Hi everyone,

I finished a screenplay and would like to watermark wach page of the PDF before handing it out. Is this possible? A search here didn’t show any results.


Compile to RTF, open in a word processor that can add watermarks (e.g. Nisus Writer Pro; I assume Word and LibreOffice can, though I don’t know) and print/export to PDF from there.


Any of the major PDF editing apps will do it. I use PDFPen. Adobe Acrobat a bit pricey for me. There are others.

If there are not so many pages, you can use Apple Preview to add on each page text or image. With copy/paste might not take too long. Use view menu to show the Markup tools.

Thanks guys.

Since scene numbering for scene headers is only available when compiling to PDF or FDX, I will have to try rms’s workaround.

As far as I can see, this is only possible with commercial PDF editors I have to spend more money on, so it’s a real bummer that this relatively simple tool is not available within Scrivener :confused:

Don’t know if i would think of it as a workaround. Part of finishing up the final deliverable with the appropriate tools.

Try using the Preview method first. Already available to you with no extra cost.

I would think Scrivener IS the appropriate tool, it’s a screenwriting app, it should really be able to add watermarks to a PDF export.

Meantime use Scrivener to put your watermark in the page header and/or footer to avoid messing with the PDF output?

I do not know how complicated it would be for Literature & Latte to add that feature. All depends on the API with the PDF making software they licensed. I am sure they did not roll their own. PDF’s are complicated.

This is a built-in feature of macOS, at least when going through the Print workflow. If you expand details, you’ll find a Watermark section. From there you can save as PDF.

1 Like

Cool. My learning of the month! (Vaguely have a recollection of that, slapping my forehead! :wink:)

For those who need to know, here is a screen shot of the relevant macOS printer options. No need for Literature & Latte to put this redundant capability into Scrivener! Feature hiding in plain sight.

This does not work here (Monterey). I have 2 printers connected, depending on which I chose I may or may not have the option to watermark. Regardless, save as PDF will not apply the created watermark. rms, can you confirm that when saving as PDF it produces watermarks?

For others in need, creating an automation did the job:

This is a must feature for Scrivener and I find it really baffling that it’s not available.
All other major screenwriting apps I looked up provide watermarking, FinalDraft, Celtx, Writerduet, Studio Binder.

Even the free Trelby allows watermarks for PDF export.

Yes, of course it works. I now remember using it many years ago in previous versions of macOS. I don’t remember the specific version numbers. Now using Ver. 12.6 (Monterey). See attached screen shot of the PDF created with a test watermark for you. I “printed” to Preview to enable screen shot, then printed to paper—worked.

Thanks for the test.
Unfortunately it does not work here since available options seem to depend on the printer and I don’t have a watermark option in either one of the two (can’t upload images yet it seems).

Also I’m not sure if you could have done it but the watermark of course needs to be behind the text not above it.

What worked for me is the automation process linked above.

Print to not a printer, but to a PDF file and/or Apple Preview. Print from there.

What I demonstrated was what Apple provides. Best to consult with them if you want changes to in front or behind text, and all that. Probably a way to set the translucency of the fonts, but I did not pursue.

If you really want Literature & Latte to make a change to Scrivener, best to put in a suggestion.

“Print to not a printer, but to a PDF file and/or Apple Preview”

Yes I know that.
Still, the available options are dependent on the printer you have chosen. If you have more than one printer from different vendors you will notice that they most probably provide different options when you expand details. And a watermark above the text is useless anyways.

For anyone having the same issue, the link I posted above solved it for me.

I note that unlike the watermarking that (commercial) software provides, the Automator workflow @stip referred to is essentially adding a background image to the pages of the pdf. So, what you get there is not rendered as text, but a page-sized image which needs creation in a separate app.

I don’t know if that is a downside, but something to note.


1 Like

You need to download the free screenwriting app WriterSolo. Export to FDX, open the FDX in WS, and in the Settings under PDF, set up your Watermark.

I use Scrivener with a pro screenwriting app like WS or Final Draft, etc, to take care of the many screenwriting details that Scrivener doesn’t handle. I mostly use Scrivener for the organizational tools.


Did you change from “Default Settings” in the Print dialogue?

1 Like

I wrote something as the watermark in Pages and simply took a screenshot, then used that screenshot.

Of course.

Great, thank you for the tip about WriterSolo, that’s a nice workaround!

Regarding the print workaround that some people seem to have success with…here are screenshots of the options my two printers give me. Notice they differ. The Ricoh offers a copy protection but that doesn’t work like a watermark.

Maybe installing a virtual printer might give a watermark option but if it doesn’t offer them behind instead of above the text then it’s not a proper solution anyway.

Popcornflix’ tip about using WriterSolo seems to be the best solution.