator workflow that's going to add a Quick Action. You can see in Mojave you've got Quick Actions whenever you look at something in the Finder. We're going to add one here that actually creates a watermark version of this image.

So let's start by going to Pixelmator. I'm going to run Pixelmator here and I'm going to create a new document. We want to create a fairly large document because photos have a lot of pixels in them. So if you create something too small then it's going to imprint in a very small corner. We want to create something, maybe, 800 by 100 here. Here we go. So we've got this Pixelmator document. Let's just put some text in there right now. So I'm going to click here to add some text. Let's make it black so I can see it. I'll just use my name. You can adjust the text as you need. Choose a cool font if you want. I'm not going to worry too much about that now.

I'm going to drop it down a little bit size so I can add a shape, maybe, as well. So let's create like just a simple shape here, like that. Just to show that we can actually do something a little bit more than just text because you can just do that in Markup. So I can change the color here to something like that. Now what you want to do is we want to make it semitransparent. Notice here I've got a bunch of layers. I've got the shape. I've got the text and I've got this background layer. I'm going to delete the background layer. Just hit the Delete key there. Now you can see it's transparent like I said. You've got this checkerboard pattern back here showing you that there's not background colored. So it's just the pixels that we've have here.

I'm going to go further and I'm going to select this layer here. The one with the text on it. I can change it to make it semitransparent. Make it like sixty percent. I can also change its color to something. Let's make it that same red that we were using here. We can do this here too. We can make this semitransparent. So that's fine.

We're going to go and save this out now. Once we've saved it, regardless of how we saved it, we want to Export it as a png file. Jpeg won't cut it because its got to be transparent and jpeg doesn't support transparent. So we're going to do a png file. We're going to save this as Watermark 1. We just saved it to the Desktop. I'm going to Hide Pixelmator now. We can see there it is on the Desktop. But I'm going to create a place for us to work here in my Documents folder. So I'm going to create a New Folder called Watermarking just because I don't like putting things on my Desktop if I don't have to. Now I've got that Watermark 1.png in there.

Now it's time to create the Automator process. So I'm going to run Automator and am going to create a new process here. It's going to be type Quick Action and that's how I get it into Quick Actions there in the Finder. So I'm going to go and create this Quick Action here. I'm going to set some things up in the beginning. I want it to receive an image file in the Finder. I can leave the icon as this little wheel and let's make it red so it stands out. Now we want to drag things in here. So I'm going to search for Watermark and we can see one of the watermark actions we've got is from Pixelmator. You can see the Pixelmator logo there. I can drag that in. Now the first time I do this it's going to ask me, if this okay to do. I'm going to say yes. Add it. Great.

Now I can have it copy the Finder item so make a duplicate of it which is what I'm going to use but I'm going to, for this example, I'm just going to get rid of it. I'm going to assume that you're going to be dragging an image out of the Photos Library, putting it in this watermarking folder, and then you're going to watermark it and upload it to a site. So I'm never doing this with the original here. So I'm just going to watermark the image. I'm going to choose the watermark image so I have to drag something in here. So I'll drag this Watermark 1 there into that. I'm going to put it in the bottom right hand corner. I want to Save it, Command S. I'm going to call it Watermark 1 and I'll hit Save.

Now I've saved it as a Quick Action so it should appear now. If I look at this image here, here's the image. Let's put that in my Watermarking folder as well. So you can pretend I just dragged that out of the Photos app. So I've got it here. I can hit More and I can see Watermark 1 is now one of these options. Alternatively, I can hit Customize here and I can move it up to the top so it's going to appear here as one of the two that are there by default. Now look what happens when I click it. It's going to change it and you can see there's my watermark. It appears there.

Now I may want to do some adjustments from here. I may want to make it, you know, brighter, more dimmer, or something like that because this may be too much or too little. I may want to trim some off the edges. I might have a lot of border around there. I may want it to be more in the bottom right hand corner or maybe not. Maybe this is just perfect because I do want it to cover part of the image so somebody can't steal it.

So now I've got this watermarked image. I can go and drag and drop that into say Facebook or some other place where I want to put this logo there. As another example here I can go into Photos and I can say, oh I want to share this image. I drag and drop it in here. Then I Quit Photos. I've got this new image here. I can hit Watermark and then the watermark will appear there. So I can easily watermark these photos here. I can upload them. I can leave them in my Watermarking folder maybe for future reference. I can just Delete them once I'm done.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Watermarking Photos With Automator and Pixelmator”

    Oakdale Carl
    12/11/18 @ 9:03 am

    As always great info. Always impressed with your command of topics. Do you have a basic book or online course for automator?

    12/11/18 @ 9:08 am

    Oakdale: No, no course on that, sorry. Automator is too nebulous of a topic. Using it is very different depending if you have no, little or a lot of programming experience. Plus it is very dependent on what software you have installed and what type of work you do.

    Walt stroz
    12/13/18 @ 3:18 pm

    Can i use this technique to watermark all my photos before loading onto google photos for storage. If so, what is the easiest way to accomplish this task. \?

    12/13/18 @ 3:23 pm

    Walt: I wouldn’t do that. The idea is to watermark your photos before sharing them or otherwise sending them out into the world. When you are storing them in your own private library, you want the original images, not the watermarked ones.

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