Home > Tech & Web > Adding Watermarks to Your Photos using IrfanView (awesome free program)

Adding Watermarks to Your Photos using IrfanView (awesome free program)

Adding watermarks to your photographs can not only help protect your photographs from being fraudulently used around the internet but also provide a free way of advertising your product, business or website.

Many people don’t watermark their images because they either don’t know how, don’t have the time or simply don’t want to. It doesn’t take long to watermark photographs and using a free tool called IrfanView you can batch watermark images in a number of seconds and save the settings as default for when you next need to watermark photos.

In this tutorial I’m going to show you a completely free way of watermarking your images using IrfanView.

InfranView Homepage ScreenshotFor those who don’t know what IrfanView is, its a very lightweight image manipulation software which is available to download here: http://www.irfanview.com/main_download_engl.htm.

I use it to re-size, watermark and upload images to my websites to save on transfer times uploading the images to my website but also to protect my photos from illegal replication and to increase brand awareness (marketing). I also use IrfanView to rename all my photos prior to uploading them to give them increased awareness on Google Image search which can result in more traffic coming into your site.

Step 1: Create Your Watermark

watermarkIf you haven’t already created your watermark image (much better than just plain text) then I’d recommend creating a transparent PNG watermark (a tutorial on how to do this in Adobe Photoshop and GIMP is coming shortly). The watermark we are going to use for this tutorial can be found just above/to the right of this text, I’ve also uploaded a PSD (PhotoShop) version of the above image to help you get started on creating your own watermark (download PSD watermark image here), note you will need Adobe Photoshop to edit this file and a 30-Day Trial can be downloaded from their website here.

Step 2: Configure Irfanview

irfanview startup screenIf you haven’t already done so, download IrfanView and install onto your computer. Next when you load up the program you’ll be greeted with a black screen, from here you need to navigate to to ‘File => Batch Conversion/Rename’ in the top menu bar. You can press ‘B’ on your keyboard for quick access.

The configuration page may seem daunting at start as there are so many options but it is really very simple to use, to make it a little easier for you all I’ve done a step by step screenshot series for you all…


Step 3: Setting basic options

Ok, so on the next screen you need to select the photos you want to resize/add watermark too and make sure you’ve got the ‘Batch Conversion – Rename result files’ option selected. The rest I think is self explanatory. I’ve highlighted the key parts in the GUI below.


Step 4: Setting the Advanced Options

The settings you need to set here are not too ‘advanced’ in fact, very easy if you know where you are looking. You can do many things with IrfanView, including adjusting the contrast, saturation, cropping and rotating. I’ll leave you to experiment with these by yourself, for the sake of this tutorial we’re interested in resizing and setting a watermark.

See below where those options are located. Again pretty self explanatory (thank you IrfanView!)


Step 5: Setting the ‘Processing Order’

I’m not 100% sure whether this step is necessary but by default my options are saved just to be sure. It basically allows you to confirm whether you want to put the watermark on after you resize the image or before. I think by default it is applies after but can’t be bothered to check again (sorry, had a few beers tonight as it is…).

Once you have set all of your options, don’t forget you can save your configuration in the bottom left hand corner of the screen to save you having to input them every time you want to do a conversion. By default, IrfanView automatically uses your last configured settings for future conversions/file renames. This is very handy if you’re dealing with the same task over and over again.


Step 6: Sit back and have a beer/another beer

This is the most glorious part of the process, the reason I get up each morning! Only joking, it’s very standard but allows you to see whether you have any problems with your image processing. Look for ‘OK – (blah blah blah)’ then your ok, if you see warnings/errors something is mis-configured.


Step 6: Compare your result files

That should be everything completed, you can now do a side by side comparison (as seen in the below screenshot) to see the differences in your files. Please take note of the cute puppy who is already infatuated with the new watermark that has just appeared on the photo! – He loves it!



File sizes have also been reduced dramatically thus reducing the time taken to upload to your website and further reducing the load on your server if you’ve got scripts/plugins installed that automatically resizes images for you.


Step 7: Admire your work (and leave your comments below!!)


Thanks for reading guys and girls, I hope this has helped some of you out there?? Let me know if you have any questions on watermarking your images or whether you have any other tech/web related related problems, I might be able to help you or do a tutorial for the benefit of everyone out there. If you don’t ask you don’t get!! 🙂

Peace and love to all.

Pablo x

Any questions or feedback can be directed to the comments section below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.  :-D

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About Paul

Becoming financially independent and travelling the world has been a dream of mine since I was young. In 2012 I decided to dedicate my life to travel. I will document my journey through this site.

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  1. I followed your directions and they helped tremendously but I can’t seem to increase the size of my watermark in the image I’m putting it onto. I’ve tried to enlarge the watermark and then add it but that doesn’t work either. Plus, the black version of my watermark is on a black background so I can’t see how I’m changing it. Please let me know how to fix this problem. Thanks, Melissa

    • Hello Melissa!

      The watermark image is a fixed size which is then applied to the image you are watermarking. The best thing to do would be to create a watermark that is around 15-25% the size of the total width of the most common, largest image you resize. Ie. if you resize images for displaying on your website and the total width is 1200px, then make sure your watermark is around 240px wide. After this you can batch resize images off this one ‘master’ image and the watermark will keep it’s proportions.

      You would get better quality watermarks if you were to design separate sized watermarks (resized in Photoshop) and apply AFTER you have resized each image. This will obviously take more time but well worth the effort if you have many images of the same size and require them to be resized and watermarked and different dimensions.

      Let me know if that has helped at all?

      Good luck! Paul x

  2. I didn’t make the watermarks and don’t have Photoshop or Adobe Acrobat, therefore, I have no idea how to change the size like you suggested. Thanks anyway.

    • Hello Melissa!

      You could always use IrfanView to change the size of the watermark to get a number of different sized watermarks and then batch apply them to the images you wish to watermark? This would be the easiest solution I would think.

      I don’t think there is any way to change the size of the watermarked image in Irfanview itself, unless of course you change the ‘processing order’ (instructions in Part 5 above) so that the watermark is applied first and then the image is resized, this will mean that the watermark will keep its proportions to the image, but it may not be as clear as what it would be if the watermark was applied after the image resize due to the fact that clarity is obviously lost when photographs are resized.

      I hope one of the above methods will provide a solution to your problem?

      Let me know how it goes either way 😀