How can I use arbitrary content for a watermark?

I would like to be able to use arbitrary content as a watermark, e.g. by having a frame being repeated in the background of every page.

In Microsoft Word, you can achieve this using the header or the footer: You can add a frame or any other object to the header, making it non-inline, and that works. (I usually do this with a ‘draft’ WordArt.) In LO Writer, however, when you add a frame while editing the header, it only appears on the specific page you’re in.

So, how do I get some arbitrary content - or any frame/object - to show on every page?

Additionally, I would like to be able to qualify the pages on which such content appears the same as with headers: First page, odd/even page etc.

The lack of this simple function within Microsoft is a shame: the ergonomics of the nightmare. Rather look at the way this basic function is implemented within Pages (concept of Master Object, with all the functions of normal objects: transparency, foreground or background, orientation, shadow…).

There is currently no facility to allow for completely arbitrary (i.e., random) watermark inclusion on a page-by-page basis. The currently available options include:

  • Set the page background (Format > Page… > Background tab) to use a pre-prepared graphic.
  • Insert a graphic object into the header and place it in the background. Avoid using a frame as a graphic object is contained in a frame by defailt. Using an explicit frame over-complicates the solution.
  • When exporting to PDF check the Sign with watermark option and enter your text (minimal control with this option, although fdo#54053 is a related enhancement request to get this expanded).

The first / second options allow for varying the inclusion of a watermark according to page style i.e., the ability “to qualify the pages on which such content appears the same as with headers: First page, odd/even page etc.”

It sounds though like you may be after a more editing / review type of ability to either:

  • Select randomly from a pool of pre-defined watermarks on a per-page basis. This is possible (to a degree using page styles and a pre-defined pool of related graphics) but it would not be easy to perform i.e., from an editing perspective.
  • Set watermark content on a page-by-page basis in an ad-hoc manner i.e., right-click > add watermark > enter text > click OK > next page > repeat.

If these are the type of facility / workflow you have in mind (or something similar) please file an enhancement request and provide as much information as possible. Don’t forget to mark your bug as an ‘enhancement’. The QA team will be happy to help you triage your feature request in the bugtracker.

Please post a link to any bugs you file in a comment below using the format “fdo#123456”.


None of what you suggested answers my question. I need to insert arbitrary content as part of the editing process.

You are right. I was mainly trying to illustrate what is currently possible. I did this partly because I was not certain to what degree you meant to imply randomness in your use of the term “arbitrary.” I will expand my answer to include enhancement options and be clearer.