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Friday, August 24, 2012

Putting Dates in Watermarks

It’s been rather a long time sine I last posted anything as I’ve been working on my thesis and article… sorry!

Theses and articles typically go through many versions, ding-dong to-and-fro between supervisors and co-authors. Some people keep track of the version number (or date-last-modified) by giving each draft a different file name. Personally, though, I tend to get inconsistent with the file naming, especially when it's 2:30am. So I figured it might work better for me if the date-last-modified was printed in the PDF of the thesis/article draft itself.

One could always put the date in the header or footer, but there might already be some content in those regions. Besides, it's probably not a good idea to mess with the formattings for a journal article. Instead, I put \today in a watermark, so the date would get updated I compile my draft:


The colour, lightness, font and other attributes of the watermark are configurable. I also used the datetime package to configure the date formatting. Here’s how the output looks like (a page from my thesis draft):


  1. Thanks! question: How to create watermark with two lines, say the date is under the word "draft"?

    1. You could try something like

      \SetWatermarkText{\parbox{6em}{\centering Draft\\\today}}

    2. o.k. following your suggestion I tried

      \SetWatermarkText{\parbox{6em}{\textcolor{cyan}{\centering DRAFT\\\today}}}

      and it works perfect. Thanks again :)

    3. You're welcome. You can also do


      instead of using a \textcolor in the watermark text. Makes the code a little more readable. :)

  2. You will have incorrect spacing with

    {\textcolor{cyan}{\centering DRAFT\\\today}}}

    Changing to


    will resolve it.

    1. Indeed, this makes the spacing better. Thank you.

  3. How can I change '7. August 2015' into '7/08/2015'?

    1. Have a look at the datetime (now obsolete) or datetime2 (this one's newer) packages.
      e.g. you might use

      If using datetime2, you'll need to call \DTMsetstyle instead: